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Unborn babies' heartbeats synchronize with their mothers

Saturday, July 31, 2010 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: babies, heartbeat, health news

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(NaturalNews) BBC News recently reported that the heartbeats of unborn babies synchronize with the heartbeats of their mothers when the mothers breathe rhythmically. Researchers from the University of Aberdeen say that this finding will help doctors be better able to detect developmental problems during pregnancy.

"Pregnant mothers often report an awareness of a bond with their child. But until now there has been no hard evidence to suggest this bond is reflected in the interaction of their heartbeats," explained Dr. Marco Thiel, a physicist who helped with the study.

"Our findings reveal that synchronization between the heartbeat of a mother and fetus does actually occur -- but only when the mother is breathing in a rhythmical fashion. The fetus can sense the rhythmical shift in the mother's heartbeat and adapts its own heartbeat accordingly."

So when unborn babies' heartbeats do not synchronize with their mothers' rhythmic heartbeats, specialists now know this in an indication that something might be wrong. Doctors can then work on identifying the specific problem and take steps to fix it.

Researchers were careful to note that, during normal breathing, the phenomenon of heartbeat synchronization may not necessarily occur. But the fact that it can, and does, occur during patterned, rhythmic breathing highlights an interesting connection between mother and child during the earliest stages of child development.

Physicians are already using the study findings to treat pregnant women at the Gronemeyer Institute for Microtherapy at Witten-Herdencke University in Germany.

Sources for this story include:

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