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In 2003, psychologists and obstetricians at Queen’s University in Canada found a profound mother-baby link. In a study of 60 pregnant women, they found that the unborn babies preferred the voices of their own mothers - both before and after birth.

The heart rates of fetuses sped up when they heard their mother reading a poem, and slowed down when they heard a stranger’s voice - evidence of “sustained attention, memory and learning by the fetus,” said Barbara Kisilevsky, a professor of nursing who led the research.

The Queen’s group has also investigated fetal response to the father’s voice, concluding that if men try a little pre-natal vocalizing to their offspring, the newborn will later recognize the father’s voice.