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February 14, 2016
Being completely honest with you all no one actually knows for sure but some studies indicate that fetuses can hear and react to sound by moving – we don’t know why they move, and I guess that until someone develops a new technology that can understand the emotional reaction of a fetus we wont know why or what they are feeling or thinking about the whole thing. So, as per normal I got to researching and starting to look at the answers to your most common questions!
Your best option is to play music either in the house as you go about your day or via device specifically created for babies like the Mozart Kugel Music Orb.Research has shown that it’s not necessarily a good idea to use headphones on your belly since the music is up close it could over-stimulate the baby - eep! I actually learnt whilst looking for inspiration to write this that amniotic fluid is a really good conductor of sound – so whilst people generally look to “pump up the volume” there really is no need to you have your own inbuilt speaker system.
Generally speaking it's not a good idea for you (or your bump) to turn up the volume on your stereo higher than 65 decibels (dB). Any louder and you may startle the baby. It’s at this point that I imagine myself laying peacefully in a dark floatation tank only to jump out of my skin thanks to someone switching on the music and cranking it up – worried that I may not catch all of the lyrics in my giant echo and water filled chamber!
The experts say that it's best to keep the volume below 50 dB, which coincidently is the sound level of noise in most neonatal intensive care units. Now I’m not sure about you but I am no decibel queen so to give you an idea here are some levels of common household sounds: 1. 50 - 75 dB washing machine2. 55 - 70 dB dishwasher3. 60 - 85 dB vacuum cleaner4. 60 - 95 dB hair dryer5. 65 - 80 dB alarm clock6. 75 - 85 dB flush toilet7. 80 dB ringing telephone
I wish I could fluff this part up or provide you all with some solid words of wisdom but no matter where I looked I could not find any fancy charts or data to share. So to answer this rather bluntly...we just don’t know - there is no solid research to support either side.
Because research on this topic is in its infancy and experts can't seem to agree on whether music is enjoyable or bothersome to fetuses, proceed cautiously. If you decide to try it, remember that moderation is key.
Rene Van de Carr, a proponent of fetal stimulation, agrees. "You shouldn't go out of your way to create a musical genius," he says that kind of attitude can cause you to push hard and set a standard that your child may never meet. Play music because you enjoy it, not because you're trying to make your unborn baby smarter. Music can help you relax, fall asleep, or perk you up if you have the pregnancy blues. One solid piece of research I did find (with a quote) "When a woman relaxes, that's good for the fetus and that's an indirect effect of music on the fetus," – Janet A. DiPietro. So there you have it – it’s good to put on some tunes, kick up your heels, or dance around and have some fun and, if after listening to music all throughout your pregnancy, you happen to give birth to the next Adele or Guy Sebastian – GO YOU!
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