How to hold down a full-time career, get a graduate degree, participate in a social/charity group, and grow a fetus in your uterus all at the same time. The working woman's guide to pregnancy.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Music to a Fetus' Ears

Someday, my child is going to be able to say that Lollapalooza 2006 was his or her first concert experience and the line-up was awesome (Stars, Eels, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kanye West, Violent Femmes, Lady Sovereign, Wilco, Death Cab for Cutie, and so on).

Of course, the zygote was just getting nice and implanted at the time...but it still counts, right?

But it did get me a little nervous when I started reading pregnancy books and Web sites, and I saw the warnings to try to avoid loud sounds, for example at a rock-and-roll concert. More no-no's that I was unaware of. And to think that I had been super proud of myself for not drinking that weekend, staying hydrated, and taking little cat naps on the grass when I needed them. Little did I know I was freaking out my new little zygote with great music!

I love going to concerts, but I've really had to cut back. Not just because of the loud sounds, but mostly because of the indoor smoky venues. So sad!

But what is the science that's behind the recommendation to avoid loud music? I looked and looked, but I couldn't find good information...just the general recommendation to avoid it. The Center for Prenatal and Perinatal Music has the following:

"How loud should the music be? Generally as loud as you would normally hear music in your home which is between 50 and 60 decibels. A decibel is how the intensity or loudness of sound is measured. Shouting is equivalent to the sound of a motorcycle at 100 decibels, and rock concerts have been measured to around 115 decibels. Loud music has been found to negatively affect the developing baby in several different ways, lower weight at birth, defects, and others. "

Furthermore, my hubby says that after the first trimester, little fetus might actually cover its ears to block out loud sounds. That image alone is enough to get me laughing... but not enough to stop me from singing random songs at the top of my lungs.

So, I apologize in advance to my new little baby if it has low birth-weight or something. It just goes to show, sometimes you have to suffer in order to rock!


eipwek said...

Ha ha! I was laughing out loud while I was reading this post. I have also scared myself with the whole noise thing....although I really don't have a clue if it's been scientifically proven that loud noises hurt baby in utero.

When I was about 6 or 8 weeks along, we went for a ride in our friend's new car that has a really bumpin' system. He and my hubby thought it would be hilarious to turn up the bass super loud and play some gangsta rap. It was the kind of bass that you can feel shaking your insides and I thought "This can't be good for the baby." They turned it down after I said something and I'm sure they both thought I was being stupid....but it freaked me out enough to try to research it on the net. My findings were pretty inconclusive too....but I would also like to apologize to my little sprout for the ghetto noise disturbance :) If it does cause anything, I wish I could say it was the result of Lollapalooza instead of a bunch of white nerds listening to bootie-shakin' music way too loud.

I'm sure our little rockers will be fine ;)

Samantha said...

I highly recommend "Birthing from Within" - it's the only book that didn't try to scare me during pregnancy.

Birth is wonderful. I loved pregnancy and labor. I've never felt more alive than during those transitions in my life.

rose said...

i will be so excited if your baby comes out singing "love me or hate me". i figure, at least she/he will have excellent taste in music. now, to start shopping for tiny hipster glasses....

Anonymous said...

I'm about to attend a cradle of filth concert of all things this is like a once in a lifetime opportunity it seems. But I'll be 7 months pregnant and I'm starting to worry I'll cause my kiddo to go deaf or something. Gonna ask my Dr on Thursday...

Anonymous said...

I am presently one of the freaking out mums. I am 23weeks and have just been to a gig. One of the bands was really loud particularly in the bass and drum area and I ended up moving to the back of the venue. I am absolutely petrified as there are so many anti noise articles.

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