All you Wanted to Know about Music and Pregnancy
Hearing is the first sense that the fetus develops!
From ten to twelve weeks after conception, any stimulation causes baby’s nerve cells to form permanent neural patterns.
Here are five reasons why you should have a pregnancy playlist on your music device:
- Music prepares the ear and brain of an unborn infant to listen, assimilate and produce language sounds, which stimulates baby’s senses and improves brain development.
- Gentle tunes provide a wonderful bonding experience for mother and baby, releasing ‘happy hormones’, reducing stress and improving baby’s sleeping pattern.
- Newborns recognize music parents had played when they were in the womb, with familiar songs helping control baby’s temper tantrums and establishing sleep patterns.
- Babies are known to have better reflexes as they learn to react to beats and vibrations of music.
- Music has the power to shape your baby’s personality. Soothing, gentle music is known to help baby develop a calm and stable personality.
How do I play music?
The perfect way to play music during your pregnancy is to let the music play over a speaker. Since amniotic fluid conducts sound very well, using headphones directly on the belly can overstimulate baby and cause fetal stress.
What’s the volume at which my baby can enjoy music best?
Have you heard the distant strains of music in a supermarket? That’s the volume at which your baby will enjoy music best. Music should not be more than 65 decibels (dB) in volume. A louder volume may shock your baby.
Here’s an everyday guide to understanding decibel levels:
- 50 to 75 dB: a washing machine
- 55 to 70 dB: a dishwasher
- 60 to 85 dB: a vacuum cleaner
- 60 to 95 dB: a hair dryer
- 65 to 80 dB: an alarm clock
- 75 to 85 dB: a flushing toilet
- 80 dB: a ringing phone
Is there any specific tempo that’s good for baby?
While you may have enjoyed a fast tempo song, studies have revealed that the optimum tempo for songs for babies is 60 bpm (beats per minute). This is the beat of a resting heart and hence tends to calm both baby and you. As you turn on music that is gentle, you’ll notice that your breathing slows down and your heart rate follows.
What genres are best for baby?
Here are a few genre and song suggestions for you to experiment with:
- Genres. Western Classical, Easy Listening, Jazz, Country Music, Indian Hindustani, and Indian Instrumental such as sitar, santoor, flute, sarod, or veena
- Artists. Mozart, Beethoven, Paul Simon, Dixie Chicks, Sarah Vaughan, Bill Evans, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, Dave Brubeck, Harry Connick Jr., Sade, Nikhil Bandyopadhyaya, Ali Akbar Khan, Amjad Ali Khan, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, and Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasiya
- Vedic & Spiritual Chants. The Bhagavad Gita, chants from the Vedas or Quran or other religious chants have positive vibrations that are calming for mother and baby. They are usually prescribed as an early morning ritual followed by devotional songs. Follow your instincts and listen to what works for baby and you.
Choose to play music because you want to enjoy the sounds of harmony with your baby rather than focusing on increasing baby’s intelligence level. Let the sound and vibrations heal you, help you sleep, release your stress and help you have a peaceful pregnancy!