By Dara Blaker, radio and media personality
I want to start by thanking HRC Fertility of Rancho Cucamonga for again allowing me an opportunity to talk about something that is a huge part of my life. Music. I’ve been involved in music for as long as I can remember, as a musician, composer and a teacher for more than 20 years.
Being that this is a blog about fertility, and ultimately birth, let’s talk about something fun that can happen while you’re pregnant. There are all kinds of studies about how listening to classical music while pregnant boosts your baby's brainpower and development. I am not mentioning this because of studies, but I’d like to share an experience. It’s not even about boosting my baby’s brain power, but how she was affected by music during her development.
As I said earlier, I have been teaching music for the past 20 years-mostly private piano and violin. While in my third trimester of pregnancy I noticed something interesting. During more advanced lessons, my baby got very active. At beginner lessons, nothing… Unborn babies really do react and interact with music.
It didn’t matter the time of day, if I had eaten or what I was even doing. It didn’t even matter if the music was classical or pop (sorry Mozart), or if it was simple or complicated. What mattered was that the music, which was being played on a piano, was steady, rhythmic and flowing. My students would keep asking me if the baby was moving because that meant they were playing well. After a while, they didn’t need to ask. You could see my belly moving under my shirt. It was really a sight to see.
A steady, unbroken beat is something people naturally feel and respond to, even in utero. We instinctively bob our heads, tap our feet or even tap our hands on our desks or steering wheels. Come on, we’ve all been caught at a red light singing our favorite tune at the top of our lungs or being an air drummer or guitar player. Music is something that is inherently part of our lives and affects us greatly.
Pregnant women ask me if they should buy special headphones or equipment to put on their bellies. I’ve even seen this shown in movies and on tv. In my opinion, it is not necessary to put headphones on your belly. As an audio engineer and musician, personally, I am not a big fan of it. The uterus has no volume control and the fetus can’t tell you to turn it down. Sound transmits through water, especially lower frequencies, so believe me, your baby can hear speakers or your instrument just fine. If you play a musical instrument, your body will also resonate with it, making the experience even deeper for the baby, and for you.
Does the type of music you are listening to matter? I guess ultimately…yes. As listeners, we respond to the music we are listening to. We are drawn to certain types of music to match emotions we are feeling. Do we want to be uplifted, melancholy, happy, angry, energetic? My advice is to choose accordingly and realize that you are not the only listener. Your baby is listening and responding too.
About the author:
Dara Blaker is a musician, a producer of an animated television series, small business owner and entrepreneur.
Websites: www.daraonradio.com, www.colourmemusic.com, www.helpfulhallies.com.