playlist

Talks for when you’re expecting a child

A collection of talks to enjoy before welcoming a new little life into the world.

  1. 17:03
    Talithia Williams Own your body's data

    The new breed of high-tech self-monitors (measuring heartrate, sleep, steps per day) might seem targeted at competitive athletes. But Talithia Williams, a statistician, makes a compelling case that all of us should be measuring and recording simple data about our bodies every day — because our own data can reveal much more than even our doctors may know.

  2. 14:56
    Sofia Jawed-Wessel The lies we tell pregnant women

    "When we tell women that sex isn't worth the risk during pregnancy, what we're telling her is that her sexual pleasure doesn't matter ... that she in fact doesn't matter," says sex researcher Sofia Jawed-Wessel. In this eye-opening talk, Jawed-Wessel mines our views about pregnancy and pleasure to lay bare the relationship between women, sex and systems of power.

  3. 16:46
    Annie Murphy Paul What we learn before we're born

    Pop quiz: When does learning begin? Answer: Before we are born. Science writer Annie Murphy Paul talks through new research that shows how much we learn in the womb — from the lilt of our native language to our soon-to-be-favorite foods.

  4. 9:37
    Alexander Tsiaras Conception to birth — visualized

    Image-maker Alexander Tsiaras shares a powerful medical visualization, showing human development from conception to birth and beyond. (Some graphic images.)

  5. 12:26
    Veerle Provoost Do kids think of sperm donors as family?

    How do we define a parent — or a family? Bioethicist Veerle Provoost explores these questions in the context of non-traditional families, ones brought together by adoption, second marriages, surrogate mothers and sperm donations. In this talk, she shares stories of how parents and children create their own family narratives.

  6. 6:17
    Roberto D'Angelo + Francesca Fedeli In our baby's illness, a life lesson

    Roberto D'Angelo and Francesca Fedeli thought their baby boy Mario was healthy — until at 10 days old, they discovered he'd had a perinatal stroke. With Mario unable to control the left side of his body, they grappled with tough questions: Would he be "normal?” Could he live a full life? The poignant story of parents facing their fears — and how they turned them around.

  7. 18:29
    Alison Gopnik What do babies think?

    "Babies and young children are like the R&D division of the human species," says psychologist Alison Gopnik. Her research explores the sophisticated intelligence-gathering and decision-making that babies are really doing when they play.

  8. 14:16
    Julie Lythcott-Haims How to raise successful kids — without over-parenting

    By loading kids with high expectations and micromanaging their lives at every turn, parents aren't actually helping. At least, that's how Julie Lythcott-Haims sees it. With passion and wry humor, the former Dean of Freshmen at Stanford makes the case for parents to stop defining their children's success via grades and test scores. Instead, she says, they should focus on providing the oldest idea of all: unconditional love.

  9. 10:17
    Patricia Kuhl The linguistic genius of babies

    Patricia Kuhl shares astonishing findings about how babies learn one language over another — by listening to the humans around them and "taking statistics" on the sounds they need to know. Clever lab experiments (and brain scans) show how 6-month-old babies use sophisticated reasoning to understand their world.

  10. 20:18
    Laura Schulz The surprisingly logical minds of babies

    How do babies learn so much from so little so quickly? In a fun, experiment-filled talk, cognitive scientist Laura Schulz shows how our young ones make decisions with a surprisingly strong sense of logic, well before they can talk.

  11. 12:25
    Miriam Zoila Pérez How racism harms pregnant women — and what can help

    Racism is making people sick — especially black women and babies, says Miriam Zoila Pérez. The doula turned journalist explores the relationship between race, class and illness and tells us about a radically compassionate prenatal care program that can buffer pregnant women from the stress that people of color face every day.

  12. 4:46
    Jane Chen A warm embrace that saves lives

    In the developing world, access to incubators is limited by cost and distance, and millions of premature babies die each year. TED Fellow Jane Chen shows an invention that could keep millions of these infants warm — a design that's safe, portable, low-cost and life-saving.