Being pregnant for the first time is new and unreal experience. Even for moms who have other children at home, each pregnancy is a little bit different. A new family member is about to enter the family and turn things upside down (in a good way), however the anticipation of the unknown, while incredibly exciting, can be a little bit stressful.
One way for baby and mom-to-be to relax and calm down together is by listening to music. Experts have found there are many benefits associated with prenatal music playing for baby and mom as music helps create a wonderful bonding experience for mom and baby, reduce stress levels during pregnancy, enhance the stimulation of your unborn baby’s growing brain, and improve sleeping patterns for a newborn baby.
Here are the four key benefits to prenatal music playing to consider for yourself or the “mom-to-be” in your life:
1) Creating a Bond. Exposing baby to music in the womb allows parents to share their musical preferences and create a wonderful bonding experience for mom and baby. Studies show that mothers who played music and read to their babies during pregnancy feel a stronger maternal bond and reported less symptoms of post-partum depression as compared to mothers who didn’t use any type of prenatal stimulation.
2) Unwinding and Relaxing Together. Listening to calming music is a great way to unwind, de-stress and experience a state of well being during pregnancy. This time of relaxation produces serotonin and endorphins (“happy hormones”), which are transferred to the baby through the placenta.
3) Learning & Growing. Prenatal sounds form an important developmental component building a foundation for later learning and behavior. Wilfried Gruhn, Emeritus Professor of Music Education at the University of Music in Freiburg, Germany said in an article published by the International Society for Music Education that, “Music stimulates the growth of brain structures and connects many activated brain areas.” Additionally, TV show host, Dr. Oz was quoted in an article he co-wrote with Dr. Michael Roizen on Oprah.com saying, “Music during and after pregnancy will help stimulate baby’s senses and improve his/her brain development. Exposure to different sounds and scenes is essentially what helps establish connections from one set of neurons – the nerve cells of the brain – to another. This is how we all learn.”
4) Sleeping Sound. Prenatal music playing has been found to improve sleeping patterns for a newborn baby as well as help them fall asleep faster and for longer periods of time because babies remember the music they hear in the womb. This familiar music captures a baby’s attention and comforts and relaxes them. Dr Alexandra Lamont from the Music Research Group at the University of Leicester was quoted in a BBC TV Show saying, “We know that the fetus in the womb is able to hear fully after 20 weeks after conception. Now we have discovered that babies can remember and prefer music that they heard before they were born over 12 months later.”
This is just one way to relax and de-stress but there are many more too so it’s important to find the tactic(s) that works for you to keep anxiety low and happiness high. It will ensure the well being of both mom and baby.
Article was written by Adrianne Godart, founder of the Lullabelly Prenatal Music Belt. Godart, also a massage therapist who focuses on prenatal massage, invented the Lullabelly as a way to combine her love for music and positive relaxation techniques. For more information on Godart or Lullabelly, please visit www.Lullabelly.com.