Thanks for the great review of Bellybuds, @babyinthecity!

On July 20, 2011, in Blog, Reviews, by Bellybuds
Baby in the Big City
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 

I recently received a pregnancy product for review that I had never heard of until now. Bellybuds.

They are exactly what they sound like. “Buds” for your belly. Kinda like ear buds, but not. More like little, round, adhesive, speakers. They stick onto your belly so you can play music to your sweet unborn peanut. Bellybuds has done their research, you can read more here about the benefits of in-utero music listening.

It works like this: You provide the musical apparatus (i.e. ipod, cd player, walkman – anyone still use those?), and the bellybuds plug right into to any headphone hook-up. There is sticky stuff (medical grade, skin-safe, replaceable hydrogel) on the back so the buds stay in place. You can even wear bellybuds under your clothing while walking, shopping, at work etc.

Mostly I used the buds in the evenings, after my toddler went to bed. Otherwise he wanted to listen to them, he enjoyed having his own mini-speakers to hold. After he was in bed, I would get the bellybuds out, and lay in bed while reading a book, doing my daily Sudoku, or talking to my hubby. I would try to place one bud near baby’s head, and the other a little farther away, and would play music for half an hour or so (at a medium volume). Everything from Michael Jackson to Alexadre Desplat (composer), to Muse (the lighter stuff). A lot of times, the baby would move around, and sometimes not.

(this is a photo from their website, my belly has a few more stretch marks than hers. :) )

I have enjoyed using the bellybuds. I like that I can stimulate my baby’s brain before he is even outside the womb. I had previously tried to play music for him with regular headphones, but was never sure if he could actually hear it or not. With bellybuds, I know he can hear the music I am playing, plus it’s nice that they are hands-free. With regular headphones, I always had to hold them in place and definitely couldn’t have worn them out of the house. The buds always stuck in place, and the gel on the back of my buds is still sticky.

To check out this website and review click here. Thanks Lindsey!

 
 

Hi-tech vs. Old School

On July 12, 2011, in Blog, by Bellybuds

SmartPhone Apps are becoming outrageously popular these days. There seems to be an app for everything- from calling for a pizza to calling for a cab. Sure, it has all of its modern-day conveniences, but are there just some things you shouldn’t rely on a phone to do for you?

What about a phone application that doubles as your baby’s monitor…

Check out this innovative twist on the old monitor - would you trust it?

 

Have you ever considered taking “pregnancy photos”?

On July 7, 2011, in Blog, by Bellybuds

Ever since Demi Moore’s infamous Vanity Fair cover, pregnancy photos  seem to be all the rage these days, don’t they?

However, sometimes they don’t always turn out as glamorous as we’d like them to.

Check out this great site for a more memorable collection of photos!

 

Listening to music is not just great for baby- it helps mom too!

On July 6, 2011, in Blog, Research, by Bellybuds

Soothing Music Reduces Stress, Anxiety And Depression During Pregnancy

by Wiley Blackwell

Music therapy can reduce psychological stress among pregnant women, according to research just published in a special complementary and alternative therapy medicine issue of the UK-based Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Researchers from the College of Nursing at Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan, randomly assigned 116 pregnant women to a music group and 120 to a control group.

“The music group showed significant reductions in stress, anxiety and depression after just two weeks, using three established measurement scales” says Professor Chung-Hey Chen, who is now based at the National Cheng Kung University.

“In comparison, the control group showed a much smaller reduction in stress, while their anxiety and depression scores showed little or no improvement.

“Women in the music group also expressed preferences for the type of music they listened to, with lullabies, nature and crystal sounds proving more popular than classical music.”

The women who took part in the study had an average age of 30 years, were between 18 to 34 weeks’ pregnant and expected to have uncomplicated vaginal deliveries. All but five of the 241 women, who were recruited from the antenatal clinic at a medical centre in southern Taiwan, completed the pre and post-test assessments.

The demographic profiles of the two groups were very similar when it came to factors like education, occupation, social class and happiness with their marriage.

Half of the women were pregnant for the first time and just over half of the pregnancies were planned. The number of women in their second and third trimesters were more or less equal.

Four pre-recorded 30-minute music CDs were created for the study and each featured music that mimicked the human heart rate, with between 60 and 80 beats per minute.

The lullaby CD included songs like Brahms’ Lullaby and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and composers like Beethoven and Debussy were included on the classic CD. The nature sounds included Tropical Mystery and Friendly Natives and the crystals’ CD comprised Chinese children’s rhymes and songs, like Little Honey-Bee and Jasmine.

Women taking part in the music group were given copies of the CDs and asked to listen to them for 30 minutes a day for two weeks. They then completed a diary saying which CD they had listened to and what they were doing at the time.

Most of them listened to the music while they were resting, at bedtime or performing chores.

The control group did not listen to the CDs.

Participants in both groups were asked to complete three well-established scales, which are used to measure stress, anxiety and depression, before and after the music intervention.

The results showed that:

  • Before they took part in the study, women in the music group scored 17.44 on the Perceived Stress Scale, which ranges from zero to 30. After the intervention their stress levels had dropped by an average of 2.15, which is statistically significant. Women in the control group reported a much smaller fall of 0.92.
  • Anxiety was measured by the State Scale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, which ranges from 20 to 80. It fell by 2.13 from 37.92 in the music group and rose by 0.71 in the control group.
  • Depression was measured by the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression scale, which ranges from zero to 30. The music group reported an average level of 12.11 before the intervention and a reduction of 1.84 at the end of the two-week period. The score was almost constant in the control group, falling by an insignificant 0.03.
  • “Pregnancy is a unique and stressful period for many expectant mothers and they suffer anxiety and depression because of the long time period involved” says Professor Chen. “In fact, anxiety and depression during pregnancy is a similar health problem to postnatal depression.
  • “Any intervention that reduces these problems is to be welcomed. Our study shows that listening to suitable music provides a simple, cost-effective and non-invasive way of reducing stress, anxiety and depression during pregnancy.

“The value of music therapy is slowly being realised by nurses in a number of clinical settings and we hope that our findings will encourage healthcare professionals to consider it when treating pregnant women.”

Complementary and alternative therapies (CAM) are increasingly being used, according to Dr Graeme D Smith, Senior Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh and editor of the special October issue.

“There are many potential health benefits that can be gained from close integration of CAM therapies into nursing practice and conventional health care” he says. “In the UK, for example, approximately one in five people have tried at least one form of CAM and one in five family doctors are actively involved in providing them. It is also good to see that the National Health Service is incorporating more types of CAM as part of its delivery of integrated services.

“The beauty of the CAM technique described by Professor Chen is that patients saw immediate and significant benefits simply by including half an hours’ relaxing music into their daily routine. In a world of sophisticated medical advances, it is good to see that something so easy and inexpensive can be so effective.”

 

Great article on prenatal bonding!

On July 5, 2011, in Blog, Research, by Bellybuds

Bonding with Baby, During Pregnancy

by By Elizabeth Geiger

By nature, mothers are nurturers. From the moment of conception, a mother’s love will greatly influence her baby’s journey through life. As babies are conceived out of love, they need to be cared for and loved. Bonding with your baby doesn’t have to wait until birth. Mothers can bond with their baby throughout their pregnancy.

Babies need to have their most basic needs met. From their mothers’ body they receive the nourishment needed to grow and thrive outside the womb. Mothers must establish a healthy pregnancy lifestyle to make sure their baby is getting all he needs to be healthy at birth. This means having routine prenatal visits to your doctor or midwife, eating a healthy diet, and establishing a routine exercise program.

Mothers can connect with their unborn baby through touch and relaxation. When a woman massages her belly using both hands, hormones are released which relax the uterus. This in turn calms and relaxes the baby. This is one of the examples of baby “knows” how you are feeling. Try to be relaxed during pregnancy. Take time to pamper yourself. This will let your baby know that everything is alright, and that he is safe and secure.

Women tend to daydream about their babies during pregnancy. I like to call it meditation for connecting with baby. While sitting peacefully, and daydreaming about her baby, a woman almost creates a telepathic connection. This is how I felt while pregnant with my first daughter. We were making a mother-child bond. I would concentrate really hard on my baby. I would try to image her inside me; what she was doing, what she was thinking. She would then reward me with a kick, or a squirm to let me know she was alright. I can’t think of a more nurturing way to connect than through meditating or daydreaming.

Mothers can also connect with their baby through music. Babies like the rhythmic sounds of music, (like a heartbeat, or breathing), as it is very calming. If you put a tape player with headphones on your belly while lying down, and play a lullaby or classical music, most babies, in the third trimester, will respond by kicking or moving. A baby will also respond to his mother’s voice, whether you are humming or singing, your baby can hear you and knows you are with him.

Mothers and Fathers can both bond with their baby by nurturing their own relationship. After all, the baby was conceived out of love, and needs to feel that love throughout pregnancy and life. Continue dating your partner throughout pregnancy. Laugh with each other and don’t be afraid to make love. Most women are able to have sexual relations throughout pregnancy, but check with your doctor first to make sure you are not considered as having a “high risk” pregnancy. Nurturing your own relationship will ensure your baby will be born feeling loved and nurtured. The time you share together now will also help your relationship later when you face the many challenges as new parents. As a couple, you will enter into parenthood with open arms for your baby.

Elizabeth Geiger is the editor and founder of The Baby Corner website. She lives in New York With her husband Scott and two daughters, Cassi and Hannah.

 

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