Music is a universal stimulant so even babies in the womb can experience the benefits of prenatal music. Just like how music can alter our mood (i.e. make us happy, sad, nostalgic, relaxed, etc.), it also does the same to the little one in your tummy, and in fact, has been studied over the past decades with regards to the effects it has on the growing fetus. As this topic continues to be researched, it is also found out that prenatal music benefits the mom too.
Pregnancy can seem initially surreal for women. It comes both overwhelming and exciting. During this phase though, building a connection with your unborn baby must be your primary concern despite all the hormonal surges that give you mood swings and other unpleasant symptoms.
According to studies, babies start to hear at about 17 weeks. This is also the time when soon-to-be-moms begin to feel fluttering movements in their bellies. At 33 weeks, babies in the womb are able to respond to music and to other sounds outside the womb, and by 36 weeks, their heartbeat jives with the rhythm of the music, indicating familiarity of the beat as well. This goes to say that by the time you reach the 17th week of your pregnancy, you must start sharing your favourite music with your baby.
Now, if you’re having second thoughts about playing music to your baby during the course of your pregnancy, you might want to know about these:
Prenatal music has positive effects on fetal brain development
Exposing the unborn baby to various kinds of sounds helps establish connection between neurons.
It stimulates prenatal learning
Music stimulates the baby’s learning response. A baby’s brain has the ability to constantly adapt and create new connections.
It reduces the upcoming mom’s level of stress during pregnancy
Stress during pregnancy can have a lot of negative effects on babies including low birth weight, autism, depression, anxiousness, cognitive delay, and more. It can even lead to premature delivery. Now, to avoid any of these ill effects of stress to your baby, you are encouraged to listen to calm, classical music, which can put you to sleep faster too and make you feel much relaxed. This way, you are not only helping yourself but your baby too.
It improves the baby’s sleep pattern even after birth
During pregnancy, you are able to create powerful, positive connections with your baby through music. Familiar music hence has good effects to your baby even after he is born. Playing the same kind of music that you listened to during pregnancy causes your baby to cry less, eat more, and sleep more. Now, both of you can have enough rest post-birth.
Babies exposed to prenatal music have sharper language skills and longer attention spans
Classical music particularly plays a major role in these two agreeable characteristics. Studies showed that 70 hours of exposure to classical music especially during the last few weeks of pregnancy produces more advanced babies in terms of linguistic, physical, motor, and cognitive skills compared to babies who did not receive musical stimulus prior to birth.
It helps ease postpartum symptoms
Because music relaxes your mind and body, your pregnancy becomes pretty enjoyable too, eliminating depression and postpartum symptoms.
It strengthens the bond between the mom and the baby
During pregnancy, you share wonderful experiences to your baby. When feeling relaxed and happy such as when listening to your favourite songs together, your body producing calming chemicals which are transferred to your baby through the placenta. This, in turn, strengthens your bonding.
Always Play the Right Kind of Music to Your Baby
Just like plants that tend to grow faster and better when stimulated with relaxing, classical music, your baby responds in the same way too. Avoid playing music that is too loud because such as those metal rock songs because it can alter the unborn baby’s brain development negatively. With these said, playing appropriate music is the key to reaping all these wonderful benefits.