Myth or reality: the Mozart Effect

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If you have thought about putting music to your baby during pregnancy, you need to know what science says about it

Myth or reality: the Mozart Effect

All parents want their baby's development during pregnancy to be the best, from nutrition and medical care to the so-called prenatal stimulation, where music is included as one of the essential components of it. As in other branches of pregnancy, in prenatal stimulation, there are many myths and realities that you should not overlook to make the most of the resources at your disposal.

Leer en español: Mito o realidad: el Efecto Mozart

Mozart theories abound, studies for and against, the type of music that the fetus must listen to, among other claims coming from scientists and non-scientists that have contributed to the growth of the prenatal music industry exponentially, especially with the sale of millions of discs, headphones, and therapies created for this purpose. Therefore, we have found some myths about prenatal music that could give you an overview of what you can do during pregnancy.


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The Mozart effect

This is the central theme when talking about prenatal music, the so-called "Mozart effect," applied by millions of parents around the world to stimulate the baby in the womb. According to the newspaper Siglo de Durango, parents believe that their children will have higher intelligence if they are subjected to music sessions by the Austrian composer. The Mozart effect has people from all areas of science for and against it, as well as studies that support it or that, qualify it as a fraud. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was undoubtedly a genius, so the construction of his music is just as high. Much of his success as a composer is due to the canons of classical music that are present in his work, namely: symmetry, simplicity, composition, transparent structure, harmonic cleanliness, lightness of musical themes, etc. that make it relatively easy to listen to music, not interpreting it.



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What does science say?

As there are those who support and who do not, there are studies for and against prenatal music. El País newspaper cites a 2015 study done by the Institut Marquès de Barcelona, Spain. In it, the investigators affirmed that as of week 15 of gestation the fetus could respond to musical stimuli. The big difference compared to other studies is that it states that it should not be stimulated from the abdominal wall of the mother, as is commonly done, since it is formed by several layers, thick, which prevent the sound from reaching the fetus, ensure that only There comes a distant murmur that can not really be perceived, at least not as parents believe.


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Spanish researchers point out that for the fetus to receive musical stimuli with better definition, it has to be done through the vagina, using a device they designed called Babypod, which, regardless of the volume of what is reproduced, reduces it to 54 db. The scientists did the test with three groups of pregnant women, where a group used music in the traditional way, that is to say with hearing aids in the womb; the second group did it with the Babypod and the third group with vibrations through the vagina. Of the three groups, only the Babypod reacted to the stimuli.



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For his part, Dr. José Ramón Fernández, pediatrician of neonatology at the General University Hospital Santa Lucia in Cartagena, Spain, told the Spanish newspaper El Periódico that what they said in Barcelona is not so simple. Fernandez says there is a whole industry behind the prenatal stimulation that makes scientists fall in the game of the market. He also adds that exposing the fetus to too strong auditory stimuli can even be dangerous. The doctor refers to a study that shows a higher incidence of deafness in fetuses exposed to high noise levels, not only those exposed to music at high volume but also mothers working in airports or factories. The doctor is on the side of creating natural bonds between the mother and the baby, such as talking to them and leaving the other stimuli for when they were born and had a better perception of what is happening around them.



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LatinAmerican Post | Luis Ángel Hernández Liborio

Translated from: "Mito o realidad: el efecto Mozart"

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