Thanks @OpenSkyFitness and @HowtoChow for the great @bellybuds staff workout today!

On April 27, 2011, in Blog, Tweet, by Bellybuds

If you or your company are near the Miracle Mile are of Los Angeles, I highly recommend Rob Dionne’s outdoor Lunch Crunch workout held on the beautiful grounds of the La Brea Tar Pits.


Guest Column: Prenatal bonding gives babies healthy start

On April 27, 2011, in Blog, Research, by Bellybuds
By Kathleen Kurtz
Posted Apr 16, 2011 @ 12:02 AM
We all know that what happens in the unborn baby’s environment is influential for a lifetime. Good prenatal care that includes eating nutritious foods, seeking early prenatal care, reducing stress, and eliminating drugs and alcohol is critical. However, there’s more that parents can do to give their child a head start during this period of incredible growth and development. We now know that strong parent-infant attachment is the best way to ensure the healthy intellectual, emotional and physical growth of a child.   When there is a healthy attachment between baby and parents, the baby comes to believe that the world is a safe place. 

Many people may find this surprising, but before a baby is even born, his brain will be fairly well developed. Research shows that a large amount of brain development actually happens before birth. Because of this, a healthy pregnancy, good prenatal care and strong parent-child attachment are the best foundation that a parent can give a child.

From our work with teenage parents we recognize the benefits of parents interacting with their unborn baby from the very beginning of their pregnancy. Our Doulas (birth support partners) provide activities to teen parents throughout the pregnancy that involve some form of stimulation for the unborn baby. Thus begins the process of connecting and bonding between the parents and their baby. Parents are encouraged and supported to:

Talk, read and sing to their unborn baby. Many studies now confirm that voices reach the womb. A mother’s voice is especially powerful because it is transmitted to the baby through her own body, reaching the baby in a stronger form than outside sounds.

Play music. Studies show that babies react in utero to music, especially drumbeats.

Provide a soothing touch. Mothers can often be seen caressing their unborn babies. Unborn babies can be calmed by their mother’s touch.

Play flashlight tag. This involves shining a light on the mother’s belly and watching the baby move to the source of the intense light. In utero, eyelids remain closed until about the 26th week. However, the fetus is sensitive to light and will respond.

Create a peaceful environment. Sounds from the outside do reach the baby. Parents are encouraged to avoid unpleasant and loud noises when possible to create a relaxing environment for their baby.

Parenting is the most important task in life. Parents need to learn all they can to make sure infants are given the best chance to develop and learn.   Efforts to promote secure, sensitive and enriching relationships between parents and their children will lay the foundation for lifelong learning.

Kathleen Kurtz is program manager of the Easter Seals Children’s Development Center.


Babies’ Language Learning Starts From The Womb

On April 20, 2011, in Blog, Research, by Bellybuds


ScienceDaily (Nov. 5, 2009) — From their very first days, newborns’ cries already bear the mark of the language their parents speak, reveals a new study published online in Current Biology. The findings suggest that infants begin picking up elements of what will be their first language in the womb, and certainly long before their first babble or coo.

“The dramatic finding of this study is that not only are human neonates capable of producing different cry melodies, but they prefer to produce those melody patterns that are typical for the ambient language they have heard during their fetal life, within the last trimester of gestation,” said Kathleen Wermke of the University of Würzburg in Germany. “Contrary to orthodox interpretations, these data support the importance of human infants’ crying for seeding language development.”

Human fetuses are able to memorize sounds from the external world by the last trimester of pregnancy, with a particular sensitivity to melody contour in both music and language, earlier studies showed. Newborns prefer their mother’s voice over other voices and perceive the emotional content of messages conveyed via intonation contours in maternal speech (a.k.a. “motherese”). Their perceptual preference for the surrounding language and their ability to distinguish between different languages and pitch changes are based primarily on melody.

Although prenatal exposure to native language was known to influence newborns’ perception, scientists had thought that the surrounding language affected sound production much later, the researchers said. It now appears that isn’t so.

Wermke’s team recorded and analyzed the cries of 60 healthy newborns, 30 born into French-speaking families and 30 born into German-speaking families, when they were three to five days old. That analysis revealed clear differences in the shape of the newborns’ cry melodies, based on their mother tongue.

Specifically, French newborns tend to cry with a rising melody contour, whereas German newborns seem to prefer a falling melody contour in their crying. Those patterns are consistent with characteristic differences between the two languages, Wermke said.

The new data show an extremely early impact of native language, the researchers say. Earlier studies of vocal imitation had shown that infants can match vowel sounds presented to them by adult speakers, but only from 12 weeks on. That skill depends on vocal control that just isn’t physically possible much earlier, the researchers explain.

“Imitation of melody contour, in contrast, is merely predicated upon well-coordinated respiratory-laryngeal mechanisms and is not constrained by articulatory immaturity,” they write. “Newborns are probably highly motivated to imitate their mother’s behavior in order to attract her and hence to foster bonding. Because melody contour may be the only aspect of their mother’s speech that newborns are able to imitate, this might explain why we found melody contour imitation at that early age.”

The researchers include Birgit Mampe, University of Wurzburg, Wurzburg, Germany; Angela D. Friederici, Max-Planck-Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany; Anne Christophe, Ecole Normale Superieure/CNRS, Paris, France; and Kathleen Wermke, University of Wurzburg, Wurzburg, Germany.



Bellybuds You-tube video goes viral!

On April 8, 2011, in Blog, Video, by Bellybuds

Pregnant woman’s video about Belly Buds music-to-the-womb headphones

By Paula Mooney |

The video above has gone viral, all because the woman talks about Bellybuds, which are called pregnancy “Bellyphones” - headphones that let parents-to-be play prenatal music and Voices to the Womb…

Read full article here!

Watch the video here!


Dear Bellybuds, We use them everyday! -Kevin and Steffiana James. Glad you are enjoying them! Congrats!

On April 8, 2011, in Blog, Reviews, Tweet, by Bellybuds


You’re welcome!  We’re glad you’re enjoying Bellybuds!

Have a happy and healthy pregnancy!


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