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The Soothing Effect of the Mother's Heart-Part 2

Whether you're left handed or right handed...

The fetus's brain develops as the fetus grows in the womb. During the last trimester of pregnancy, we can recognize that the fetus's brain develops enough to be able to recognize the heartbeat of the mother as something significant.

Just as the fetus and infant develop experience everything new which is imprinted in their mind, the heartbeat of the mother is imprinted into the brain of the fetus. It is not unbelievable that the newborn infant is calmed and seems to feel some emotions when s/he hears the heartbeat of the mother that this fetus heard in the womb.

Thus, those babies who come into this world are soothed by the sound of their mother's heartbeats and sleep to the lullaby of the soft beating sounds. It is true, and we often witness that babies who are cradled near the mother's left chest and rocked softly fall into a calm sleep. This is probably due to the fact that until a few months ago, the baby was asleep in his/her mother's womb, sleeping peacefully to the background music of his/her mother's heartbeat.

Whether the mother is left handed or right handed, most mothers pick up their babies and cradle them on the left side. This socialization behavior is not something that somebody has taught mothers, but rather something that has permeated into the bodies of mothers through a long history of evolution.

As a result, when the mother cradles her child on the left side, the baby stops crying and softly falls asleep. This has probably been a learned behavior through the many experiences of women throughout history. It may even be that there is some female genetic factor involved to influence this behavior, making for an unconscious action of mothers cradling their babies on the left side.

Over 30 years ago in the United States, there was a study conducted where they recorded the heartbeats of healthy mothers and played it for babies in the nursery. It seems that those babies who heard the heartbeat recording cried less and slept better. Furthermore, when compared with the babies who did not hear the recording, they also had better development as far as weight was concerned. There has been a similar study conducted in Japan by an obstetrician, who reported similar results.

The Beatles have the heartbeat rhythm

There are so many different varieties of music all over the world. There is the raw sound of the drums for certain societies, to a more festive type of drumbeat by the Japanese traditional drummers. The different beats can also be found in the symphonies of Beethoven and Mozart to the rhythms of even the Beatles. When we listen to this music closely, it is not difficult to recognize some resemblance of the music's beat to a heartbeat. It seems as though the more simple the sounds, the stronger the resemblance.

If this is the case, since humans made this music, it could be that the sounds came from the souls of the heart and mind (brain), as it was imprinted in the fetus. This prenatal information of the mother's heartbeat was probably utilized unconsciously, and molded into a beautiful piece of music.

When babies who are barely able to sit, clap and wave their hands to the sounds of music, and the older children who are barely able to stand, shake their hips and hum to the sounds of music, it must be that they have a base where they are able to go to for feeling the emotional charge of music. It could be the same place where the sounds of the heartbeat were imprinted into the brain.

In the long history of mankind, this connection with music and the heartbeat could be a seed that was planted in the fetus, while in the mother's womb, as s/he heard the sounds through his/her ears. Music is something that is not age sensitive, and no matter how old you are, it is something that moves one's heart, and has the magical power to stir up emotions. This music, which starts from the heartbeat of the mother, is such a large part of any culture, macro- or micro-, and has such a significant effect on the development of our future, our children.

Kobayashi, Noboru (1981). "Hahaoya no shinon wo kiite yasurakani - 2"(written in Japanese). Tokyo: Child Research Net. Retrieved June 2, 2002, from the World Wide Web:
http://www.crn.or.jp/LIBRARY/KOBY/MIRAI/cbs0097.html
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