“Babypod is safe.” – Dr. Leonardo Marquès
Babypod in the ultrasound scan sessions
During foetal morphology scans, Babypod allows us to induce movements of the trunk, head and limbs in 90% of foetuses and to easily assess the structures that had been hidden when the foetus was still. This ability to induce foetal movement during ultrasounds reduces examination time and prevents the need for repeat ultrasounds.
In ultrasounds with Babypod, intravaginal music induces facial movements and opening of the mouth in almost 90% of foetuses, and sticking out of the tongue in 50%, which lets us obtain incredible images in under 15 minutes.
We have included a series of recommendations to make Babypod quick and easy for professionals to use during ultrasound sessions. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOR USE FROM THE 16TH WEEK OF PREGNANCY
Foetal activation with Babypod has been demonstrated from the 16th week of pregnancy, and the intensity and complexity of the foetal movements increase as the pregnancy progresses.
BABYPOD IS NOT A MEDICAL DEVICE
As Babypod is NOT a medical device, it can be inserted into the vagina before the ultrasound by the healthcare staff or by the patient herself.
BABYPOD IS REUSABLE
Babypod is reusable through the use of a condom, in the same way as a vaginal ultrasound probe. Using a condom does not change the intensity of the music. We recommend fully unrolling the condom to cover the majority of the connection cable.
EASY TO INSERT AND REMOVE
Babypod is small in size and ergonomic in shape, which allows it to be inserted smoothly into the middle third of the vagina. The connection cable lets us know that the speaker is well positioned and allows the device to be easily removed by pulling on it.
We can use any melody or voice during Babypod ultrasounds; even so, we recommend using songs that are available on our playlist to obtain a high level of foetal response.
Once the Babypod is connected to the music device (iPod, mobile, etc.), the volume must be turned up to the highest setting; this will allow us to reach optimal intensity (always below 60 decibels).
Foetal vocalisation movements can be clearly seen in 2D ultrasounds using sagittal planes of the mouth. This lets us visualise movements of the tongue inside the mouth, as well as sticking out of the tongue. 3D/4D ultrasounds provide us with panoramic images of the foetus’ face and allow us to assess all the details of facial expression during vocalisation movements. Movements usually start within the first 5-10 minutes of musical stimulation, although it varies greatly. Each foetus responds differently, and the same foetus may even have different reactions to the same music; it is not a reflex, but rather a response. As such, it depends on multiple factors such as phase of sleep or blood sugar levels.
EASY TO CLEAN
Once the condom has been removed, the device and the connection cable can be cleaned with a damp cloth. The cap of the speaker can be easily removed and washed with soap and water if necessary.
After testing hundreds of pregnant women, Institut Marquès gynaecologists obtained the following results:
- Music applied vaginally (using Babypod) generates a response consisting of mouth and tongue movements by the foetus. These are vocalization movements similar to those made by young babies to emit sounds when learning to talk.
- Music applied abdominally does not generate any response in babies, so presumably they do not hear it.
- Vaginal vibration generates no response; the noise does not generate a reaction from the baby.
- 87% of babies react to music streamed vaginally with body and head movements. In addition, they open and close their mouths, stick out their tongues and gesticulate. It is a discovery never seen before. Music therefore stimulates communication circuits, vocalization and learning in babies, generating in them a communication reaction.
- It has been disclosed that the foetus can hear from the 16th week of gestation, when so far this had only been confirmed from week 26.
- The responde to music is different for each baby while a single baby presents different reactions each time the music is played. Babies also have different responses depending on the type of music they listen to.
- This is not a reflex reaction, movements start when the music starts and stop when it stops.
- It is the music that generates a communication response in the baby, not the noise. When vibration is applied vaginally at 68 decibels (similar to a high-pitched conversation), the baby does not respond.
- The responses are more elaborate as the pregnancy progresses; the number of times babies stick out their tongues increases during pregnancy.
Furthermore, this discovery is a breakthrough for the sonographer, since foetal movements allow you to see the baby more clearly and the time taken in performing the scan is shortened. In addition, the different reaction of the baby in each scan is a surprise for the parents, who leave each appointment both pleased and excited.
What is the greatest discovery from this study? Why do babies react in this way? Why do they stick their tongues out and gesture in a way never seen before?
This response by infants is a direct consequence of their neuronal activity, caused by the music in different parts of the brain in humans.
Until now, thanks to various medical research studies, it was known that music acts on a nucleus of neurons in the cerebral cortex, the nucleus accumbens. This is why when we listen to music, we have feelings of wellbeing and pleasant feelings associated with our memories. The nucleus accumbens also makes music produce pleasure. However, in the case of babies, it is not the nucleus accumbens which causes the reaction, since this is not yet fully developed or is functional at 16 weeks of gestation.
What is activated with music vaginally is another very primitive group of neurons, located in the brainstem. These neurons stimulate vocalization, language and therefore learning and communication in babies. That is, through the use of music and with the help of Babypod, babies learn to communicate from the womb.
When receiving sound, the cells of this brainstem centre detect whether the sound is harmonic are dissonant. If associated with music, they are stimulated and set up a reaction, activating their connections with the cranial nerves, such as the trigeminal, the facial, the hypoglossal nerves, etc. These are the nerves that move the mouth, jaw and tongue to enable vocalization movements, the step prior to language.
Dissonant noises or sounds do not activate these circuits of neurons.
When receiving a sound stimulus, the brain cells are activated and set up a circuit resulting in the baby’s vocalization movements.
Why do we say that Babypod stimulates language and communication in the unborn? We can answer that question with another question: what do babies do when trying to make sounds? They open and close their mouths, stick out their tongues … just like unborn babies when they hear music through Babypod. It is the attempt of speaking, such an attempt, thanks to Babypod, can be stimulated from the womb.
Babies begin to vocalize spontaneously in response to the sounds they hear, they begin to explore the register of their voices. The more voices and music heard, the more variations of rhythm and tone are likely to be included in their vocalizations. We want to provide babies with the benefits of music from before birth.
Babypod’s possible medical uses
Babypod can open new lines of research on fetal hearing and deafness. If the baby responds to music, this means that there are no hearing problems, however, failure to respond to the music during the scan does not mean they do not hear, the baby may respond in another. The reaction depends on the activity of these neurons at that time. Adults also respond differently to the same music.
- Increased efficiency and speed of scans. The baby’s movements provide the ability to view all of their anatomies.
- Sharing relaxing moments with your baby reduces stress in the mother. It is especially recommended for women with high levels of anxiety and in cases of babies with intrauterine growth retardation.
- It allows the mother to verify the foetus well-being when she doesn’t feel it, which can cause her anxiety.
Previous studies with Babypod
Scientific commitee – Lines of research
Babypod research continues in the area of foetal hearing, as well as its possible benefits in prenatal neurological development. The professionals who make up our scientific committee evaluate the rigor and excellence of the different lines of research that we are developing.
Prof. Bargallo, Nuria
Fetal brain fMRI under vaginal music stimulation.
Dr. Beattie, Bryan
Fetal ultrasound under vaginal music stimulation.
Prof. Bernal, Manuel
Fetal audition, screening on fetal deafness.
Dr. Garcia-Faura, Alex
Scientific Board Director.
Prof. Jauset, Jordi A.
Effects of music on brain development.
Dra. Lopez-Teijón, Marisa
General Manager, new projects development, fundraising.
Dra. Moffa, Federica
Human embryo implantation under vaginal music simulation.
Milano, Italy – Barcelona, Spain
Prof. Perani, Daniela
Functional Maps of Fetal Brain Activity under music stimulation.
Mr. Peret, Toni
Fetal response to music styles, music deconstrution.
Prof. Prat-Galino, Alberto
Fetal brain pathways activation under vaginal music stimulation.