Music for babies

Me, working, listening to Queen and playing with my daughter

It is well known that music can be a therapeutic tool in any moment of our life. What is really interesting is that music has an impact also on the development of fetuses.

Numerous papers dealing with the impact of listening to music during the prenatal period have been published in the last decade. Fetuses develop all their senses (with the exception of the sight) during gestation. Hearing is the first sense to develop, around the 20th week of pregnancy. They react to sounds and vocal stimuli.

Fetuses start moving few seconds after hearing loud sounds. They can hear their mother’s heartbeat, blood circulation, voice and can perceive the vibration of their mother’s auditory cortex and intestines!

Studies show that fetuses have different reactions to different types of music. Pregnant women listening to Ravel, Strauss or Mozart show lower blood pressure and their fetuses have an increased number of movements.

Music compilations listened by a woman while pregnant are memorized by the fetus. Those compilations are the ones which induce the most powerful reactions when the baby is born.

I read some of these papers when I was pregnant and I decided to make my daughter a rock lover!

I dislike lullabies (I still do not sing them to my daughter), but I love rock music. Queen is definitely my favorite group. I used to (well, actually I still do) listen to them while working, so my fetus daughter start listening to good old music when she was just a bunch of cells. I start reading papers regarding music and pregnancy when I was around the 13th-14th week. I spoke to my partner and we decided to run our little experiment. During the whole pregnancy I continue listening to my favorite music. Besides Queen, we listened to U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, AC/DC, Deep Purple and Guns ‘N Roses.

Well, it worked perfectly. Now, when my daughter is restless we just start listening to the Queen and she immediately calms down.

Her all time favorites are “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Bicycle Race”. I am so proud of her superb music taste!

References:

Bieńkowska et al., “Model of Attenuation of Sound Stimuli in Prenatal Music Therapy”, (2016), https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-39796-2_35

Dombrowska-pali et al., “Music therapy – an alternative form supporting the quality of mother and baby care”, (2018), https://doi.org/10.5114/polp.2018.77999

Teie, “A Comparative Analysis of the Universal Elements of Music and the Fetal Environment”, (2016), https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01158

Published by Martina Bodner

Biotechnologist, PhD Student in Food Chemistry, High school science teacher, STEM and autism advocate, mother.

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