Pre-Natal Development and Sound Therapy
Sound is the first sense to develop fully. The foetus'
ear is ready
to perceive sound at 4½ months. The baby listens to its
mother's heartbeat, respiration and digestive sounds. Sound Therapy
pioneer Dr Tomatis believes that the baby can also hear the
mother's voice and becomes familiar with this sound before birth.
Tomatis discovered that, due to the how embryonic ear develops, the
first sounds heard in utero are high frequency sounds (above 8,000
Effects on the expectant
Listening to Sound Therapy during pregnancy soothes the whole body,
promoting better sleep, reduced stress, and more energy.
When the expectant mother listens to Sound Therapy during her
pregnancy, the benefits which she receives are passed on to the
foetus. This is because the effects of Sound Therapy are
passed throughout the whole body, as the ear is connected to the
vital pneumogastric (Vagus) nerve.
To obtain maximum benefit from Sound Therapy,
it is recommended that a pregnant woman should listen to
Sound Therapy for 3 hours a day throughout her pregnancy.
Listening to Sound Therapy can be done during other activities, so
does not require time to be set aside just for listening.
Learn more about how to use Sound Therapy.
Effects on the infant after birth
Dr Tomatis says the sound of the mother's voice with its familiar
tone and rhythm is what provides continuity between the pre-natal and
post-natal worlds. The infant is particularly accustomed to the high
frequency sounds of the voice as heard in the womb, and therefore has
an immediate response of feeling reassured when presented with high
frequency sounds filtered to a similar level.
When a child has been born to a mother
who has been listening
regularly to Sound Therapy, placing the headphones on the baby's ears straight after birth will cause the newborn to immediately stop
crying, feeling relieved of the sudden isolation and
Babies of mothers who listened to Sound Therapy during pregnancy:
- show a distinct lack of tension and anxiety as they grow;
- have an inner peacefulness about them and are less reactive,
making them easy to manage;
- feel secure in their relationship with their mother and will go
easily to other people; and
- have a natural appreciation for classical music and can continue
to benefit from its healing properties.
Studies have shown that children exposed to classical music before
birth are more intelligent. [See "Importance of Prenatal Sound and Music"]
It is also beneficial for children to listen to Sound Therapy
as they grow and it facilitates their development of
communication and languages skills.
In 1989, an article by Tim Gilmor was published
in the Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health which explained
how the Tomatis method assists in the development of listening,
language and communication skills pre- and post-natally.
Simone Carot Collins, mother of two
"I listened to Sound Therapy during the 2nd half of my first
pregnancy, and throughout my second one. Both pregnancies went
smoothly, especially the second, where I worked up until the week
before the birth.
"Both my girls are very quiet and placid. I've had complete strangers
come up to me when we are out and about and complement me on how
well behaved they are. My father has also commented that when he
takes my niece to the shops with him, she runs around wanting to look
at and touch everything, whereas mine will sit quietly in the
"I have also had other mothers of children the same ages as mine
express surprise at how my girls have been able to sit quietly and
amuse themselves from a very young age.
"The other thing that has struck me is how musical they both are.
We had a friend over for dinner when Ariana was 5 months old, and
had some music on in the background. We sat Ariana in her new
high chair at the table with us so she could be a part of our
gathering, and she immediately started hitting one hand on the tray,
perfectly in time with the music! And little Eva dances to anything
vaguely resembling music. When we go to the shops, she starts
bopping along as we pass shops that have music playing in them. They
are both very alert to music."