Playing music to unborn fetuses is a time-honored tradition that happens in living rooms and sitcoms throughout the ages. However, the idea of Babypod, a device that plays music to a fetus from inside your vagina, is a little less traditional. And yet, now you can! Someone has actually invented what amounts to a musical tampon... which is a sentence I certainly never anticipated writing in my life. You learn something new every day, right?
Babypod recently made its debut during a "concert for fetuses": Expectant moms in Spain attended a show with singer Soraya and were provided with a number of devices. The moms got to listen to a selection of Christmas carols, and the babies were able to follow along from the womb. Well, as much as unborn babies can follow anything.
So what was wrong with the "putting headphones up to your belly" method of playing music for fetuses? Well, as the makers of Babypod point out, sound is muffled in utero, making it more difficult for babies to hear what's going on. But, if you can insert a speaker internally, things get much clearer.
"The vagina is a closed space, so sound is not dispersed in the environment," Babypod writes on their website. "In addition, there are less soft tissue layers separating the baby from the sound target, only the vaginal and uterine walls. By placing a speaker inside the vagina, we overcome the barrier formed by the abdominal wall and the baby can hear sounds with almost as much intensity and clarity as when emitted."
It all makes a certain amount of sense, although I'll admit that some of their claims about no sound being able to reach a fetus in utero sound a little far fetched to me — if that were true, we wouldn't have the evidence we do about hearing music in the womb being good for babies in the first place. However, it is true that babies probably can't hear much from outside the womb until very late in a pregnancy, whereas a recent study has shown that a fetus can not only hear music, but will respond to it, at as early as 16 weeks if the music is played intravaginally. So this whole "musical tampon" thing isn't as bizarre as it sounds.
It still sounds pretty bizarre, though.
Maybe my perspective on this would change if I ever were growing a tiny future human in my body, but personally, I don't necessarily understand the need to put a mini-speaker into your vagina and turn your reproductive organs into a sound system. For one thing, it sounds awkward as all hell, and for another, you already have to give up caffeine, alcohol, and soft cheese, not mention all the things that get cut out of your life once the baby actually gets there. So maybe the kid can forgo a few pre-birth concerts while they work on growing lungs and things.
But then again, I've never been pregnant, so what do I know. To get a sense of how this Babypod business works, you can check out their video below. But whatever you think of it, let's all agree that "musical tampons" is a sign that we are living in strange times indeed.