Scientists believe that unborn babies can respond to the sound and rhythm of music as early as 16 weeks in the womb.

A bizarre new device is being marketed to mothers who want to introduce music to their unborn babies at this early stage. The Guardian reports that a Spanish company is advertising a vaginal speaker that they say will allow mothers to play music in the womb to stimulate their unborn baby’s development.

Babypod describes its odd product this way: “Babies learn to speak in response to sound stimuli, especially melodic sound. Babypod is a device that stimulates before birth through music. With Babypod, babies learn to vocalise from the womb.”

The company recommends its use beginning at 16 weeks of pregnancy, which is when unborn babies begin reacting to music, according to research. The device costs 150 euros (about $161) and is controlled by a phone app, the report states.

Though non-invasive speakers that fit around a pregnant woman’s stomach are already available, the company claims its product is more effective. Babypod referred to research from a gynecological clinic, the Institut Marquès, showing that the abdominal wall muffles sound and a baby’s ability to hear external noise clearly is “solely possible via the vagina,” according to the report.

The company advertised its product at Christmas when Eurovision song contest winner Soraya Arnelas sang Christmas carols to 10 pregnant women fitted with the speakers and their unborn babies, the report states. The event was deemed the “first concert for foetuses ever held in the world.”

“I’ve never been performing for such a young audience so for me, it’s a very special show!” Arnelas said at the concert.

The blog Her Family reports that the speakers also can help screen early for deafness and neurological issues.

“Aside from that, though, it’s a cool idea to know your unborn baby can listen to the same music as you and react in the womb,” blogger Sive O’Brien wrote.

Several mothers wrote testimonials on the company website about how their unborn babies reacted to the music.

“With the music, the baby seemed to be dancing, moving arms, legs and head. Marvelous.” one mother wrote.

Several studies have confirmed that unborn babies react to music as early as 16 weeks. In October, a new study showed that babies at 16-weeks fetal age and older respond to music by moving their tongue and mouth.

The Spanish study was published in “Ultrasound”, the journal of the British Medical Ultrasound Society (BMUS), and found that they responded to music transmitted intravaginally by opening their mouths “as if they were trying to speak or sing.” The researchers wrote: “This report explains that, beginning in week 16 of pregnancy, a response exists to music delivered intravaginally, expressed through specific movements of the mouth and tongue.”


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