A ‘cry from the unborn is rare, but it does not happen’

The Rhodesia Herald,
May 23 1967
A SALISBURY mother-to-be (in about three weeks) is quite adamant: in the quiet of one afternoon last week, she heard her unborn child.

“Nonsense” and “impossible” were the opinions of a couple of nursing sisters I phoned.

The baby is encased in a sac of fluid and hasn’t yet drawn air into its lungs, I was told.

But the lady-in-waiting remains “absolutely convinced” and no amount of physiological theorising will change her mind.

The sound came twice within seconds. The first time my caller told me, she also thought, “Nonsense”. She was sitting, and the faint sound came “from the direction of the floor”. So, she bent down to listen, and the “cry” came again, and “definitely” from where the Rhodesian-to-be impatiently waiting for the day when it would make its contribution to the country’s population statistics.

“I use the word ‘cry’ for the want of a better one”, said my caller.

“It was a faint, muffled, pinprick of a sound – a cross between a squeak, a mew, and a wail. Definitely, not a tummy noise”.

Can it happen? Yes, say men whose business is obstetrics, but exactly how, no one can explain.

Mr R.H. Philpott, Professor of Obstetrics at the University, tells me that he has heard a tape-recording of an unborn baby’s “cry”. It doesn’t signify that there’s anything wrong with the mother or child, but how it happens we don’t quite know”, he said, adding: It’s a pity we can’t train them to tell us what sex they are”.


Most people are quick to dismiss things that they feel are impossible or can never happen or are not scientifically proven. Christians believe in God, yet they have never seen Him.

In life, there is need to leave room for the unexplained, especially around circumstances or events that we do not understand.

When we are in certain situations, our minds can play tricks on us, and we end up believing what we want to believe and not what would have necessarily taken place. The woman in the story might have heard a noise in the house and mistook it for a noise coming from the baby in her womb.

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