Babyplus in the News - Media Articles

December 2007
Island Family Magazine
Holiday Gift Guide
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December 2007
Indianapolis Monthly
BabyPlus featured in the Indianapolis Monthly.
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December 2007
Our Online Buyers' Guide.
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November 30, 2007
Props & Pans
Win Your Own BabyPlus Prenatal Education Curriculum!
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November 29, 2007
Baby Bongo
Don't Take the Repeats
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November 26, 2007
Fit Preganancy
Nominate your city.
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November 2007
Columbus Parent
Presents for Parents.
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November 16, 2007
Inside Indiana Business
Lisa Jarrett, president and founder of the BabyPlus Company appeared on Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick.
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November 16, 2007
Amazon Baby Babble’s Blog

Baby Gadgets & Gear Demo Video
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November, 2007
Pregnancy Newborn
Source: Pregnancy Newborn, 2007

Four lucky readers...
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October 24, 2007
celebrity baby blog
Source: Celebrity Babies October 24, 2007

The View's Elisabeth Hasselbeck treats audience to baby swag
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October 24, 2007
today's featured product
Source: What's Hot For Tots October 24, 2007

From the moment you find out you are going to be a mom the worries and concerns in your head go wild. You wonder and pray…
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October 18, 2007
March of Dimes
Source: March of Dimes October 18, 2007

Celebrity Moms, Dads and Moms-to-Be Joined the March of Dimes to Celebrate the 2nd Annual babyLOVE on Saturday, September 29th in Beverly Hills
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October 14, 2007
Classy Mommy Giveaway:
Source: Classy Mommy, October 14, 2007

Sponsored by Jewels and Pinstripes to win a Baby Plus Prenatal Education System!
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October 10, 2007
4 months old: My follow up of Baby Plus
Source: Mommies with Style, October 10, 2007

Back in April I wrote a review on a product called Baby Plus...
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September 26, 2007
Giveaway: Celebrity Bump Pregnancy gift bag from Jewels and Pinstripes
Extra TV

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September 26, 2007
Giveaway: Celebrity Bump Pregnancy gift bag from Jewels and Pinstripes
Celebrity Baby Blog
Together with Jewels and Pinstripes, we are giving away a special gift bag that was given to celebrities who are expecting!
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September 26, 2007
Five Star Rating from The Toy Man™ 2007 Product Guide
Source: The Toy Man™ Online

Reviewed by: Rev. James G.W. Fisher - Product Evaluation Specialist
Review Date: 09/23/2007
Created by a developmental psychologist, The BabyPlus™ Prenatal Education System is a patented, early curriculum and prenatal education system that introduces patterns of sound to a prenatal child in the one language they can understand—the maternal heartbeat. ...
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September 26, 2007
BabyPlus System Hot Item at ABC Expo
Source: The Toy Man™

The ABC Expo is HOT! and this is just the beginning! In studying the history of this show and it’s growth pattern, I was quite impressed to see that this show is moving at a pace which is raising eyebrows. When you consider the show doubling in size in just one year, that in itself is a serious statement of success.
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August 31, 2007
Nicole, Gisele, Penelope, Paris Buy Baby Booty
Source: MSN Entertainment, August 31, 2007

As for Nicole Richie, she continues to stock up on stuff in preparation for her stork visit...
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August 30, 2007 Recommended
Source:, August 30, 2007

BabyPlus is an audio curriculum based on years of prenatal development research...
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August 30, 2007
Celebrity Baby Blog: Nicole Richie spotted purchasing prenatal education system
Source: Celebrity Baby Blog, August 30, 2007

Despite a busy Good Charlotte tour schedule, Joel Madden and partner Nicole Richie are diligently preparing for the birth of their first child...
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August 29, 2007
Richie Fan: Nicole Richie shops more for baby
Source: Richie Fan, August 29, 2007

Nicole Richie can't get enough of shopping for her unborn baby....
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August 28, 2007
Star: Nicole buying for baby
Source: Star Magazine, August 28, 2007

Nicole Richie and Joel Madden are busy, busy, busy preparing for their bundle of joy. They're even purchasing tools to enrich the baby's mind! On Wednesday, Aug. 15th the pair...
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August 8, 2007
Celebrity Baby Blog: 18 Weeks Pregnant
Source: Celebrity Baby Blog, August 8, 2007

You want to give your unborn baby a good start. You eat the right foods, get plenty of exercise and rest, take your vitamins, etc... But what about starting their education early? Many people play music or read to their baby, which is wonderful, but what else can you...
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July 2007
Georgia Family Magazine: Best Baby Products
Source: Geogia Family Magazine, July 2007

This intriguing product delivers 16 varied sounds that resemble a mother's heartbeat to your child while in your womb. Designed to be played for 1 hour twice a day, the sonic pattern introduces baby to a sequential learning process, based upon the natural rhythms of the womb. The rhythm of the sounds increase incrementally...
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July 28, 2007
Tot Trends Weekly Magazine: Baby Gadets
Source: Tot Trends Weekly Magazine, July 28, 2007

Early education takes on a whole new meaning with the BabyPlus Prenatal Education System. Comprised of a set of sound lessons that are played to the prenatal child, this patented system teaches baby to distinguish between rhythmic heartbeat...
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July 18, 2007
The Gadgeteer with Julie Strietelmeier: Reviewed
Source: The Gadgeteer, July 18, 2007

BabyPlus is a featured product on The Gadgeteer with Julie Strietelmeier. is one of the oldest and most respected product review sites on the web. Julie started it as a small hobby site on the Geocities free community pages back in the summer of 1997. By December of that same year, she had purchased the domain name of and within three years, The Gadgeteer grew to become one of the most trusted product review sites on the net. Recognized by Microsoft, the Wall Street Journal and many other industry sources as the go-to site for real hands-on reviews without the fluff...
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July 12, 2007
Celebrity Baby Scoop: A celeb mom favorite
Source: Celebrity Baby Scoop, July 12, 2007

BabyPlus Prenatal Education System is a must-have pregnancy item for celebrities. Gwen Stefani used BabyPlus while pregnant with little Kingston and she has recommended it to friends like Boris Kodjoe and his wife Nicole Ari Parker, who used it during their second pregnancy. BabyPlus was a featured item in Bachelorette Trista Rehn Sutter's baby shower gift basket and is currently being used by actress and mom-to-be Ali Landry.
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July 15, 2007
Baby Stores Information: Baby Plus Prenatal Education System
Source:, July 15, 2007

Parents who hope to give their unborn child every intellectual, developmental, creative, and emotional advantage will want to take a closer look at BabyPlus Prenatal Education System. Unlike most other programs designed to enhance baby’s potential in utero, this system is actually research-based and scientifically...
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June 7, 2007
The Family Groove: MOM ON THE STREET
Source: The Family Groove, June 7, 2007

Welcome to our latest monthly column, Mom on the Street (ya know, like Man on the Street). Each month, we'll be asking moms just like you for a slice of their sage advice, insider tips or tried-and-true wisdom in the hopes that their unique brand of Mother inspires, assuages, calms, strengthens and even amuses yours.
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June 27, 2007
the mom to be depot: We wish we knew about this when we were pregnant!!
Source: the mom to be depot, June 27, 2007

BabyPlus, the only US-patented prenatal education system, provides stimulation for improved cognitive development throughout childhood. BabyPlus is an audio device that introduces patterns of sound to prenatal children in the only language they understand—the maternal heartbeat. As a baby discriminates...
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Summer 2007
L.A. Parent b.a.b.y.: Womb to Learn
Source: Summer Publication

Sure, you can find DVDs and other educational tools for infants. But did you know there is curriculum available for babies in utero? The BabyPlus Prenatal Education System takes learning a step further by offering an auditory-based educational series of sounds based...
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June 14, 2007
In Style Moms Blog: BabyPlus Winner
Source: Boutique Cafe, June 14, 2007

Congratulations to Morgan Mellas, of Sherman Oaks, CA for winning the BabyPlus Prenatal Education System! Morgan looks forward to using the BabyPlus on future pregnancies. Morgan says, “It seems lake wonderful tool to help my child get started on the right track for learning and interaction.”

June 11, 2007br /> babble: Baby Geniuses - Does Baby Einstein really make kids smarter?
Source: babble by Adrienne Martini, June 11, 2007

The BabyPlus Prenatal Education System consists of a patented program of rhythmic sound lessons that are played to the growing child via a special speaker pouch that mom-to-be wears on her belly. Each lesson is an hour long and is to be...
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June 7, 2007
Boutique Cafe: Educate in utero
Source: Boutique Cafe, June 7, 2007

We’ve all heard that reading to your unborn child while pregnant or exposing her to the soothing sounds of classical music can have a positive effect on her I.Q., but did you know a prenatal education system exists that...
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May 30, 2007
Healthy Bump: Learning starts in the womb with the help of BabyPlus
Source: Healthy Bump, May 30, 2007

BabyPlus is a revolutionary prenatal education system that encourages strong cognitive development in your baby. Lisa Jarrett, President of the BabyPlus Company answered some questions about BabyPlus to help...
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May 25, 2007
In Style Moms: You're Never too Young to Learn
Source: In Style Moms, May 25, 2007

When do you believe learning begins? BabyPlus believes it begins during the prenatal period when the brain is in the most receptive stage of learning. The BabyPlus Prenatal Education System is a set of sound lessons that...
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April 27, 2007
KTLA Morning Show: Baby Celebration LA
Source: Cision, April 27, 2007

BabyPlus was one of the featured products on the KTLA Morning Show during the Los Angeles Baby Celebration Show in April.
Click Here to see the segment
May 3, 2007
Momlog: Auditory Exercises for New Moms With BabyPlus
Source: Gearlog, May 3, 2007

What can you give to an expectant mom for Mother's Day? How about a device that lets you interact with your baby before it's born? The BabyPlus is a device designed to create sounds that resemble...
Read More May 1, 2007
BabyPlus Prenatal Education System
Source: Swanky Moms, May 1, 2007

I have to admit, I was skeptical when my BabyPlus system first arrived.
But after a week of using it, I am really in love. BabyPlus is a “prenatal education system” that is like Baby Einstein for your...
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April 30, 2007
8 months pregnant: Using a Prenatal Education System
Source: Mommies with Style, April 30, 2007

When does learning begin? In the womb, when brain development occurs? The folks at BabyPlus believe so. They have created a prenatal education system to help your child get a jump-start on learning, while...
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April 26, 2007
This week's review: BabyPlus
Source: Baby Brownstone, April 26, 2007

This week I am testing the BabyPlus "prenatal education system" -- essentially it's Baby Einstein for my belly. I got the $150 product from my reviewer's job at SwankyMoms about two weeks ago, but I...
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April 20, 2007
Baby Plus! Pure Brilliant
Source: BabyBoyBlog, April 20, 2007

Ever wanted to help our your little one as they are developing in the womb? Well-now you can with Baby Plus! Baby Plus brings you 20 years of scientific research with their prenatal curriculum and will introduce...
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April 19, 2007
It's never too early to begin learning
Source: HealthyBump April 19, 2007

BabyPlus is a revolutionary Prenatal education system that encourages strong cognitive development in your baby. Developed by Dr. Brent Logan, a developmental psychologist, this series of 16 scientifically designed sounds...
Read More April 18, 2007
Source: kidpoop April 18, 2007
Source: kidpoop April 18, 2007

When do you believe learning begins? BabyPlus is a prenatal education system that introduces patterns of sound in the only language that babies can understand in the prenatal environment...
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"Can You Build a Smarter Baby With Cassettes?"

by Dale Fuchs,
Palm Beach Post,
September 2, 1997

A statistical study recently published in the British journal Nature found that good prenatal nutrition boosted a person's IQ, while the presence of drugs, alcohol and nicotine in the womb lowered it.

Scientists have long recognized the link between a mother's diet and birth defects. But cognitive scientists thought genetics--not the womb environment--was the overwhelming factor in determining intelligence.

What does this new information mean for parents-to-be? Can they actually make baby smarter before he's born? Maybe.

While scientists and doctors consider devices such as the tummy megaphone or 'pregaphone" silly--and possibly even harmful because it amplifies sound--they say the spirit of such superbaby strategies is not so far-fetched.

It has been "pretty clearly documented" that a fetus hears and can learn in the last trimester of pregnancy, says Norman Krasnegor, chief of human learning and behavior at the National Institutes of Health. Inside the womb, the third-trimester fetus can hear sounds and recognize the rhythm of the mother's heart, bowels and voice. It will move, he says, in response to an unfamiliar sound.

Today, parents eager for smarter infants seek guidance from Brent Logan's Prenatal Institute in Seattle. The institute has developed a series of BabyPlus cassettes, which the institute claims provide "sonic enrichment" to a third-trimester baby when played daily on mommy's tummy.

The result, according to Logan: a superbaby, born with eyes open and without crying, who is smarter, more creative, more social and even more empathetic than your run-of-the-mill baby Jane. More than 50,000 babies, from all social and economic backgrounds, have become "our first truly Gifted Generation--conscientious trend-setters for the next millennium .... "

Doctors and nurses agree that there's more to nurturing a fetus than just giving up alcohol, coffee and smokes.

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"Dr. MOM Trains BABY Inside the Womb"

Melanie Manlogon-Victoriano
Woman Today - October 1, 1997

 Yes, you read that one right: inside the womb. Here, two doctor-moms share their experience with fetal stimulation.

Early childhood education is being taken a step further today with pre-natal activities intended to stimulate the fetus and exercise the brain. For instance, pregnant women listen to melodies or read aloud so that the baby in the womb might hear and develop an interest in music and words. The idea is to introduce babies to learning even while inside the womb.

One of the modern wonders in this field of fetal stimulation is a gadget that looks like a tape recorder and plays sounds to the fetus while strapped around a mother's belly. The sounds, repeated in a series of complex patterns, exercise the fetal brain and stimulate the nervous system. The gadget is called Babyplus prenatal education .

Invented by Dr. Brent Logan, a Seattle-based developmental psychologist, BabyPlus enables the fetus to hear variants of the sound of heartbeat. According to Logan, director of the Pre-Natal Institute, the complex sonic patterns stimulate the development of extra cells in the fetal brain, thereby expanding the child's intellectual potential.

BabyPlus is classified in the US as an educational aid rather than a medical device.

Since early 1995, when BabyPlus was introduced in the country, more than 2,500 mothers have tried it. Among them are Eveleth Purugganan, an obstetrician-gynecologist, and Daisy Navarro-Samson, a dermatologist. Although neither of them has subjected the gadget to rigid scientific analysis, their own experiences with it make them confident in recommending it to expectant mothers.

"My baby's back support was so strong at three months, we were able to put him on a walker before he was four months old," she says. Back support, according to this obstetrician-gynecologist, normally is not developed until the baby is at least five months old.

Purugganan, who learned about BabyPlus through a newspaper ad, used the gadget when she was pregnant with Ysmael, now one year old. she would wear the contraption while working in the hospital. "I played it twice a day for one hour each time," she recalls.

Her husband, an anesthesiologist, was quite supportive. In fact, he was so curious about the device that he would listen to it himself. "He said that the sounds were like classical music- rhythmic, repetitive, constant," she says.

These variations on the sound of heartbeat are what constitute what Logan dubs the Cardiac Curriculum." The child in the womb goes through the curriculum via programmed sound patterns that the mothers play during specific periods in the pregnancy.

To date 40,000 children all over the world have graduated from Logan's Cardiac Curriculum since it was introduced in 1986. Logan claims these children are quick learners and can get along more easily with other children, exhibiting altruistic traits, such as in the way they are more likely to share their toys with others. At six months old, BabyPlus babies, he says, also demonstrate abilities not expected to surface until after their first year.

So satisfied was Purugganan with the effects of BabyPlus on her first child that she is using it again. "My husband has even taken it upon himself to remind me of the schedule (for playing the device)," she says. Her second baby is due this October.

For her part, Dr. Samson notes a big difference between her eldest, who was not exposed-to the Cardiac Curriculum, and her second child. When the latter was only three months old, she started to utter her first syllables. As a doctor, I know that under normal circumstances, a baby will start doing that only between five and six months," she Says.

She credits BabyPlus with her daughter's precociousness. "She is very attentive and active. She also loves music," she adds. Samson started using the device when she was four months pregnant with her second child.

"It's quite effective. As a doctor, I would recommend it to expectant mothers," she says.

Although Purugganan and Samson are pleased with the results of their use of BabyPlus, they make it clear that a child's development is the result of a lot of factors.

"There's the quality of nutrition that the baby got while inside the womb, his exposure to stimuli like music and pictures after birth and, of course, there are the genes he inherited," Purugganan says. To these, Samson adds quality parental nurturing. Then again, with fetal stimulation , this can begin even before the child is born.

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"Sonic Stimulation for Brighter Babies?"

Marie Anne I. Fajardo
Style & Entertainment
The Manila Times, June 1996

Prenatal devices offer a headstart for unborn children

If genes don't guarantee geniuses, then maybe, awakening the unborn children's senses will.

It is common to find mothers-to-be leafing through child care books and magazines for tips on how to give their unborn children a headstart. Among the common ways of prenatal stimulation are exposure to recorded music, touch and "baby talk."

Studies support the assertion that prenatally stimulated children exhibit advanced skills: longer attention spans, higher IQs and musical inclination.

A research group at the University of California reports that three-year-olds exposed to singing or musical training excelled in standard intelligence tests. This underscores the importance of nonverbal reasoning skills, which listening to early music fosters.

The Journal of American Psychology notes "that unfocused thinking, which prevents concentration and conscious control of mental activity, was associated with low IQ." Prenatally stimulated children with higher IQs thus, are not as pre-disposed to crime as those born with lower IQs. Studies on criminal behavior also indicate that convicted felons had a generally smaller cranial circumference which limited their behavioral alternatives. Prenatally stimulated children were observed to have larger brain sizes. Psychologists Terrie E. Moffitt and Avshalom Caspi confirm in Criminology journal earlier findings that "impulsivity -- acting without forethought, seeking immediate gratification, short attention span, overreacting to minor frustrations -- is intimately connected with criminal behavior." Lower IQ and delinquency may also be traced to poor verbal ability in early childhood.

Among the ways of prenatal stimulation, sound is said to be the unborn children's choice. Carol Eckerman, a professor of experimental psychology, reported in Infant Behavior and Development journal that very premature infants showed positive responses to sound while they responded negatively to visual and tactile stimulation like parental cuddling.

Rene Van de Carr, an obstetrician from California, established a prenatal university where courses are given to advance the intellectual skills of the fetus. Van de Carr advises parents to respond to the baby's kicks by pushing back. Then he proceeds to using words, xylophones and drums along with tactile approach.

"We're giving the baby a series of word tools that he or she will begin to use right after birth. Mothers who started to connect with their kids in the uterus had a deeper knowledge of their babies. As a result, the babies were easier to manage and the mothers were in a better frame of mind," Van de Carr told Omni magazine in 1989.

He further illustrates, "The stimulation literally increases the quantity of neural growth hormone in the brain. We believe that the growth hormone increased specifically in the brain areas we stimulate. When we play musical notes, we stimulate neural growth factor in the brain region for music. And when the baby learns to kick three, four, and five times, we stimulate neural growth in the brain region for math."

BabyPlus, developed by American developmental psychologist Dr. Brent Logan, exercises the unborn child's developing brain with steady heartbeat-like sounds. The theory is built upon the idea that the imprinting of basic intrauterine rhythms is the foundation of all later learning. Stimulation increases the synaptic connections between neurons and prevent them from dying through regular exposure.

Logan believes that sonic stimulation works wonders: in BabyPlus, 16 progressively arranged repetition of placental blood sounds ("cardiac curriculum") introduce the child to sequential learning.

Logan was in Manila March 29 for an introductory seminar on BabyPlus.

"Everything we are is a direct result of the amount of variety that we have here," Logan says pointing to his head. He stresses that the mother's behavior during pregnancy holds the key to the child's development.

Logan heads the BabyPlus Company and has conducted neurogenetic research at the Prenatal Institute in Washington since 1982. Among his findings were that newborn babies lose a significant\cant amount of brain cells due to stress. Through sonic stimulation, Logan believes that this natural brain cell death will be minimized.

Sonic stimulation's other benefits: long attention spans, parental voice recognition at birth, increased physical strength, early coordination and walking, and early language acquisition.

It has gained steady popularity among parents since its introduction in 1989, with some 30,000 users. Here in the Philippines, BabyPlus was introduced in the market only last July.

Logan thinks it is important for a highly-populated country like ours to be aware of the life in the womb. About 400 Filipino mothers have been convinced the device could make their babies more alert and responsive.

The mothers were gathered together to attend the special graduation rites set up by the BabyPlus Philippines, Inc. at the Heritage Hotel. One mother claimed that her baby could already respond to "baby talk" 18 days after birth. Another said her one-and-a-half-month-old baby could already recognize her. These BabyPlus babies, compared to children not exposed to the device, are also said to be more relaxed and curious about the things around them.

Amando and Natalia Flores, parents of four-month-old Tyana, observed that their youngest child was born with her eyes already open. Natalia, who used BabyPlus during the last trimester of her pregnancy, also noticed that her daughter has no trouble getting sleep and is more alert compared to her elder children. "She doesn't cry when she gets shots," recalls Amando. Natalia notes that she prenatally stimulated her other kids, Jared and Alexa, with classical music and lullabies, respectively.

Tess Barcelona can sense that her three-month-old child, Almari, already wants to walk. She also notes the child's long attention span. "you can read her a story three times and she's still listening," she says.

The method itself is in its infancy stage as more substantive research should back up the proposed theories. Logan admits his theory still needs further validation but believes the theory should be tested rather than debated.


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"Look Who's Listening Too"

Emily Mitchell
with reporting by
D. Blake Hallanan, San Francisco
TIME Magazine, September 30, 1991

"Mothers have long tried to stimulate their unborn children. Now a 'cardiac curriculum' does the same thing."

Sometimes new parents can't wait to give their children a head start in life. They begin before the baby is even born. In hopes that sounds will somehow influence the fetus in their womb, zealous moms-to-be have attended classical concerts or kept tunes playing constantly at home. Now there is an updated, high-tech version of that technique: a contraption that delivers complex sonic patterns to unborn children, to excite the fetal nervous system and exercise the baby's brain.

The essence of the $250 system is simple: a belt, with two speakers in a pouch, to be fastened around the mother's abdomen. A series of 16 audiotapes, dubbed the "cardiac curriculum," plays an increasingly complicated pattern of heartbeat-like sounds (one mother describes them as African drumbeats) to the unborn infant.

Some users swear by the tapes. Melissa Farrell of Lake Wallenpaupack, Pennsylvania, had always thought that reading aloud would affect the unborn. When she became pregnant, the electronic fetal-improvement system seemed a good way to give daughter Muryah Elizabeth "as much of an opportunity as possible and see if it would stimulate her thought process." Though only 21 months old, Muryah plays with toys designed for youngsters twice her age, Farrell says. In Kirkland, Washington, Lisa Altig is using tapes for a third time. She says here two children, Natalie,3, and Richie, 18 months, "seem to pick up on things fast. They have an energy for learning."

The baby tapes are the creation of Seattle developmental psychologist Brent Logan, founder of Prelearning, Inc., a prenatal-education research institute. "This is not a yuppie toy," says its inventor. "We have barely literate families who are using the tapes." To date, 1,200 children - the oldest of whom is now four - have "listened" to the recordings. Last year 50 of the youngsters, ranging in age from six months to 34 months, were given standardized language, social and motor-skills tests. Their overall score was 25% above the U.S. norm.

Many medical experts, however, remain skeptical. Dr. Thomas Easterling, who teaches obstetrics at the University of Washington, believes the idea of fetal improvement is possible but doubts Logan's claims for his belt. Parents who try the tapes, says Dr. Kathryn Clark, a San Francisco obstetrician and mother of a one-year old, are "highly motivated people who would have been doing some kind of nurturing anyway." Also, she points out, prenatals do respond to sound and become restless, but "we don't necessarily know that they like it. They might want to get away from it."

Although ultrasound tests are used almost routinely on fetuses in the U.S., Dr. Curt Bennett, professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington, says there is a possibility that the baby tapes could be harmful. "Sound waves that are too intense might have fetal consequences," he says. The better-baby belt, he adds, "is an intervention after all, and it does have the potential to be risky."

Early next year, Engenerics, a research company in Snohomish, Washington, will begin to market a smaller sonic-stimulation device for the baby-in-waiting. Logan has more prenatal improvement products in the works - as yet undisclosed - as well as some postnatal items for the sonic-belt kids. He predicts that one day pregnant women will be wearing devices that offer an even more sophisticated curriculum. What next? Violin lessons for the unborn?

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"A Heartbeat Away From Blissful Birth"

Clinical Report, HOSPITAL DOCTOR
London, 1 March 1990

"Benefits for both mother and child have been attributed to the stimulation of unborn fetuses with sounds akin to the human heart." Roy Ridgway reports.

Uncomfortable births and unhappy babies could be a thing of the past if the methods of a US psychologist are as effective as he claims.

Dr. Brent Logan, from Washington, has produced a set of tapes which, he says, reduce complications in pregnancy by stimulating the fetal nervous system.

Fitted into a belt worn around a pregnant woman’s abdomen, the cassettes, called Babytapes, produce cardiac-like sounds which become more complex as pregnancy progresses.

"Labor is short and the child is born with his eyes wide open, body relaxed, hands open, and no crying whatsoever," says Dr. Logan.

He says his claims are backed up by a 1987 pilot study of prenatal stimulation.

The concept of intrauterine stimulation is not new.

It was practiced in China over 2,000 years ago.

And even today in Japan, women practice an ancient technique of prenatal stimulation called taikyo, which is believed to have beneficial effects on the baby after birth..

British GPs (General Practitioners) could soon be involved in this prenatal stimulation as the tapes, which are being successfully marketed in the US, will soon be available here.

What should family doctors tell their patients about these tapes?

US Government tests show that they can do no harm, but do they do any good?

Dr. Logan invites anyone who is skeptical to talk to parents who have undergone his prenatal stimulation programme. "They are all very pleased with the results," he says. "Children stimulated in this way talk at 6 months and are in many ways equivalent developmentally to eighteen month-old toddlers."

Dr. Logan’s tapes do not require the mother to do anything apart from playing the cardiac-like sounds to the baby regularly for limited periods everyday.

The main object of this programme is to prevent the dying-off of brain cells, which usually occurs at birth. Dr. Logan explains that it has been known for about a century that a substantial number of brain cells in vertebrates - estimated at between 75 and 90 per cent - die off shortly before, or after birth.

The excess cells that are discarded have been described as an overprogramming to ensure that an adequate number survive to provide essential brain function.

The process has been compared to the way the uterus is flooded with male sperm to ensure fertilization of the female egg.

Dr. Logan said: "Discarding so many brain cells is a terrible waste and if a few more were preserved at birth, the human brain would be much more efficient."

And Dr. Logan is not the only researcher in the field.

Neuroanatomist in Berkeley, California, Dr. Marion Diamond, has found in a series of experiments with rats that an enriched environment can improve a rat pup’s performance at maze learning.

In effect these experiments show that the dimension cerebral cortex can be influenced by prenatal stimulation.

"The hypothesis we offer to explain these effects," says Dr. Diamond, "is that the sex steroid hormones that are present at high levels in the mother during pregnancy might more readily cross the placental barrier if the mother is a more physically active, enriched female, thereby priming the cortex of the developing fetus."

This hypothesis is more or less the basis of the work of Californian gynaecologist, Dr. Rene Van de Carr, who developed what he called a teaching programme for unborn children at his surgery in Hayward.

"My interest in prenatal stimulation dates back to 1970, when I became aware of different levels of consciousness in newborn babies," he explained.

Many mothers at the time were receiving large amounts of anaesthetics or medication as a matter of course.

"The relatively few mothers who used little or no anaesthetics were therefore of interest to me as their babies appeared to be more alert and more person-like."

He began to speculate about the implications of the heightened awareness and alertness of certain babies at birth.

His prenatal stimulation programme involves teaching both parents ways of establishing a form of communication with the unborn child by using touch, vibration, motion, and lights.

Dr. Van de Carr believes that obstetric care could be greatly improved by introducing this method, which he believes could benefit the parents’ health as well as helping the baby.

"I maintain," he says, "that this process has a tremendous potential for reducing complications during pregnancy, for reducing stress on the family during and after pregnancy, and for enhancing the health and the emotional capabilities of the child."

The programme starts around the fifth month of pregnancy with what Dr. Van de Carr calls the kick game in which parents are taught to respond to the baby’s kicks.

They poke back and talk to the baby, saying words like "Good baby! Kick again."

"We find," said Dr. Van de Carr, "that sometimes after a couple of weeks the baby does actually respond immediately and kicks back."

Other exercises follow in the seventh month in which there is a pairing of words and action.

For instance the word "stroke" will be repeated several times as the mother or father strokes the baby’s back.

Dr. Van de Carr claims the baby becomes familiar with words that are associated with pleasurable feelings.

Head of education at the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music, Prof. Donald Shelter, believes that it is also possible to develop musical talent before birth.

He is in charge of a research programme which provides the unborn child with musical stimuli.

Recorded music with a single melodic line is played to the unborn child through high fidelity stereo earphones placed directly on the mother’s abdomen.

For this purpose, he uses orchestral music which is not too complex so that repeated patterns are absolutely clear. He uses the rhythmic and melodic pattern as the basis for further learning.

In 1988 he reported that 30 children who took part in his programme and were stimulated by music before birth, visited him regularly for tests to evaluate their musical development.

His tests included the measurement of attention and body movements when music was played to them.

Later he measured the child’s ability to imitate rhythm and vocal sounds and his/her ability to manipulate small sound-producing objects such as bells.

Later videotape analysis showed that some of the children were able to imitate a two-or-three note melody within eight months of birth.

By the age of two, 80 percent of the children were able to play the piano with one finger at a time rather than banging the keys in a random fashion as many other children do.

The children were capable of playing simple melodies and trying them out at different places on the piano -- and even on other musical instruments.


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Pamela Weintraub
OMNI Magazine, Vol.11 No.11
August 1989

Rene Van de Carr, an obstetrician from Hayward, California, for instance, has established the Prenatal University, in which parents-to-be "teach" the fetus through a complex system of touch and words.

Van de Carr entered the field of prenatal psychology much as Verny did, through a patient's compelling tale. In 1979, he explains, a prospective mother told him that every time she poked her baby through her abdomen it seemed to kick back. Van de Carr asked a few other pregnant patients to try poking or patting the fetus. And inevitably the result was the same. If parents consistently, stimulated the unborn child through touch, the child would consistently respond.

Based on these observations, Van de Carr began working with groups of parents-to-be. Today, he says, the complete Prenatal University course teaches the fetus to "pay attention," enhancing the spectrum of intellectual skills. In the first Van de Carr lessons, starting around the fifth month of pregnancy, parents are taught to respond to a baby's kicks by pushing back. "Every time the baby kicks, we have parents poke back and say, "Good baby, kick again!" Van de Carr says. "We find that sometimes after a couple of weeks, the baby actually does kick back immediately. But that's not all. If the parent bangs the baby's foot three times, the baby may kick back three times."

At seven months the Prenatal University fetus starts to master words. In twice-daily sessions lasting five minutes each, parents say. "Pat, pat, pat," as they pat the baby's back. After a week or two other words are added. For instance, parents say, "Rub, rub, rub," as they rub the baby's back and, "Shake, shake, shake," as the jiggle the abdomen.

"Some of our patients also use drums and xylophones," Van de Carr says. "We suggest the tubular xylophone with which the individual can say, 'A,' and strike the note A or say, 'B,' and strike the note B. This allows the baby to learn that events are predictable and that some sounds will always be followed by others."

Finally, to prepare his near-term pupils for the months of infancy ahead. Van de Carr offers a secondary word list, including hot, cold, wet, eye, nose, and mouth. Says Van de Carr, "Were giving the baby a series of word tools that he or she will begin to use right after birth."

Is the Van de Carr program, which the doctor himself calls "human developmental engineering." effective? Van de Carr says it is. His techniques have been used by more than 1,500 babies in countries from Thailand to South Africa to the United States, he says. And in a recent study conducted by his wife, Kristen, a clinical psychologist, Prenatal University parents were compared with a control group about 48 hours after birth. In general, she says, " we found that the mothers who started to connect with their kids in the uterus had a deeper knowledge of their babies. As a result, the babies were easier to mange and the mothers were in a better frame of mind."

In another study Rene van de Carr analyzed three groups of 50 children each. The first group included infants who were Prenatal University graduates. The second group comprised those who had had some exposure to the program. And the third group included the offspring of parents who had not participated in the program at all. Babies who had been strong program participants, Van de Carr found, spoke their first words earlier than moderate participants. And moderate participants spoke earlier than those who did not participate at all. Van de Carr tested other signposts as well: when a child first spoke a couplet of two words: when the child achieved object constancy (the ability to recognize when an object is present and when it has been taken away); and even when an infant first lifted its head. In each case, he found dedicated program participants scored significantly better than moderate participants and much better than those who did not participate at all.

What was going on? "we're postulating," Van de Carr says, "that the stimulation literally increases the quantity of neural growth hormone in the brain. We also believe that the growth hormone is increased specifically in the brain areas we stimulate. For instance, when we play musical notes, we stimulate neural growth factor in the brain region for music. And when the baby learns to kick three, four and five times, we stimulate neural growth hormone in the brain region for math."

Van de Carr concedes that his theory will remain just a theory until laboratory tests are done for by-products of neural growth hormone. But, he points out, babies who go through his program are born with especially long nails and sometimes even teeth. Because neural growth hormone is often broke down into other types of growth hormones, he says, this unusual growth could signify that his theory is correct.

Van de Carr says his theory is also borne out by Prenatal University graduates now entering kindergarten and first grade. "We're starting to see a lot of theses kids," he says. "Many of them test in the ninety-ninth percentile for reading and math; they have highly developed social skills; and they are confident as well."

Verny agrees that Van de Carr's graduates "seem to enter the world with an enhanced sense of confidence and calm. They are quick, adaptive, and socially aware. But whether they are actually developing lifelong intellectual capabilities, as Van de Carr believes, remains to be seen."

The Van de Carr approach may be radical, but it seems downright medieval compared to the techniques of Brent Logan, a Redmond, Washington, psychologist. Pushing the outside of the pre-natal stimulation envelope, Logan has recently developed what he calls the cardiac curriculum: a set of increasingly complex and skewed heartbeatlike sounds that he pumps into the womb. By taking the sound of the mother's heartbeat and making it more and more complex, he says, he is actually stimulating the fetal nervous system and even saving large numbers of brain cells from certain death. Children stimulated via his his program, Logan claims, talk at the age of of five or six months and read at a year and a half. At six months, he adds, these babies are in many ways developmentally equivalent to toddlers of a year and a half.

Logan's interest in prenatal stimulation dates back to 1982, when his wife, Helga, heard a radio interview with Joseph and Jitsuko Susedik, an Ohio couple whose four daughters were phenomenally gifted. One daughter, for instance, was in college at age twelve; another read at a sixth grade level at age five. "The single strange ingredient," Logan learned, was that "every one of the Susedik children had been talked to before birth."

Logan was excited by the concept. But, he wondered, was merely talking to the fetus the best way to proceed? He began to research the issue and, he says, turned up a vital clue. In 1960, he discovered, the now-famous psychologist Lee Salk had visited the Central Park Zoo in New York. While watching the rhesus monkeys, Salk noticed that the females held their offspring over the left breast in the vicinity of the heart. To see whether this was a universal tendency, Salk studied several hundred human mothers at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens. His finding? Most mothers, whether left- or right-handed, invariable held the baby on the left, over the heart.

Wondering about the meaning of this behavior, Salk asked himself whether the heartbeat rhythm might play some role in the development of human nature. To explore the possibility, he played cardiac rhythms to a series of newborns. Three out of four babies exposed to the cardiac rhythms gained weight in the first four days after birth. In a control group consisting of babies not exposed to Salk's tape, three out of four lost weight in the first four days after birth. Babies exposed to Salk's tape also demonstrated substantially reduced crying and more regular breathing.

Speculating about the importance of the maternal heartbeat, Salk later suggested that it might form the basis of music and dance - and many other human activities as well.

After reading the studies, Logan agreed. All learning, he told himself, is "a variation on the single theme - the heartbeat - engraved at life's start." While the singing, talking, and touching advocated by Verny, Van de Carr, and the Susediks were a step in the right direction, Logan concluded, heartbeat-like sounds would be better still.

But how should Logan's stimulant - heartbeat-like pulses created electronically by a sound expert - be administered? To orchestrate his input, Logan considered the development of the brain.

It had recently been shown by researchers at Stanford and the University of California at Los Angeles Laboratory that most of the neurons in the mammalian brain perish before birth. The scientists had even gone so far as to coin the term protobrain, their name for the prenatal brain before neuronal death. By stimulating rats prenatally, researchers had even managed to rescue some of the protobrain, producing super-intelligent animals with extra neurons that could be detected after birth.

To Logan, the implication was clear. "There was a window of opportunity that existed prebirth," Logan reasoned. "If you didn't grasp that opportunity through stimulation, the extra brain cells - the extra human potential - simply went away."

To best grasp that potential, Logan decided, he would expose the fetal brain to "heartbeat variants" - cardiac-like rhythms that stimulated different neurons from those stimulated by the maternal heartbeat the fetus heard every day. Logan's incredible goal: creating a series of audiotapes that distorted the heartbeat a little at a time so that normally doomed brain cells could flourish and grow.

Toward that end, he founded the Prenatal Institute in Redmond and began designing his tapes. The complete cardiac curriculum, developed in the last couple of years, consists of 36 increasingly complex, hour-long tapes. The first tape, played in the middle of pregnancy, starts with the basic rhythm of the maternal pulse, set to the beat of A-A-A-A-A. It is played twice a day for a week. The next tape renders that pattern with a bit more complexity: AA-AA-AA-AA-AA. It, too, is played twice a day for a week. The third tape delivers the beat of A-AA-A-AA; the fourth, the beat of A-AA-AA-A; the tenth, BAB-BAB-BAB-BAB-BAB; the twelfth, ABC-CBA-ABC-CBA, and so on.

With his curriculum set, Logan needed a volunteer, someone eager to have his sounds piped into the womb. Luckily for Logan, the perfect candidate lived nearby. Gayle Loyd, an experienced educator, had directed her own preschool, called Kids University, in Washington State for years. Devoted to prenatal education, she had even used Van de Carr's program in her previous pregnancy.

An attractive woman with piercing gray eyes, a delicate nose, and a wholesome, enthusiastic air, Loyd had met Logan at a conference in California. They had remained friends since. Fascinated by Logan's research, Loyd encouraged and cajoled him. And when she became pregnant, he had his volunteer.

Using a WalkmanTM and a headset that she placed around her abdomen, Loyd played Logan;s tapes during the hour-long commute to and from her job. "I started at the nine-week point, just before the first brain growth spurt," she explains. "The trick part was trying to find the best decibel level. I finally set the Walkman volume at eight."

Was Loyd nervous about toying with the baby in her womb? Not at all. "If you're going to do something artificial in the womb," she says, "you should make it as close to natural as possible. To me, working with the heartbeat seemed best. Frankly," she adds, "my greatest worry was boring the baby. If it had been up to me, I would have changed the tapes more often that we did."

When Loyd's child, Stephen, was born in July 1987, his eyes were wide open. "It was amazing," Loyd says. "He looked up and said, 'Aha!' Six hours later, when a doctor examined him, he grabbed the stethoscope, I mean, this is hours old!"

Stephen is a very special boy, Logan says. He was sharing toys at six months of age, knew 50 words at fourteen months, and, most impressive, started to read at eighteen months. What's more, Logan says, Stephen is not alone. Eleven subsequent cardiac curriculum graduates have shown similar abilities. At six months of age, Logan says, these babies demonstrated many abilities not expected to show up for a year or more. Logan estimates that cardiac curriculum graduates will, in fact, demonstrate extraordinary IQs of 150 to 200 and up. These "engineered" children, Logan predicts, will also "exhibit extraordinary gains in creative abilities, interpersonal skills, character stability, athletic accomplishment, empathy" and more.

So convinced is Logan that he has even packaged his cardiac curriculum in a new product. Called the Prelearning Program, Logan's 16 "Babytapes" and maternal speaker belt (to be worn around the waist) retail through Prelearning, Inc.

Brent Logan predicts that pregnant women will one day wear tiny transistors clipped to clothing near their abdomens. These transistors will reproduce an advance version of the cardiac curriculum, he declares, stimulating the fetus every day. This technology "will be the ultimate resource for the next millenium. It will create a revolution in how and when we learn. The impact could be especially profound," he adds, "in the Third World. Very simply, when you hand out contraceptives in a country like Ghana, you hand out a prenatal stimulator as well. When the woman is pregnant, she just clips it on like a talisman. And nine months later, out comes a national treasure. In one fell swoop we would optimize human intellect and behavior.

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