We have long known the unborn babies can hear music and sounds from outside of the womb, as well as sounds within the mother’s body, like her heartbeat.
Recent research suggests that unborn babies respond to music 10 weeks earlier than previously believed. In this research, three-dimensional images showed foetuses opening their mouths and sticking out their tongues when music was played.
This has led the researchers to believe that music activated brain circuits and stimulated language and communication within the womb.
This is exciting news as this is something mothers can do for their bubs while pregnant that is easy and fun! In the study classical music was used.
Other studies have indicated that babies also respond to music their mother’s played, which could include different genres.
While this current study claims babies do not respond in a special way to their mother’s voices, I still believe this to be a very beautiful and intimate way for expectant mums to communicate with their little ones.
When I was pregnant with Miss BB I sang to my growing belly all day and night! I also worked throughout my pregnancy as a music therapist with families, so she got to hear me sing at work and also play the guitar.
In fact, when I played, she would move to position herself up against the back of the guitar!! I used to think this was amazing. I also played Music for Dreaming for her every night when I went to sleep, and then when she was born I used this music to mark the routine of bedtime. After her night feed I would sing to her and then put on the CD and leave her to slumber and dream.
Now Miss 8 (nearly 9!) still listens to classical music when she goes to sleep. There was a brief time of audio books but then she returned to the familiar world of music. This has been a great tool for me as a mother and one I started before she was born and continue to use to this day.
So if you are pregnant don’t be afraid to play your favourite music or classical music to your unborn child.
They can hear the music and perceive it from within the womb.
One word of warning, don’t be tempted to use headphones on your belly as this has been shown to be potentially over stimulating for bub and too loud.
Playing music will probably help you relax too! And this is always good for bub.
Do what feels right for you, don’t feel you ‘have’ to play music to your unborn child, but if you love music then play it and feel good and your bub might just be dancing along too!