Pregnant women should be given parenting lessons, recommends a new coalition backed  report.

The report says that mothers-to-be should learn how to speak to their unborn babies because research shows the tone of a pregnant woman's voice can "influence the child growing inside her". Doing so can lay "healthy, stable and strong social and emotional foundations" for the early years of their child's life.

It also says that other parents must be taught how to appreciate the importance of child development in the vital first 18 months, adding: "They need to appreciate the importance of talking frequently with a baby, and all the things that would make a positive difference such as cuddling, looking and smiling".

The report, by the Labour MP Graham Allen, recommends that other parents must be taught how to appreciate the importance of child development in the vital first 18 months, adding: "They need to appreciate the importance of talking frequently with a baby, and all the things that would make a positive difference such as cuddling, looking and smiling".

Other report recommendations include giving all vulnerable young mothers access to a family nurse to give them hands-on support in raising their children and increasing the number of graduates working in early years education.

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