Health Pregnancy

Why Should You Listen to Music During Pregnancy

Shikha Batra

Created by Shikha Batra
Updated on Apr 01, 2020

Why Should You Listen to Music During Pregnancy
Reviewed by Expert panel

Have you ever imagined special occasions such as weddings, funerals, ceremonies, birthdays, etc. without music? Can you imagine the 40 weeks long period of pregnancy without listening to music to soothe you? Well, it's difficult to even imagine, wonder what actually missing music from our lives would be like especially during special occasions.

Music is the perfect art. It is extraordinary and our lives would be incomplete without it. It can be described as one of the most treasured human experiences. Similarly, pregnancy is one of the most surreal experiences a woman can have in her lifetime. These two experiences when combined create magic both for the mom-to-be and the baby in the womb.

What is the impact of music on a pregnant woman?

During pregnancy, a woman goes through a roller coaster drive. Vomiting, nausea, anxiety, irritation, pain, hunger pangs, sleep, frequent visits to the washroom and the list goes on, are experienced by the pregnant women in this usually 40 weeks long journey of pregnancy. Listening to music makes her relax and forget all that she has been going through at least for a while. It helps the mom-to-be to smile, sing, to relax peacefully and sometimes even to fall asleep. It reduces stress hormones, relaxes muscles and enhances the state of well-being for both the lives, i.e. the mom-to-be and the baby in her womb.

What is the impact of music on the unborn baby?

Ears are developed in the fetus by the third week of gestation. Ultrasounds suggest that the fetus can hear and in turn respond to sound at week 16. By 24 weeks, the fetuses have been shown to turn their heads in response to voices and noise in the last few months of pregnancy. An unborn baby can recognize his/her mother's voice, word patterns, rhymes, and even their native language. Listening to music has a positive influence on the unborn baby and positively impacts the baby's physiological development. European research in 2013, suggested that exposing an unborn baby to music had a long-term effect on their brain. It has also been hypothesized that playing music during pregnancy can help to form some of your baby's personality traits.

What are the benefits of listening to music during pregnancy?

Listening to music during pregnancy may have the following benefits:

  1. It makes the brain of babies more active. When exposed to music, babies in the womb have shown increased brain activity. 
  2. Music stimulates the growth of brain structures, thereby enhancing learning and development.
  3. Studies have found that exposure to music in the prenatal period seemed to be linked to increased attention, more sound imitation and earlier vocalization in the baby.
  4. It helps in prenatal bonding. Listening to music strengthens the bond that you share with your child.
  5. It reduces stress and anxiety experienced by the pregnant woman and lowers the stress that her unborn baby feels in the womb.
  6. It enhances the state of well-being for both, mom-to-be and her baby in the womb.
  7. It improves the reflexes of the fetus and also its overall movement.
  8. Babies after birth remember the soothing songs that you played while being pregnant. The same music can be used to calm and soothe your little one after its birth.
  9. The same music played during pregnancy can make the baby sleep faster and longer once born. 

What type of music should a pregnant mother listen to?

 Any genre of music which is designed to be soothing and inspire happiness can be heard during pregnancy. It could be classical music, instrumental music, gentle sounds like nice melodies, or even lullabies sung by the mom-to-be or caregivers will do the trick. However, some studies have suggested links between listening to classical music during pregnancy and heightened intelligence of baby once born, but it is yet not proved hence is debatable.

Do's and Don'ts for playing music in the womb:

  • Listen to your favorite music which soothes you and makes you feel relaxed.

  • Sing for the baby as a mother's voice is incredibly soothing to the baby and makes the maternal bond stronger.

  • Just remember to keep the volume down as when an unborn baby is exposed to prolonged high volume, it can have a detrimental effect on their stress levels. 

  • If you usually listen to music on a high volume then adjust it to a lower decibel level to avoid startling your baby, never to exceed 65 decibels.

  • Avoid exposure to loud music as it can also cause certain health complications such as premature birth, low birth weight, hearing difficulties etc.

  • Avoid going overboard and constantly playing music as it can have an adverse impact on your unborn baby. 

  • Avoid leaning against or putting your body in contact with a source of vibration or noise or placing headphones directly on your belly when playing music for your unborn child.

  • Extreme and sudden noises should be avoided as they may be harmful to the unborn baby and may damage your baby's hearing.

Pregnancy can be a real testing and a stressful phase for moms-to-be. But if stress becomes constant, the effects on the pregnant woman and the unborn baby could be lasting. It can also lead to many complications like poor pregnancy health and developmental problems in babies down the road besides premature birth, low birth weight to name a few. Music helps control cortisol and other stress hormones levels. Listening to music not only has an uplifting effect on pregnant women but also has a positive influence on the unborn baby.

Did you listen to music to enhance the development of your baby in the womb? If yes, was there anything specific that you listened to? Was it helpful to you and your baby once born? Please share your musical experiences and feedback in the comments section below.

This content has been checked & validated by Doctors and Experts of the parentune Expert panel. Our panel consists of Neonatologist, Gynecologist, Peadiatrician, Nutritionist, Child Counselor, Education & Learning Expert, Physiotherapist, Learning disability Expert and Developmental Pead.

1) Pregnancy music: the effect on unborn babies – Aptaclub

2) › health Web results | Music for Baby in Womb: Should You Play It? - Healthline

3) › l… Listening to the right music during pregnancy - Eden Private Staff

4) › will… | Will listening to music pregnant make your baby smarter? - Sanford Health News

5) › … | Music during pregnancy - Obstetrics and Gynecology

6) Music in the Womb - Tiny Love


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| Apr 09, 2020


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| Apr 21, 2020

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