Pregnancy is a privileged time for singing as attention on the body is intense during these nine months. This physiological change requires an adaptation which is not always easy for the pregnant woman. Singing involves the whole body and singing during pregnancy enables pregnant women to connect better with body sensations, to understand better the pregnancy process as well as increasing body awareness which is essential during birth.
Singing in pregnancy has numerous benefits for you and your unborn baby. Most people realize that singing is good for our health. But did you know it can help reduce pain, increase your oxygen levels and give your unborn baby a relaxing ‘sound massage’. These are just a few of the benefits that I’ll tell you about.
At first singing and other sounds are felt as a vibration by your baby. The amniotic fluid he or she is surrounded by is a great conductor of sound vibration. Imagine listening to music or people speaking when your ears or head are below water (e.g. in the bath, swimming pool or ocean).
Many scientific studies that have tried to investigate fetal response to sound generally give 18 - 20 weeks as the time babies begin to respond to sound. By that time the structure of the ear is complete, although development of auditory nerve pathways continue.
According to one study, a few babies can respond to loud low-pitched sounds as early as 16 -18 weeks of pregnancy. By 27 weeks, most babies can hear low-pitched sounds but not high pitched ones. The hearing continues to develop and be refined as your baby matures.
Singing encourages intra-uterine communication and closeness with the baby. It improves breathing with breathing exercises, stretches, pelvic movements. Singing exercises allows better control of the body and allows the various parts of the stomach to be discovered. Singing is not only for mothers, fathers can participate too.
Prenatal singing promotes well-being throughout pregnancy. It helps the pregnant woman to feel better and to prepare herself for the birth through body exercices, breathwork, sounding, vocalization and a specific singing repertoire adapted to pregnancy, birth and post-natal.
Prenatal singing during pregnancy deepens body awareness through various exercices such as :
- development of vibration awareness when listening to sound and during vocal expression
- body posture and postural self-support: feet, legs, abdominal muscles, back, expiratory muscles
- exploring different ways of breathing, breath management and breath control
- adjustment to the pelvic tilt
Prenatal singing enables women to manage better their pregnancy and the births of their babies.
Developping the bond with the baby in the womb
Prenatal singing allows the mother to connect and resonate with her baby and establish a special relationship, strengthening ties between mother and baby.
Singing during pregnancy produces vibrations which are beneficial to the baby’s physiological, emotional and psychological development and balance. The baby in utero is surrounded by many kinds of sounds and prenatal research studies show that during pregnancy the baby is very sensitive to them particularly the parent’s voice and that the baby is already reacting differently to low or high pitched sounds. The mother’s singing voice provides a gentle sound massage in the womb, promoting the baby’s feelings of well-being and healthy development. For the baby, the mother’s voice is the main point of reference before and after birth. This maternal vocal imprint will have a deep effect on the baby throughout life.
The repertoire of songs specific to pregnancy such as lullaby, soothing baby songs or motherhood songs, some of which have been composed by Marie-Louise Aucher, enhance and support the contact, relationship and closeness between the mother and the baby in utero. It has been found that babies show preferences for certain songs. The physical well-being felt by the mother during prenatal singing exercises benefits the baby.
Labour and birth
Breathing is inseparable from singing and plays an important role during labour. Regular practice of a variety of exercises during pregnancy eases labour and prepares the mother for birth contractions. Sounds are made on the outbreath. This vocal sounding allows the pregnant woman to manage the flow of air very easily and at the same time benefits from the vibration of the sounds as they gently massage her pelvis. Supporting the birth process through sounding and vocalizations also help the mother to relax muscles, ease tensions and control pain. The sounds are chosen in relation to the scale of resonances used in psychophonie. This scale establishes a connection between notes and various parts of the body.
One of the close ties between mother and baby during pregnancy is the mother’s and father’s voices. Researches show that new born babies react particularly to the parent’s voice and many mothers who have practiced prenatal singing have reported that not only was their baby more sensitive to music and movements and showed certain preferences but also that the baby was soothed and comforted when listening to the songs that the mother sang during pregnancy. The mother singing to her new born also helps adjustment to the new environment.
All the exercices practiced during pregnancy are then adapted to help the mother to reconnect with her body and continue to support her during the changes which are taking place after the birth.
Communication with foetus through sensory stimulation :
This is based on tactile and emotional relationships between the parents and the baby (caresses, gently pressure on the stomach, sound of voice, etc.). It encourages closeness through contact and communication between the baby and parents.
The father can develop a strong bond and closeness with the baby using this method;
It is done towards the end of the fourth month of pregnancy, from the first active movements of the baby.
The sole purpose of these blogs is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, prevention or cure of any disease. If you have any serious, acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained doctor/health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained Ayurvedic expert, call us or e mail.
Dr Unnati Chavda
(Promoting pregnancy wellness)