This has to be the most direct way to introduce your kid-to-be to good music.
Women have been putting headphones on their pregnant bellies for years, or singing to their unborn child, in the hopes of making their baby-to-be smarter or accustomed to music or the sound of their voice. But why do that when technology can do it better?
According to Babypod.net, a fetus develops the sense of hearing at just 16 weeks of development, and new research from Institut Marquès suggests a fetus can respond to musical stimuli at the same point.
Of course, singing or music from headphones isn’t going directly into the unborn child’s little ear buds but is, instead, scattered around, filtered through amniotic fluids, blood vessels, skin, etc. So Babypod has decided to cut out most of that middle ground and get up close and personal with both mom and baby: The company has developed a speaker designed to be placed in a woman’s vagina to allow the fetus to hear music with the same clarity as someone not in a womb.
A speaker. In her ladyparts. For real.
“By placing a speaker inside the vagina, we overcome the barrier formed by the abdominal wall and the baby can hear sounds with almost as much intensity and clarity as when emitted,” the company says on its website.
It even provides a nifty little diagram:
The company, with a tagline of “Music is Life,” conducted some research in support of its new speaker system, playing music through a headset at 98.6 decibels, or the sound of a lawn mower, and using its Babypod at a level of 54 decibels, or the sound level of ambient music or a hushed conversation. The fetus showed no reaction to the louder, external music but use of the Babypod seems to have triggered some kind of response (the company didn’t provide specific details on that, saying instead “Only from within can we stimulate babies; music provokes and encourages their response.”)
The silicone speaker—which is pink, of course—is described as a “small intravaginal device,” which allows for the “strongest bond” to start “through music and inside the belly. It will be the first shared experience between a mother and her baby and the child’s first musical and learning experience.” Babypod is also, apparently, “scientifically guaranteed,” having been tested by and approved by the Institute Marquès. Doctors there report seeing fetuses “react with body and/or mouth and tongue movements,” noting that the reaction is different ever time but occurs in both sexes and in twins.
Want one? It’ll run you just under $200 and can be purchased from the Babypod website. Or keep singing to your kid-to-be, which will cost you nothing and won’t require putting a speaker in your ladyparts.
[Question: If you were to buy one of these things, what kind of music would YOU pump up there? – .Ed]