I’m 25 weeks pregnant, and my baby seems to ‘jump’ when it hears loud noises – is this likely?
Studies have shown that a baby can react to sounds from as early as nine weeks gestation. This was demonstrated by playing sounds through the Mum’s abdomen and recording the baby’s reactions on ultrasound scan. As the fetus grows, the hearing develops. Firstly, the low tones are heard and then progressing to higher tones.
A baby can determine it’s mother’s voice and voices of close friends and family, that it will have heard regularly, whilst in the womb. A premature baby reacts to sounds and loud sounds produce a ‘startle’ reflex. This is living proof that babies inside the womb at that gestation will hear and react to loud sounds too.
See: Hepper, P.G. et al (1994) Development of fetal hearing. Archives of Disease in Childhood- fetal and neonatal edition. Vol.71, f81-f87.