In his book A Musical Journey Through Pregnancy, Prenatal Music Therapist and Professor, Gabriel Federico, describes the moment that he became inspired to research the connection between obstetrics, musical acoustics, and prenatal bonding. He was in the hospital observing a premature baby born at 7 months gestation who seemed to recognize and be following his mother’s voice as she sang. The mother told Gabriel that she had been singing the same song to her baby since her second month of pregnancy. Not only did the baby turn his head toward the sound, but his oxygen levels improved and he showed more signs of vitality upon hearing this familiar, comforting tune.
Did You Know...
A fetus’s hearing system is fully developed by 3.5 months, and they begin to hear sounds from the outside world around 4 months
Mom's voice attracts baby’s attention first and most strongly because the sound is conducted through tissue and bone, as well as through the air
Hearing mom’s voice every day while in the womb establishes a sense of safety and also comforts baby after birth
Singing is heard more clearly in the womb than speaking because of the great range of pitch, inflection and rhythm
Research has shown that a baby in the womb can learn to recognize melodies that it has been exposed to repeatedly
Think about creating a welcome song. This is a special lullaby (original or familiar!) sung with your baby in mind. The idea is that this song is sung to your baby during the last several months of pregnancy so that baby learns to recognize it as a source of comfort. When baby arrives, the lullaby is sung in the very first moments of life to begin bonding; ease the stress of the transition into the outside world; and reassure them with the voice they have learned to associate with safety and love throughout the past 9 months.
Imagine the power that your singing voice will have in strengthening the bond with your baby once they enter this world.