BabyPlus® Prenatal is an educational system designed to promote fetal learning and family bonding during the gestation period. This is one of many auditory products on the market to stimulate the infant while in the womb. It consists of a speaker device to be strapped around a pregnant woman's abdomen twice a day. The device amplifies rhythmic sounds that the unborn baby learns to distinguish from typical noises in the prenatal environment.
Like other prenatal learning devices, BabyPlus® Prenatal was developed using scientific studies of how babies respond to noises in-utero. Unborn babies respond best to sounds that have a regular beat. Even when clearly spoken or amplified, complex language seems garbled and nonsensical to the fetus.
The philosophy behind the device is that babies demonstrate learning when they can distinguish the rhythmic sounds as they are broadcast by the device from normal noises in the the rhythm of the mother's heartbeat. The device also helps the mother bond with the unborn baby by making a conscious effort to communicate daily prior to birth. She may also feel the baby's movements change as they synchronize with auditory stimulation.
Studies have shown that babies' auditory structures are fully developed by about 18 to 20 weeks into pregnancy. Research supports the idea that the fetus' heart rate can be affected by sounds that carry into the womb and that the baby may move when stimulated. The sounds that babies typically hear during the prenatal period are muffled by amniotic fluid and the mother's abdomen. Prenatal learning devices use speakers pointed toward the fetus to provide sounds with minimal interference.
The BabyPlus® Prenatal system should be used for one hour, twice a day. The manufacturers suggest beginning use as early as 18 weeks gestation. Unlike other fetal stimulation devices, BabyPlus® Prenatal uses sounds with a simple, rhythmic structure instead of complex music or spoken language to stimulate the baby. As the pregnancy progresses, the sounds increase in tempo.
The use of a prenatal learning device is unlikely to harm a baby. A baby will not be overstimulated by exposure the BabyPlus® Prenatal device, and hearing should develop normally. Using the device more than twice a day may overexpose the baby to the sounds, which reduces the effectiveness of the prenatal learning system, but causes no harm. The baby may not distinguish the sounds from the prenatal environment if they are heard too frequently.
Proponents of BabyPlus® Prenatal indicate that babies exposed to prenatal learning are more receptive to nursing at the time of birth than babies with no structured learning opportunities. Parents also report that when they've used this device, their newborns are more relaxed and responsive. These benefits are thought to carry over into early childhood advancement and learning. Children who were exposed to prenatal learning may reach developmental milestones earlier in their lives than their peers and show increased readiness for formal education.
BabyPlus® Prenatal has won several awards for promoting early learning. The device has been featured in numerous parenting magazines and blogs and has won endorsements by many obstetricians and pediatricians. Expecting parents should check with their obstetricians before exposing their babies to any prenatal learning device.