Background: This TED talk introduces the fetal origins hypothesis by going into detail on what it means. The speaker talks about several studies that have been conducted to prove this theory. Studies that show how babies respond to their mom’s voice, what babies prefer to eat that matches up with their mom’s appetite when pregnant, and studies from mom’s who experienced 9/11 when pregnant and how their PTSD got passed down to their child. The speaker relies on her personal background with her child and the research she has done to write a book on the topic of fetal origins.
How I Used It: This TED talk was the source that first introduced me to this topic, I relied back to this for much of my research. I believe it provides great examples using real life evidence. I took the studies talked about in the speech and researched them separately to further explore this idea of fetal origins.
Background: In this article the author persuades the reader that babies who are developing auditory senses in the womb can hear and feel the vibrations of their mother’s voice. It goes on to talk about how important the mom’s voice is to her baby’s learning ability, their comfortability, and social bonding skills when they are born.
How I Used It: Even though this is a non academic article, it gave me insight to the study talked about in the TED talk that babies recognize their mom’s voice through vibrations in the womb. It sparked my interest and I investigated further to try and find more real studies done on babies and their mom’s voice.
Background: This article spoke on both sides of the argument, agreeing that babies do learn in the womb, mostly relating to voices. It also says that the majority of learning really begins once the baby is born and at home from the hospital. The author explores the idea that this is truly when babies get the awareness of what is going on around them, the sense of touching objects, and start to develop emotions which are going to be most important to a baby’s learning process.
How I Used It: This source did not really help me in any of my papers because it was not a credible source plus it repeated information that I already knew and talked about information that didn’t involve learning in utero.
Background: The author in this article focuses on studies that were conducted to prove that babies get their eating habits during the time they spend in their mom’s stomach. A study about mother’s drinking carrot juice everyday for a period of time while pregnant and one group of women did not. When their babies were born they were fed carrots for the first time, and the mom’s who drank carrot juice babies were happier to eat and continue eating the carrots. It talks about how food that moms eat definitely affects the baby in the womb and continues to do so once born.
How I Used It: This non academic article was a great starting point for me and led me right to the original academic carrot juice study that they explained in the article and on the TED Talk. I could not cite this source in my essays because this was not where the study originated from but it helped me find it.
Background: Introduces a study that was mentioned in the TED talk that I watched on fetal origins that took 38 of the approximate 1,700 pregnant survivors of 9/11. Researchers conducted an experiment with these women where they took saliva samples of those who developed PTSD and then when their child turned one year old they tested their spit and found a lower level of hormones indicating that the child has PTSD. This was typically transmitted to the child during the moms third trimester through a science called epigenetics, heritable changes in gene activity not due to changes in their DNA.
How I Used It: This non academic article I heard about in the original TED Talk led me to the actual study I needed to research and cite in my essays. It was a good non academic article to start off with but I could not cite it because it is not where the 9/11 PTSD in Babies study came from.
6. Mennella, J., & Trabulsi, J. (2012). Complementary Foods and Flavor Experiences: Setting the Foundation. Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism, 60, 40-50. doi:10.2307/48507172
Background: A book that discusses food experiences within babies and fetuses. Discusses a study that proves babies learn their food preferences through their mom. In the study the pregnant moms were to drink 300 mL of carrot juice several days a week, or just a couple days a week, or none at all depending on what group they were randomly placed in. When the babies were born they were being fed carrot baby food for the first time and those whose mom drank lots of the juice while pregnant took a strong liking to the carrots and the other babies had no interest in it.
How I Used It: This is the real source of where the babies food preference study came from. I used this study in all 3 of my short essays and it was very important to my claim that babies learn in the womb.
7. “Can Trauma Be Transmitted Intergenerationally?” – Sandra Hercegova. (n.d.).
Background: A study at Mount Sinai was conducted on mothers who experienced 9/11 first hand while pregnant and developed PTSD. A year later they tested their one year old infants to find signs of distress in the baby and they found high levels of cortisol, meaning the babies also had developed PTSD.
How I Used It: This website is where the study on PTSD in mothers and babies at Mount Sinai came from originally. This study helped me out a great deal in all of my essays while trying to either prove my fetal origins hypothesis right and even once saying in my causal argument that this wasn’t considered learning. It struck lots of good controversy on my topic.
Background: This study done on infants proves that babies recognize their mom’s voice beginning in utero. The babies in the study listened to vowel sounds in their native tongue and in foreign languages. Their interest in the sounds was captured by how long they sucked on a pacifier that was wired into a computer measuring the babies’ reaction to the sounds. Longer or shorter sucking for unfamiliar or familiar sounds is evidence for learning, because it indicates that infants can differentiate between the sounds heard in utero.
How I Used It: Since this site was academic coming from a university who conducted the study I used this experiment in my causal and rebuttal essays and used it as my starting paragraph. It significantly helped me prove that babies are learning sounds in the womb so I referenced it quite often just like I did with the two other studies I found.
Background: A parent magazine tells parents that their child doesn’t begin learning in kindergarten, it begins learning in the womb. They name 5 ways fetuses are learning: learning through sound, touch and feeling, language, expression, and taste.
How I Used It: I did not use this article because it was not a credible source but I found it interesting in the fact that they used touch and expression when discussing learning so I gave the article a shot because I wanted to see why they deemed those senses as learning.
10. Kolata, G. “Studying Learning in the Womb.” Science, vol. 225, no. 4659, 1984, pp. 302–303. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/1693585.
Background: Studying Learning In the Womb is found in a Science textbook and discusses how babies can hear in the womb and differentiate sounds from the moment they are born. The two page text talks about real life stories and studies conducted on infants and sucking to the sounds that prove that babies begin learning sounds and language in utero.
How I Used It: I did not cite this article in my short essays because it gave me information I had from other scholarly articles or studies similar to ones I already used. It is a good academic source and I referred back to it while writing but did not include direct information from it.