Once upon a time a device called the "walkman" was invented, making music more portable. In today's world, iPods, MP3 players, cell phones and other small computing devices have made it even more easily accessible and portable than ever before. Expecting mommies can even find belly gear with built-in speakers specifically for baby's listening pleasure in utero!
The Science of Prenatal Music
Researchers now know that music affects us in many ways. The medical profession has found its use in patient rooms and intensive care helps premature babies and patients with serious illness. New studies are being conducted to research how it actually affects babies in the womb. While these studies are still in their infancy, studies performed all conclude that prenatal music stimulation of baby's auditory senses is very beneficial.
The amniotic fluid surrounding your baby not only acts as a protective barrier, but conducts sound very well. Your unborn child is able to clearly hear your voice, music and other external sounds that surround your daily life, and will react to those sounds through an increased heart rate and movement. This has led many researchers to believe there is more to hearing than our ears.
Some believe the use of music stimuli while in the womb may well be the building blocks for intellectual development or musical abilities. There is currently no sound evidence to support claims that listening to music while in the womb will actually increase your child's intelligence, or make your child more musically inclined. However, the studies have found that babies serenaded to before birth respond to and remember the music played long after birth.
Benefits to You and Your Child
Your unborn child has an incredible ability to feel your emotions and know your state of mind, and will react according to your moods and emotions. Whether or not you believe prenatal music can make your child more intelligent or more prone to musical abilities, there are definitely benefits proven beneficial when used during pregnancy.
- Reduces stress-levels for both baby and mother during pregnancy
- Begins the bonding process, giving you the opportunity to make an early life-long connection with your child
- Calming music relaxes even the most agitated baby, placing you and your child in a calm and tranquil state
- Baby will benefit from the hormones mommy produces when she is relaxed and happy!
- It provides the building blocks for later brain development
- Prenatal music is baby's first memory skill
- Facilitates and enhances baby's physical and emotional well-being
- Singing lullabies nurtures early communication through the language of music
- Music creates a bridge from baby's inner womb environment to the outer world
- Studies and mothers alike have found singing lullabies to baby in utero facilitates sleeping habits after birth; baby remembers the feeling of warmth and comfort of the womb, as well as the song!
Vibrations of the instruments can be felt directly by your body because sound waves travel through matter, which includes your womb aided by the sound conduction of the amniotic fluid. The choice of music as well as the frequency and pitch affects both you and your child. Whether you prefer The Beatles, New Age, Classical music or want to play and sing lullabies, keep it at a lower frequency---one that provides comfortable listening levels for you and baby.
Prenatal music stimulation should be used in moderation. Over stimulation can cause discomfort and agitation for both mother and child.
There is no doubt that your unborn child can respond to external sounds heard while in the comfort of the womb. The gentle strains of lullabies and soft music can act as a balm to nourish the soul. It truly encompasses all aspects of life, affecting us as well as healing our body, heart, mind and spirit. (c)
About the Author
Catherine currently resides in Oregon, and is the owner, songwriter and main vocalist for the music production company, Pitter Patter Productions. The company has been producing its own line of original award-winning music for children since 1992, specializing in lullabies and music for toddlers and preschoolers. MP3 downloads of our songs and albums are available at Amazon.com, CD Baby and iTunes, and http://www.pitterpatterproductions.com