"Music in Utero: The Smile of the Unborn"
  • Except from an article by Chuck Colson:

    A segment of The Music Instinct featured Sheila C. Woodward of the University of Southern California, who has studied fetal responses to music. A camera and a microphone designed for underwater use were inserted into the uterus of a pregnant woman. And then Woodward sang.

    The hydrophone picked up two sounds: the “whooshing” of the uterine artery and the unmistakable sound of a woman singing a lullaby.

    Then something extraordinary happened. Upon hearing the woman’s voice, the unborn child smiled.

    It was one of those moments that makes you catch your breath. The full humanity of the fetus could not have been clearer if he had turned to the camera and winked.

    Apparently, fetal responses to music aren’t limited to smiling. They have been observed moving their hands in response to music, almost as if conducting. They have been soothed by Vivaldi and disturbed by loud tracks from Beethoven. They have even responded “rhythmically to rhythms tapped on [their] mother’s belly.”

    Full article: http://www.crosswalk.com/news/commentary/11605346/
  • Thank you for this. It brought me to tears, here at work on my coffee break.
  • Pes
    Posts: 623
    Someone, please YouTube that segment from the show.
  • Blaise
    Posts: 439
    The most glorious and slendid thing I've read the last two weeks, especially with all the bad news that is being propogated these days. Thanks for sharing.
  • JennyJenny
    Posts: 147
    Thank you for this, Aristotle. As a mother, I always believed that my preborn children could hear me when I sang or spoke to them. Now, just like with the relics of St. Paul, science has proved what faithful hearts have always believed.
  • Flambeaux
    Posts: 45
    Good news, since we're expecting again. I'll crank up the good stuff around the house. :D
  • Absolutely spectacular!
    And congrats to the Flambeaux family!
  • WOW. That is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing!
  • I LOVE this!
    My three boys have had to endure lots of mom singing. Our second son, Isaac, was two days old and couldn't be consoled with a battery of lullabies. I thought about what I was rehearsing most in the few months before his birth, and chose to sing (down a fourth or so because we were still in the hospital) the first aria from Cantata 51. Incredibly energetic, and with pouring, lovely melismas, this piece is the antithesis of a lullaby. But Isaac stopped his hollering- it set him at ease instantly. All I can guess is that he really recognized it, and liked it.

    Really neat- thanks for posting, Aristotle. :)
  • By far, the most important sounds a baby hears from within the womb are his or her parent’s voices. The second most important sound is music! While spoken language can take more than a year to develop, playing music is one of the earliest things parents can do with their children to help them get a head start on learning. Your baby’s education doesn’t just begin at birth. In fact, it should begin in the womb. For generations, parents and experts have known about the wonderful benefits of playing music to developing babies in the womb. While in this “perfect classroom” a baby learns to recognize and respond to different stimuli. For an unborn infant, music also prepares the ear and brain to listen, and to integrate and produce language sounds. On-going research of the effects of prenatal music stimulation on learning has been in progress for decades, and is considered the foundation for reading, writing and arithmetic. Plus, familiar music captures the attention of infants after birth and relaxes them, particularly when they are cranky, over tired or feverish. - www.lullabelly.com