How listening to music during pregnancy can reduce prenatal stress
Ditch the pint of Ben and Jerry’s and late night binge watching of Gilmore Girls on Netflix. What do pregnant mothers really need to reduce the stresses and anxiety that comes with pregnancy? Simple. Hammerstein said it best, “the hills are alive with the sounds of music.”
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing found music significantly reduced the stress and anxiety that women may experience during pregnancy. In this study, 236 pregnant women listened to music for 30 minutes a day for two weeks. The trial study acquired participants that were in their third trimester and came from similar backgrounds in regards to marital happiness, education and occupation.
The participant group that received CD’s could choose between nature sounds, lullabies and classical music. The most popular times to play music included their down time or while doing house hold chores. The half that did not receive CD’s received the same routine prenatal care as the half that received CD’s. Pregnant mothers in the CD group noticed a significant drop in stress, anxiety and depression from their test scores. The control group had very little progress reducing their stress levels. This resulted in a significant difference after the two-week music therapy study. Listening to the right music provides a cost-effective and non-invasive way to reduce stress and can result in a healthier pregnancy.
Studies have shown extremely high levels of stress during pregnancy may contribute to an increased risk of premature delivery, possible low birth weight and an increased behavioral problem after your child is born. An article published by World Medical News from a professor at Imperial College states,
“Prenatal stress hugely grows the likelihood of a child having attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, cognitive delay, anxiousness and depression. Stressed mothers also produce babies with lower birth weight, which can be an indicator for coronary heart condition in later life.”
If a pregnant mother is experiencing anxiety or stress for long periods of time, her unborn child is exposed to increased levels of cortisol (the stress hormone). It is not only what you consume in your body that can affect your baby, but your emotional state as well.
Music does not only help reduce the stress of pregnant mothers, but also helps create a bonding experience between mom and baby, enhance neuron connectivity of your unborn infant’s growing brain and improve sleep patterns for newborns.
Dr. Oz even stated, “We encourage moms-to-be to listen to all kinds of music during and after pregnancy. This will help stimulate baby’s senses and improve his/her brain development. Exposure to different sounds and scenes is essentially what helps establish connections from one set of neurons-the nerve cells of the brain-to another. This is how we all learn.”
So remember, the next time you are stressed, overwhelmed or lack the inability to stay calm; just press play. The benefits of this simple exercise can bring health benefits to you and long term benefits for your little one.