“The Wonder of Prenatal Education” – Book Review

The informational boost you need to properly include science-driven strategies in your future-parent preparations. Give your child a great cognitive and emotional start in life by incorporating the methods presented by Dr. Chong Chen, research scientist at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Japan, in the third and last volume of the Your Baby’s Developing Brain Series – The Wonder of Prenatal Education: Why You Should Listen to Mozart and Sing to Your Baby While Pregnant.

Perhaps you already plan to read to your baby or play soothing music to them while they’re still in the womb, and this because you’ve seen other mothers do it or maybe you’ve discovered this information in various parenting books and articles, but now you will find out the science behind these popular suggestions, along with the supplementary recommendations on how to perform these cognitive and emotional boosters in a safe way that also triggers optimal results.

Dr. Chen used his medical training and internship in gynecology, obstetrics and pediatrics expertise once more to put together a set of recommended actions expecting parents can take in order to facilitate the emotional bond with their child and nurture their overall cognitive and emotional development.

The three parts of the book cover the cognitive characteristics of the fetus (“The Intelligent Fetus”), the critical analysis regarding the effectiveness of prenatal education (“Educating Your Baby In The Womb: Does It Work?”) and practical recommendations on how to achieve the best results based on the existing scientific data, along with their limits and welcomed words of caution, where needed.

You will learn about a newborn’s preference for sounds or food and how to use that information to help your baby develop healthy habits such as eating vegetables, increased speech development or learning. Here is where you will also find out why so many nursery rhymes and stories contain the “La” syllable, how to get your unborn baby’s attention and, very important, how not to “bore” him/her. 🙂

The second part of the book presents the results of a systematic review conducted by Dr. Chen regarding English and Chinese literature that addressed the brain, intellectual, emotional and social development of the fetus. These results offer a classification for prenatal education approaches and  conclusions about the benefits that can be reasonably expected from the various forms and strategies.

The information shared in this segment of the book offers the scientific knowledge we’ve gathered so far about the following practices related to prenatal education: playing music, reading, talking, singing and patting the mother’s abdomen and olfactory stimulation.

Also, it includes a generous presentation of the practice and concept I’ve been mostly curious about since Dr. Cheng announced to me his intention to include this segment in the book: the Chinese approach called Taijiao,or the combination of the actions I presented above, minus the olfactory stimulation, used together with nutritional and psychological instruction.

I found this part to be a wonderful element of education regarding not only prenatal education, but also the general knowledge regarding humanity and its development – Taijiao has been used since the Han Dynasty, over two thousand years ago. This is impressive, since modern data supporting it is just being gathered by present research. I find it refreshing and soothing to discover and re-discover from time to time just how observant, resourceful and cognitively gifted mankind is and always has been.

I really enjoyed the book. Wish it was longer. Yet I know that that kind of outcome would also depend on the body of research available on the subject. It actually makes me look forward to new studies and results regarding the baby’s cognitive and emotional life in the womb and about how those nine months influence a baby’s first days of life and early childhood. I am hopeful that when this new information will arise, Dr. Chen will continue his series with more recommendations on how to make the best of prenatal education and provide the optimal developmental environment for babies starting from when they’re still in the womb and further augmenting those results during childhood. I am curious to see whether this might also hold the key to setting the optimal context for a happy, fulfilled adult.

I highly recommend the entire “Your Baby’s Developing Brain” series. I enjoyed reading and reviewing the three books and consider it a wonderful resource for expecting parents, but also for anyone who is interested in cognitive and emotional development and also, in a healthy lifestyle.

The Kindle version of “The Wonder Of Prenatal Education” is available starting October 20, and you can order it here.

Your Baby’s Developing Brain Series Reviews:

Volume 1: Psychology For Pregnancy

Volume 2: The Seed of Intelligence

Volume 3: The Wonder of Prenatal Education

P.S. This is not a commercial endorsement deal. I get no commission from the sales of this book. The author invited me to read and honestly review his book for Psychology Corner.

Photo Sources: Copyright (C) Brain and Life Publishing. Used with author’s permission.

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