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Birthlight 'Womb to World' 2018 conference

Active bonding through sound before, during and after birth

Date:   Saturday 22 September 2018
Venue: School of Medicine, Addenbrookes Site, Cambridge, UK

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While there is a superabundance of research on touch, sound warrants a special focus in the active development of bonding with babies before, during and after birth. If fetuses as young as 17 weeks can respond to their mothers’ voices, promoting communication through sound is crucial in supporting the ‘primal continuum’ from early pregnancy to the third year for health, harmonious development and lighter parenting in families and communities. The experience of hearing and responding to familiar voices is a crucial component of early integration of all senses (synaesthesia) for babies before and after birth. Recent research shows how calming lullabies, listened to or created by pregnant women and new mothers affected by anxiety and emotional turbulence can become an important resource.

Main themes of the day:

  • Mother/father-fetus communication, early learning: research, practices, evidence
  • Preventing and alleviating maternal depression (prenatal and postnatal) with lullabies: recent research evidence. Presentation of the Birthlight Lullaby Project
  • Neurobiological aspects of sound in babies’ ‘social brains’
  • Breath, voiced breath and sound: why singing and chanting beat recorded music
  • Sound, movement and rhythm: on land and in water

This Womb to World conference is a celebration of the pioneering work of Marie-Claire Busnel, whose research showed fetuses’ responses to their mothers before it was scientifically acceptable to even suggest it. Marie-Claire is now in her 93rd year.

Sound matters in all Birthlight’s areas of teaching, prenatal and postnatal, land-based and aquatic. The aims of our Womb to World conferences are to access the research evidence that underpins our practices, to get new ideas and inspiration about reaching parents and maternity health professionals in our communities, make new connections and last but not least enjoy a day of shared learning and experiencing.

If you think you are tone deaf, and the pregnant women and parents you know say they do not like making sounds, this conference is specially for you.

Like previous Womb to World conferences this event gathers eminent researchers in their fields, scientists, practitioners and artists who are passionate about their work. The focus on sound makes it an unmissable day for all Birthlight members and all interested professionals outside Birthlight.

This conference follows on recent events organized by Birthlight: Light in Water International Conference at Girton College, Cambridge 2016, and the first international Birthlight Conference in China (Light on Parenting, Beijing December 2017). In September 2017 we rallied the 20th Brazelton UK anniversary conference .

More information, speakers and booking>