What is prenatal singing?

Qu’est-ce que le chant prénatal ?

Singing! Yes, of course! It's as much a part of life as walking, running, dancing...

All civilizations have sung. But it wasn't until the twentieth century that it became possible to live without singing. When you can listen to the best singers on all kinds of media, when singing becomes a simple activity, it's possible to get to the point where you never sing at all; sometimes because you don't allow yourself to, sometimes because no one sings around you.

Being pregnant, becoming a parent, is an opportunity to ask ourselves tons of questions. What do we want to pass on to this baby-to-be? What kind of cocoon should we weave around him or her during pregnancy?

What are the benefits of prenatal singing?

Prenatal singing has been on the rise since 1975, when it was first introduced in Paris. It is now associated with birth preparations, but is not always offered by midwives. It develops certain specific themes:

  • Well-being throughout pregnancy: there's no specific time to start. As mentioned above, singing is part of life, and there are no contraindications! A prenatal singing workshop can therefore bring together women who are a few weeks pregnant, women who are close to giving birth and even new mothers with their babies, not forgetting their spouses, who have their rightful place in the group. Exercises are designed to accompany the constant changes in the body, to explore, familiarize and appropriate these sensations. They help you to feel good, to create new points of reference, to come to terms with everything that's new, while connecting with your own little inhabitant. Each person does things at her own pace, but the suggestions are varied and dynamic: seeking stability via the center of gravity, mobilizing the feet, legs and pelvis; supporting the weight of the abdomen with the uterus, surrounding the baby; exercising the support of the breath... Singing is practiced on the exhale, in complete harmony with the respirations of classical preparations.
  • Another richness of vocal practice is vibration: as soon as a sound is emitted, it spreads throughout the body and reaches the baby. It's a veritable micro-massage that touches absolutely everything, the bones being the great transmitters enabling this general internal diffusion. Sound and vibration also arrive externally, through the baby's own voice and those of others, but the mother's voice is perceived three times as much by the baby. That's why it's so important for a pregnant woman to sing.

The hormonal system and singing?

Let's deal with this sensitive subject right away: singing in tune. Who cares? What's important is to emit a variety of sounds, because each frequency/note affects the body differently. Going low, going high, exploiting all the richness of your voice helps create these micro-massages. Precisely, when you're pregnant, your voice is more extended. Yes, yes... The voice is linked to our hormonal system, which is very much involved in pregnancy and childbirth, to say the least. In fact, singing while you're pregnant is a gift you give yourself and your baby. And since it's easier because of this hormonal support, it would be really sad to do without it.

Prenatal singing during childbirth?

During labor, the sounds emitted can be very low-pitched, which is very special at this time. These unusual frequencies vibrate directly in the pelvis, helping to accompany contractions: the vibrations prevent tension, and the fact that the sound is emitted encourages breath management. The repetition of these low-pitched sounds helps to "let go" of the neo-cortex, that part of the brain which is very useful for thinking and analyzing, but which is best left to one side during childbirth. The vibrations also accompany and support the baby as it progresses towards the exit.

In this way, childbirth is supported by sound. Songs are for afterwards. During pregnancy, a whole repertoire of songs is offered (which can be enriched individually by each person, rediscovering the songs of their childhood). These are specific songs about pregnancy, aimed at the baby. Rond, mon ventre est rond, tel une caresse, rond mon ventre est rond, je te berce (Round, Odile Rami). There are also a number of lullabies and tender, poetic songs...

Prenatal singing for bonding?

The newborn baby is delighted to find these songs that link him to his intra-uterine experience. When he's present in the group, it's a chance to watch his gestures, mimics and reactions as we sing.

For the mother, returning to the singing workshop after the birth, in the same group, enables her to stay connected to the others, who are always very supportive, and to take advantage of this bridge between before and after, which is often lacking and leaves young mothers sometimes a little isolated. Singing songs to your baby, and finding the one he or she prefers, is a way of rediscovering an ancestral means of communication that is so strong, and which can prove to be a great support in the more difficult moments of crying, for example. And if it doesn't calm the baby, singing will do the mother a world of good!

Who is Marie-Laure Potel, the author of this article?

I often say that I was lucky enough to do pre-natal singing! In fact, as a young pianist, I started accompanying workshops led by a midwife. It was a complete discovery. I didn't even really know what a midwife did. To find myself in the middle of a group of "fatties": what a thrill. What a revelation... What luck too. A few years later, when it was my turn to become pregnant, I was enriched by all these discoveries. Since then, I've had the joy and privilege of passing them on to others.

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The information contained in the articles on www-elia-lingerie.com is general information only. Although reviewed by health professionals, this information is not error-free, does not constitute health advice or consultation, and is not intended to provide a diagnosis or suggest a course of treatment. Under no circumstances may this information be used as a substitute for medical advice or consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have any questions, please consult your doctor.