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Pregnancy Week 20 – Does Baby Really Need Headphones?

By Published On: June 28th, 2013

You are now officially at the half way point of your pregnancy! And although baby will continue their growth spurt you may find that this week, and the next couple to follow, are actually some of the best, in terms of how you feel physically, that you have had for quite a while.

Your Baby in Week 20 of Pregnancy

By now you are likely to have had a second trimester ultrasound, and at that test you will have been given the chance to discover just what is in your tummy – a boy or a girl. While there is no rule that says you need to spoil the surprise, many parents to be can’t resist the sonographer’s offer to solve one of the biggest mysteries in their lives at the moment.

No matter whether it is a boy or a girl, your Baby is exceptionally well formed by the time they reach 20 weeks gestation. If it is a girl her uterus is fully formed and her ovaries have completed the production of the seven million eggs (although these are very primitive at the moment) that the reproductive system will have ‘access’ to over the course of her life. This fact is often a surprise to some people as they do not realize that a girl is born with all of the eggs her body will ever produce, and that no more will ever be manufactured, and in fact they begin dying off the first day after Baby is born.

In the case of a boy baby, his testicles are fully formed and are beginning to descend from the abdomen into the scrotum.

Boy or girl, as quickly as they are growing, Baby still has plenty of room to move around rather freely at the moment and will probably take very opportunity to do so, and by now you should be able to feel most of those movements – something that is a wonderful feeling, but can often make getting a full night of uninterrupted sleep a little difficult.

Your Body in Week 20 of Pregnancy

Now that you are right at the midpoint of your ‘official’ pregnancy, with 20 weeks down and 20 weeks to go – give or take a few weeks either side – you are entering a few weeks that are, for many Mums to Be, really the best of their pregnancy. All of the nausea and extreme fatigue and the first trimester are usually a thing of the past and many of the annoyances and physical changes that accompany the late second and then third trimester, have yet to really start to bother you.

Many people will tell you to expect your hair and nails to become longer and stronger than ever before now. In some cases this will indeed be the case, yet for others their nails will actually become a little more brittle and they may even notice some extra hair loss. Both scenarios are normal though, and it is all down to those pesky hormones again.

Possible New Pregnancy Symptoms in Week 20 of Pregnancy

As far as new symptoms go, things should actually be relatively quiet this week. The one thing that you may notice is that as your belly expands your navel will distort. Although you may not like the look it is temporary. Like many of he other physical changes you will be going through over the next few months, and have already experienced, your belly button should return to normal after the baby weight begins to drop off after baby is born.

Pregnancy Tips for the Twentieth Week of Pregnancy – Does Baby Need Mozart?

There has been a growing trend over the last few years to encourage Baby to learn while still in the womb. And often that has included the idea that Baby should be blasted with music, or even language lessons, via headphones attached to Mum’s tummy in some cases, to stimulate their learning abilities.

The trend really began in Europe in the early 1990s when a French ear, nose and throat specialist, Dr. Alfred Tomatis released his book “Pourquoi Mozart?” claiming that fetal exposure to rhythmic noises could increase a child’s intelligence — and possibly treat developmental disabilities including autism. From that point on some parents to be, now from all over the world, have wired baby for sound, piping in music via the afore mentioned headphones.

The latest opinion is though that doing this may not be such a great idea. There is no doubt that from the mid point of the second trimester on, Baby can hear a lot of what goes on around them. Study after study has shown that Baby can identify the difference between his Mum’s voice and that of strangers but according to many researchers the idea of the piped in music is overkill and may even cause damage.

Many of today’s doctors and researchers point out that Baby is already hearing plenty, and that the act of blaring music at them at a much closer proximity could disturb their natural sleeping patterns.

After completing research on the subject in 2010, one respected Brooklyn pediatrician,Dr. David Cabbad, had this to say and the statement echoes the sentiment of many of his colleagues all over the world. “Why don’t we just let the baby develop normally in utero? Let him hear the father talking to the mother, the TV, the phone ringing, and then when he gets out let him deal with that. It’s not natural. They’re in a womb, a protected atmosphere. Now you’re going to give them outside interference? Why don’t we give them a cellphone, too?”

That is not to say that you should not try to communicate with Baby. But talking to them is good enough. Begin the bedtime book habit now if you like. Baby won’t understand the words (we don’t think) but they will like the calm sound of your voice. And keep playing your music, Baby may very well enjoy it, just don’t blast his little ears with it. After all, would you plug your newborn into the headphones form your iPod? Of course you wouldn’t, so why do what is basically the same thing before he is born?

As for the French doctor by the way, he was eventually discredited by his profession and handed in his license before he died in 2001.