By Susan Fierro-Baig
I recall my mother singing to me as a child. As an adult, my best -friend, taught me the importance of singing to one’s children. Through her added influence, I began to sing to my children nightly during my third pregnancy., further
During that pregnancy I also began the nightly tradition of the children rubbing oil on my growing belly, as well as giving me back and foot massages. I would then read to them and sing them to sleep. This was such a peaceful, loving, relaxing and spirit-filled way to end our day. This helped our children feel connected to the baby,(whose body they could see moving about in my womb.)
I have come to love singing to my children at night, although at first I knew only a handful of songs, (most of which my mother had sung to me as a child.) Since I had never sung regularly before, I was a bit self-conscious at first. But over the years, as I sang hymns and lullabies to my children, my voice and confidence have improved. Now that I have 7 children, I practically have my own choir to sing along with me!
Over the years I have developed such a love for music, that I have written my own songs and lullabies. It is my dream to create a CD to inspire mothers through music. I believe music is special and moves us unlike any other art medium.
I have always found it interesting that babies love music. They dance and sway and clap their hands to the sound of it. They even hum their own music sometimes. Music is obviously an innate part of the human experience- the love of music being implanted in us by the Creator. Music is a means of experiencing joy, worshiping and feeling connected to God, and strengthening our families.
Singing the simplistic Barney song, that begins, "I love you, you love me," can be considered a means of enriching ones relationship with God as well as with your child in light of Tolstoy's observation that "Where love is, there God is also."
During pregnancy music is an important means of feeling peaceful and fostering spirituality as music moves the innermost part of our being. It releases us from our cares, takes us to far away places in the space of time and imagination as it vibrates within our heart, body, and mind. It soothes our worries and fills us with hope and faith as we feel the light of the Spirit fill our souls (particularly when we praise God through song.)
Our attraction to music and its benefits to humans drew the attention of medical researchers. The results of one study were reported in the Los Angeles Daily News, on September 25, 2001. The article reported that, “people have a powerful emotional response to music. Researchers have found that melodies can stimulate the same parts of the brain as do food and sex.” Anne Blood, a researcher, reportedly stated that, “people are now using music to help them deal with sadness and fear.... We are showing in our study that music is triggering systems in the brain that makes (people) feel happy.” Additionally, it was reported that, “music is one way to cope in periods of stress.”
These findings suggest that music could play a vital role in helping expectant and laboring women, who often must overcome fear and anxieties. In making women feel happy music would also serve as a means of creating a loving and peaceful womb atmosphere for the in-utero baby. Dr. Verny, in his book, The Secret Life of the Unborn Child, discussed the impact of the womb atmosphere to babies. He stated that, “....(t)he womb is the child’s first world. How he experiences it-as friendly or hostile- does create personality and character predisposition's. The womb, in a very real sense, establishes the child’s expectations. If it has been a warm, loving environment, the child is likely to expect the outside world to be the same. This produces a predisposition toward trust, openness, extroversion, and self-confidence.”
According to Dr. Verny, the child who has experienced a hostile (full of anxiety) in-utero environment, “will be predisposed toward suspiciousness, distrust, and introversion. Relating to others will be hard, and so will self-assertion. Life will be more difficult for him than for a child who had a good womb experience.” (pg.50)
The expectant woman’s fears and anxieties can detrimentally affect her child. Of greater impact, however, are the feelings of happiness and the love she feels for her child. Dr. Verny asserts that such feelings protect the expectant woman’s baby when she faces stress, dilemma, trauma or tensions. In light of Dr. Verny’s findings, it is plausible that engaging in activities which increase a woman’s connection with her in-utero baby and her connection with God, will increase her degree of love for her baby. When we feel close to God our capacity to feel and express love multiplies. There is a symbiotic relationship between worshiping God and growing in charity or Christ-like love. As we are filled with the light of the Lord, we are filled with greater love toward all of mankind and this includes the love we feel for our children.
We worship God during pregnancy through obedience to His commandments, prayer, scripture study, church attendance, singing and listening to inspirational music, and also, through appreciating and enjoying nature.
Nature offers its own corridor to God and its own rhythmic, worshipful sounds. God provided man with music when he created; the ocean waves to break against the shore; the birds to call; drops of rain to fall to earth; leaves to rustle in the wind; and the ability for mankind to reach to God, vocally, in song.
As expectant parents worship God, singing praises unto Him, they are blessed with the Spirit and bear a child sensitive to the Holy Spirit. The child whose in-utero atmosphere is loving, peaceful and marked by the presence of the Holy Spirit, may be predisposed to accepting the Light of Christ- as doing so requires one to trust and be open to, or receptive and accepting of the mysterious nature of the Godhead.
Brigham Young taught the Latter-day Saint pioneers in Utah that children learn before they are born. He also taught that parents’ examples will affect them spiritually. He stated:
“Mothers, let your minds be sanctified before the Lord, for this is the commencement, the true foundation of a proper education in your children, the beginning point to form a disposition in your offspring.... Never cease a day of your life to have the Holy Ghost resting upon you. Fathers, never cease to pray that your wives may enjoy this blessing, that their infants be endowed with the Holy Ghost, and of power, this is the way to bring it about. Every other duty that is obligatory upon man, woman, or child, will come in its place, and in its time, and in its season.” (1)
Listening to and singing uplifting and inspirational music is a means of communicating with God for, “the song of the righteous is like a prayer unto (the Lord).” (2) Music and prayer are forms of spiritual observance and the in-utero baby is moved by such observances.
There are many inspirational forms of music that benefit expectant women/couples and their unborn child. Some of these are hymns, lullabies, classical, nature sounds and instrumental. Taking the time during pregnancy to experience this variety of music, and to learn to sing through practice, will benefit you and your baby with enriched spiritual, emotional, mental and physical health.
I testify to you that singing hymns and lullabies throughout pregnancy, while nursing, and in the years that follow, you and your babies will increase your level of spirituality, unity and love within your family. Additionally, you will create special memories as your children feel of the Spirit which you have beckoned through song and love.
Go to Homespun Lullaby to read and listen to lyrics that I wrote.
Go to Sing Your Favorite Lullaby to read and listen to new and old lullabies.
1) Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, pg. 69
2)Book of Mormon, D&C 25:12