Music and singing are something that holds magical powers to make us relax, sing, fall asleep, and remind us of some precious moments or people we cross paths with in this world. However, for a baby in the womb, music serves as a means that helps to prepare its ear and brain to integrate, listen and produce language sounds.
On-going research on the various effects of music for perinatal health has been on for over a decade, and results show that music isn’t just perfect for the health of an unborn baby, but it is also beneficial for the health of the mother during pregnancy. Here are some benefits of singing for prenatal health.
Pregnancy is surely a stressful time, and this means many negative side effects will tag along with it, the major one being stress. Medical research shows that high levels of stress during pregnancy contribute to the increased risks of low birth weights, premature delivery, and increased chances of behavioral problems in newborn babies.
When a woman is pregnant, the increased levels of stress hormones (cortisol) create muscle tension, as well as emotional anxiety in the unborn baby. Singing is a great way to reduce and unwind stress, and it helps to relax the body by producing endorphins, and serotonin (happy hormones) that transfer to the baby via the placenta.
Develops the Baby’s Brain
Prenatal music and singing is a great form of developmental component because it provides the foundation for later behavior and learning. It helps to stimulate the growth of the structure of the brain and connects many activated areas of the brain. Learning is something that is dependent on the plasticity of the brain, which is vital in the early days of development.
The development of the brain is determined by the genetic disposition, but music plays a great role in the neural structure. Music also helps to stimulate the senses of the baby and exposure to different sounds helps to establish a connection from one neuron to another, enabling the baby to learn more.
Your singing also helps your baby with phonation out of the womb – your baby’s first utterance of speech sounds!
Well-Being and Body Awareness
Throughout pregnancy, singing promotes well-being for the mother and helps her to not only feel emotionally well, but also prepare her for labor through vocalization, breath work, sounds, and even helps her to adapt to the pregnancy. In pregnancy, singing deepens body awareness and brings many advantages including:
- Postural support of the abdominal muscles, expiratory muscles, and back
- Promotes the control of breathing, which is helpful for labor
- Adjustment to pelvic tilt
Better Bond with your Baby in the Womb
Singing for prenatal health helps the mother to connect with her baby and establish a unique relationship. The vibrations that occur when singing prove to be beneficial for the baby’s emotional, physiological balance and development. Studies show that when a baby hears vibrations from singing, they react at an early stage to the low and high-pitched sounds.
Fetuses sense audio rhythms and vibrations in early pregnancy, which later helps them to distinguish different sounds. This way they also recognize the voice of their parents after birth. This is why most doctors recommend mothers to sing to their unborn baby.
Singing serves as a fabulous remedy for the better development of the baby as well as a good way to manage the health of pregnant women or new moms.