Music Can Help Mum And Her Unborn Baby During Pregnancy

On one hand being pregnant can be very exciting whilst on the other hand it can be very stressful. A study revealed that listening to music during pregnancy can help increase feelings of positivity and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.

Not only can soothing music help the Mum-to-be but as babies develop hearing in the fifth month, relaxing music can be soothing for baby also as well as stimulating baby’s new sense of hearing. Actually studies have shown that even before baby’s hearing has developed a mother to be listening to calm music can help baby feel calm and happy.

Mum-to-be shares hormones with her unborn baby, so there is a connectedness between the well-being of the mother and baby.

Famous violinist Yehudi Menuhin feels that his musical ability can be partially attributed to lots of exposure to music and singing even before he was born. The effects of noise can also be seen in a study from Japan, which revealed that women who lived close to Osaka Airport had a higher incidence of giving birth prematurely as well as delivering smaller babies.

If you live in an area where this raises concerns, it is best not to get stressed about it but to enjoy listening to music with your unborn baby. The choice of type of music is considered to be important also. Michele Clements, a researcher in a London hospital, discovered that unborn babies between 4 to 5 gestational months, found calming music, lullabies and composers such as Vivaldi and Mozart to be soothing, whereas they were disturbed by loud, discordant music.

Apart from the music genre, the volume also plays an important part. The womb is a very rich sound environment. It is a relatively quiet place and there is a kind of sound carpet created, over which the mother’s voice is heard distinctively by baby, as the first communication bonds by voice and sound are formed.

Actually the singing voice has a richer frequency than the speaking voice and Dr. David Whitwell, PhD, Musi­col­ogy, has pointed out that once upon a time speech was actually song, making song more ancient than speech.

One study, in 2008 in the UK-based Journal of Clinical Nursing, placed 120 pregnant women in a control group and 116 pregnant women into a music group. All 136 women were between 18 to 35 weeks pregnancy, with an average age of thirty. The women chosen also had similar demographic profiles, with about 50% first time pregnancies and 50% planned pregnancies.

Music which imitated the human heart rate was pre-recorded on 4 thirty minute CDs, which included Brahms’ Lullaby, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and composers like Beethoven and Debussy, sounds from nature and crystals’ CD comprised Chinese children’s rhymes and songs, like Little Honey-Bee and Jasmine.

The pregnant women from the music group were instructed to listen to the CDs for half an hour each day for two weeks, plus record in a diary which CD they listened to and what activity if any, they were carrying out at that time. The women from the control group did not listen to CDs.

At the end of the two weeks the women completed three well established scales to measure stress, anxiety and depression, before and after the music intervention. Stress, anxiety and depression were significantly reduced in the music group after only two weeks, whereas the control group showed a very small reduction in stress, while their scores for anxiety and depression revealed little or no improvement.

Not only can the right sort of music help Mum and baby during pregnancy, but when it comes to the long awaited day, it has been shown that music played during childbirth can relieve anxiety, lessen the need for anaesthesia and release endorphins.

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