People generally have an ingrained ability to appreciate soothing sounds and good music, a characteristic that usually manifests from early childhood. This isn’t instinct, though; it’s more of an advanced cognitive function that sets humans apart from animals, or from their less-evolved ancestors. For this reason, many people believe that music for a baby in the wombcan actually help facilitate learning and foster development.
The prenatal stage is a critical time in child growth and development, especially when it comes to the child’s senses. Studies in the field of fetal psychology suggest that babies still in the womb can already respond to stimulus from the environment outside, and can already hear by the end of the second trimester.
Experiments have been conducted wherein prenatal sounds and music were consistently administered by the mother. By the time the babies come out into the world, they are able to recognize and, in fact, sleep more readily when the same music they were exposed to in the womb was played.
Exposure to music, in turn, could potentially lead to better cognitive development, as Adrianne Godart explains in her article in the Expectant Mothers’ Guide website:
WILFRIED GRUHN, EMERITUS PROFESSOR OF MUSIC EDUCATION AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MUSIC IN FREIBURG, GERMANY SAID IN AN ARTICLE PUBLISHED BY THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR MUSIC EDUCATION THAT, “MUSIC STIMULATES THE GROWTH OF BRAIN STRUCTURES AND CONNECTS MANY ACTIVATED BRAIN AREAS. LEARNING IS BASED ON THE PLASTICITY OF THE BRAIN, WHICH IS THE MOST POWERFUL IN THE EARLY YEARS; HOWEVER, IT KEEPS GOING OVER THE ENTIRE LIFE SPAN. BRAIN DEVELOPMENT IS BASICALLY DETERMINED BY ITS GENETIC DISPOSITION, BUT ITS INDIVIDUAL STRUCTURE DEPENDS ON USE. THE BRAIN DEVELOPS ACCORDING TO HOW WE USE IT. ALL EXPERIENCES ARE STORED IN THE BRAIN AND INFLUENCE ITS NEURAL STRUCTURE.”
Mothers would be happy to know that prenatal music not only soothes their baby, but also relieves undue stress throughout their pregnancy. Of course, when they are stressed, their body produces hormones called glucocorticoids, which could cross over through the placenta into the baby, potentially affecting the growth of his or her heart and liver.
Prenatal rhythms from sources like BabyPlus can help make the child grow up to be the best he or she can be. With a child’s physical, mental and emotional development at stake, it’s only fair that mothers play soothing music for babies in their wombto ensure a more balanced development in their children.
(Source: The Benefits of Prenatal Music, Expectant Mothers’ Guide)
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