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Will babies recognize their mother's voice at birth?


London, 25th of April 2017.- Institut Marquès continues to investigate the effects of music in the beginning of life. The centre, an international reference in assisted reproduction, has presented new findings at the World Congress on Maternal Foetal Neonatal Medicine in London

IM studies reveal that the unborn baby is unable to recognize the maternal voice because he hears virtually nothing of what comes from the outside. The foetus only hears the sounds that arrive to him from the mother's vagina.

According to Dr. Álex García-Faura, scientific director of Institut Marquès, "in our studies we get the foetus to hear the maternal voice through a vaginal player (Babypod) and we see that they respond in the same way to any person’s voice. We believe that this occurs because they have not been able to perceive their mother’s voice previously through the maternal abdomen”

Thus, it is now investigated whether via vaginal sound emission during pregnancy will allow the baby to recognize the mother's voice at birth.

Dr. García-Faura explains that "studies around the mother’s voice recognition are a challenge and we also want to know if this will be a stimulus for further language and communication development.”

  • Foetuses respond differently to music and voice

Babypod is the only device that allows communication between the baby and his mother. Pregnant women can bring it to their ultrasound scans.

It is a small device that is inserted into the vagina as if it were a tampon, it is connected to the mobile and allows you to get the foetus to hear the music or any human voice. It was designed for the first scientific studies of Institut Marquès, which revealed that the foetus was able to hear from week 16 (when he only measures 11 cm), as long as the sound arrives from the mother's vagina.

The answer is different if the stimulus is performed by music or voice. The foetus reacts by moving his mouth when he hears voice messages while he performs mouth and tongue movements when what he perceives are musical vibrations. This is believed to be due to the fact that music and voice activate different brain circuits.

The use of vaginal music has important medical applications: it allows to rule out foetal deafness (if the baby responds to music, this obviously means that he is not deaf). It also facilitates the ultrasounds since, in inducing the movement, the foetal structures are better seen. Using Babypod also allows the mother to check foetal well-being.

  • About Institut Marquès

Institut Marquès is a centre of international reference in Gynaecology, Obstetrics and Assisted Reproduction with offices in Barcelona, Milan, London and Ireland (Dublin and Clane).

The centre, with great experience in cases that present special difficulty, helps people from more than 50 countries to achieve their dream of having a baby. Institut Marquès offers the highest rates of pregnancy success, with 89% per IVF with egg donation cycle.

Leader in innovation, this centre develops an important line of research on the benefits of early life music and foetal stimulation. You will find more information on the following websites: and

For more press information, please contact:

Mireia Folguera:  0034 649 901 494

Estefania Redondo: 0034 661 208 385

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