First, let’s go back to 2002.  While living abroad and trying to fall asleep after a long day of teaching I had a vision of a child turning to me and saying the word MaJenDome (pronounced Ma-Jen-Dum).  I immediately wrote it down and started to look for it online.  I found nothing so thought nothing of it.  But this word kept prickling in my mind.  Finally in 2010 the answer came to me like a bolt of lightning.  MaJenDome is the act of an expectant father reading to the expectant mother's womb (NOTE: someday I hope to find MaJenDome in the dictionary). I found the answer.  Now what?  As soon as I asked myself that question, surprisingly I quickly, almost instinctively, responded – I must use this word to create a global movement dedicated to inspiring expectant fathers to read to the womb.

I went to work.  I created a Blog (I use it more like a webpage), opened a Twitter account and started a Facebook page.  Suddenly I asked myself, why am I doing this?  I am not a father? (NOTE: I become a dad in 2013 - that's me in the picture above practicing MaJenDome with my pregnant wife of 7 months, I started reading when she was 3 months pregnant). Then I remembered the child in my vision and thought, this is what I was told to do.  This will be my life’s work. 

Inspired by my new found mission in life I began to research.  I found that reading to the womb was not a novel idea.   Turns out many women have been reading while pregnant for a very long time, but men?  Have men read to the womb?  I found that the idea of a man reading to the womb was considered unimportant – basically, what’s the point?  They can’t hear anything in there.  But they CAN!  I found tons of research on prenatal learning.  Right now the most recognized figure heading up this type of research is Annie Murphy Paul – see her recent TED talk on what we learn before we’re born – and studies cited by The Reading Womb also prove that children ARE learning in the womb.  This means babies CAN hear us.

Ok, we now know babies can hear us and there IS learning taking place in the womb.  I found that reading aloud to the womb develops a strong bond between parent and soon to be born child.  This is vital for the dad-to-be because the connection starts from the beginning and stays strong throughout. When a father makes this connection he becomes more involved in his child’s life.  This led me to look up stats on children who grow up without a father.  I found plenty of stats on fatherless children and some were quite alarming.  Here are the most disturbing – greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, suicide, teen pregnancy, crime and poor educational performance.  This means, among many other things, that children WITH involved fathers are more likely to excel in an educational environment.  Not only that, but I found a large body of research stating the benefits of reading aloud.  Reading aloud increases listening skills, vocabulary, memory, language, imagination, creativity and much more!  Plus I found FRED (Fathers Reading Every Day) which tracked fathers reading to their children every day and found fantastic results.

The combination of fathers reading aloud to their kids from the womb and developing a strong bond from the start could result in a monumental shift – huge increases in literacy, high school and college graduation rates, less crime and teenage pregnancies are just a few outcomes among many, MANY other wonderful possibilities.

The best part about all this is that YOU can help make this happen.  Follow, like, share, comment and motivate others to support the movement via social media platforms. Buy my book Hello My Little One, It’s Me Your Father – a book for expectant fathers to read to their child in the womb – as a gift for expectant fathers, for a baby shower and/or as a donation to your local maternity hospital or for whatever reason you think may be appropriate.  And finally, use the oldest marketing strategy known – word of mouth.  If you know someone who is going to be a father, inspire him to read to the womb.  In doing so you will help make this planet a better place.

Mr. Elvin R. Freytes
Founder, MaJenDome

Author, Hello My Little One, It’s Me Your Father