The Effects Of Music During Pregnancy

Listening to music during pregnancy is very beneficial for your baby. It plays a significant role in the healthy brain development of babies.

This article is intended to explain how music can be helpful for the overall health of your baby.

pregnant mom lying down and enjoying music through headphones

When Can Babies Hear Music In The Womb?

Your baby can start hearing his/her very first sound as early as weeks 16 to 18 of pregnancy.

By the third trimester (weeks 23 and 24) your baby will be able to respond to sound and can move his/her head towards the noise. In the last months of pregnancy, babies are also able to recognize their mother's voice.

What Effect Does Music Have on Babies in the Womb?

Listening to music during pregnancy does not only have a soothing effect on the mother. But it also has a positive influence on your unborn baby.

According to one study, babies who listen to music in the womb are more likely to have improved mental, physiological, emotional, and sensory development.

Another research study was conducted to see the effect of Indian classical music "Kalyani raga" on pregnant women. In this study, pregnant women were asked to listen to Kalyani raga for at least 20 minutes for 20 days. After these 20 days, researchers discovered a positive impact on both the babies and the pregnant women:

  • There is an improvement in babies' movement, reflexes, and response.
  • It also improves the mental development of the baby.

Listening to music also left a comforting, calming, and soothing impact on the mother.

What Music Should a Pregnant Mother Listen To?

During the third trimester, your baby’s hearing develops and he/she will hear the music and other sounds in the womb. So, you can play some songs for him.

The ears of the little infant are still weak so playing rock or hard music is not a good idea.

Instead, you can play some music that provides a calming, relaxing, and soothing effect to your baby. Whatever the music you pick, it must be soft, light, and smooth. You can play lullabies, classical music, or any other light music which sounds gentle.

Benefits of Listening to Music in Pregnancy & How Music Therapy Helps Moms

Listening to music during pregnancy helps in alleviating common health symptoms that occur during the pregnancy.

happy mom lying down listening to music

How music exactly works as a therapy is still unclear but some studies suggest music therapy is advantageous during pregnancy. Music therapy benefits pregnant women in the following possible ways:

Stress reduction

The music helps pregnant women improve their overall well-being by reducing stress levels. It also helps reduce prenatal anxiety.

Act as a pain reliever

Music during pregnancy can act as a pain reliever and helps to control pain.

Better sleep quality

According to the studies, music therapy helps to improve sleep quality. Many pregnant women experience pregnancy insomnia at some point during pregnancy. A pregnant woman can enjoy deeper and longer sleep when listening to music over a period, which helps with insomnia.

Preeclampsia treatment

Listening to music also helps pregnant women with preeclampsia. It works by reducing their blood pressure.

Labor stress

According to the research, listening to music during labor also helps to reduce stress and anxiety which is common before the labor.

Prenatal depression

Along with reducing labor stress, music also proves beneficial in reducing prenatal depression.

Labor pain

Many women found music effective in reducing labor pain. It reduces labor pain by keeping you relax.

Planned Cesarean Section

According to the studies, listening to music before a cesarean section helps women to deal with the stress and anxiety before they start surgery.

It is also suggested that music can help to increase birth satisfaction and the experience of planned cesarean section.

Prevent PND

Good mental well-being is quite essential for pregnant women. It is especially important during the third trimester. Sound mental well-being helps to prevent low mood and mental disorders after childbirth.

The studies also suggest that listening to music during the third trimester helps women to reduce the chances of postnatal depression (PND).

Can Music Stimulate Baby’s Brain Development?

According to the studies, music is not that important for your baby's hearing and brain development. Mainly it is the sound, not the music that contributes to the infant's brain development.

Inside a womb, many organs of yours become the source of sound for your baby. Your voice is another source of hearing for your baby. The voice of the mother especially helps the baby to build up an emotional relationship or connection with you.

Sounds including surrounding voice, music, your heartbeat, and the gurgle of your stomach collectively contribute to the improvement of hearing and the baby's brain development.

So, it becomes clear that music is just a way of contributing to your baby's hearing improvement.

Some studies also suggest that babies can move as a reaction when they hear sound. But there is not any research or clear information about their movement. It is quite complicated to examine babies inside the womb.

Does Playing Music Make My Baby Smarter?

It's an amazing thing to enjoy the music with your baby during pregnancy. But, it does not make your baby smart. Some research shows that unborn babies do have the ability to recognize the same sounds after they are born.

According to one research study, babies whose mothers play melodic versions of twinkle twinkle little stars continuously during the third trimester can recognize this sound even after their birth.

But there is no study to prove the fact that listening to music in the womb can make your baby smarter.

mom's partner playing xylophone for baby

According to the above research, listening to music in the womb can make your baby remember some sounds. But it cannot make him smarter.

However, some studies show that music does improve the mathematical skills of older kids. Kids can understand three-dimensional space concepts with the help of music.

In contrast with this study, some experts believe that music can also help babies and even unborn babies in learning. But there is no evidence to support this fact.

How Can You Use Music to Soothe Your Baby to Help her Sleep?

Music can also help make your baby sleep. Sleep has many health benefits. Playing music helps to develop a relaxing and soothing environment. If you want to pick the perfect music for your baby to sleep, then you should choose soft, calming, and gentle music.

A familiar sound is also important so the music must be played repetitively. This creates a comforting environment for your baby to go into a deep and peaceful sleep.

You can also sing lullabies for your baby. Your voice is familiar to your baby and there has an emotional connection. It will calm your baby and helps her/him to sleep.

pregnant mom singing on microphone

Is Loud Music Safe During Pregnancy?

Listening to music on normal days at a very high frequency is not good for your health and when you are pregnant it is surely not a good idea.

Playing extremely loud music during pregnancy can be harmful to both you the mother, and the baby. That is why playing music at a moderate level is recommended for your baby.

Many women directly put headphones on their bellies. This is very dangerous for your baby. The sound waves that pass through the amniotic fluid and can rise to a harmful level. This can damage your baby's delicate ears.

You should avoid listening to very loud music. If you listen to music regularly, keep the volume below 50 dB. Otherwise, you can also raise the volume to a maximum of 65 dB. These are the safest level for both of you.

Final thoughts

Listening to music during pregnancy brings a bundle of advantages for you and your unborn child. You only need to select the soft one and keep the volume at the safest level to enjoy the healthy benefits of music.


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