"Music alone speaks at once to the imagination,
the mind, the heart and the senses."
The benefits that can be expected through participation in prenatal music are the following:
- Stress relief
- Early bonding and strengthening the attachment to the baby
- Nurturing an early communication
- Supporting physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well being
- Stimulating a holistic development of the baby in the womb
- Promoting creativity and imagination, qualities needed for parenting
- Creating a transition from the baby's inner environment of
the womb to the outer world through lullabies and the womb-song
- Individual preparation for labor and delivery during the birth of your baby
- Perinatal support
Stress has been found to affect babies and mothers adversely. It releases hormones such as noradrenaline and cortisol, which contract the blood vessels, raise blood pressure, depress the immune system and several other side effects (Odent, Birth Reborn, pg. 85). Therefore, it is important to release stress on a regular basis to offset any negative outcome. We offer several approaches in the release of stress.
Bonding through music is a very special and profound experience for the parents and baby. The language of music is non-verbal, easily accessible to everyone regardless of education, race, age, etc. Parents can directly convey their feelings of love through their chosen music. Being loved and wanted, forms our first intimate relationship with another being, one on which all other relationships will be based in the future. Therefore, it is very important that this first exchange be as positive as possible.
The vibrations of the instruments used can be felt directly on the body because sound waves travel through matter, which includes our physical bodies. The choice of instruments as well as pitch level and intensity each has an impact on mother and baby in the womb. Stories of mothers having to leave a rock concert because of the intensity of the bands are well known. Melodies are expressive of our emotions and carry this energy to the baby. Lullabies, traditional as well as newly composed, in addition to the womb-song, are personal musical expressions of love from the parents to their babies. These are remembered for a lifetime and form a soothing element when the baby is in distress, particularly effective after the first few weeks after birth to comfort the baby who has colic or cries a lot. The development of memory before birth allows the music to function as a unique bridge from the intrauterine environment to the adjustment of life outside the womb.
Perinatal support after the baby's birth is a continuum to the prenatal enrichment and bonding curriculum the baby has received in the womb. The relaxation music will continue to promote good sleeping patterns and have a calming effect on the baby.
Creativity leads to self-discovery and self-empowerment. According to Abraham Maslow, "It is during the creative experience, when the generally unused intuitive and non-intellectual parts of our selves are exercised, that our selves are most integrated." What we imagine we can create. Therefore, creativity, imagination and intuition are needed for a balanced and healthy human life, especially during pregnancy, birth and parenthood. Intuition is a faculty that gives us access to our innate knowing and enables us to communicate with our unborn children. All these qualities are present when we improvise music for our babies and ourselves.
Maslow, Abraham. (1972). The Farther Reaches of Human Nature. New York: Penguin.