I read a study
about how babies recognize their mother’s speech sounds. Abstract is below.
I wanted our daughter to be familiar with and calmed by the Psalms. I have read to her every day since 15 weeks. Every day I read, Psalm 103 and Psalm 19.
Pregnant women recited a short child’s rhyme, “the target”, aloud each day between the thirty third and thirty seventh weeks of their fetuses’ gestation. Then their fetuses were stimulated with tape recordings of the target and a control rhyme. The target elicited a decrease in fetal heart rate whereas the control did not. Thus, fetuses’ exposure to specific speech sounds can affect their subsequent reactions to those sounds. More generally, the result suggests that third trimester fetuses become familiar with recurrent, maternal speech sounds.
Fetal reaction to recurrent maternal speech (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/240474886_Fetal_reaction_to_recurrent_maternal_speech [accessed Jun 20, 2017].
After she is born and before the cord is cut, we are going to read Psalm 19 to her.
- Psalm 19 For the director of music. A psalm of David.
- The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
- Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.
- There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. 
- Their voice  goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,
- which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
- It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat.
- The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
- The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
- The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous.
- They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.
- By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
- Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults.
- Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression.
- May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 103New International Version (NIV)
1 Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Praise the Lord, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the Lord, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the Lord, my soul.