- During pregnancy , the womb protects a fetus from outside environmental factors, including sound.
- According to gynecologist Dr. Donnica Moore, there's a reason a baby is protected during pregnancy and can't hear sounds the same way we do.
- Anything that you want to put in your vagina during pregnancy should be cleared by your doctor first.
- Visit INSIDER.com for more stories .
According to Music In Baby, which sells the Babypod device for $150 , the device can help unborn babies "perceive sounds like we do" since it is placed inside the vagina, where tissue and material from the womb normally prevents fetuses from hearing sound like already-born humans.
It is true that babies hear sound differently from inside the womb , but research has yet to prove unborn babies benefit from hearing sounds (like music) the way we do.
"We don't know if there is a sound or decibel level too high for a fetus. Maybe there's a reason our bodies don't come equipped with vaginal speakers," gynecologist Dr. Donnica Moore told INSIDER.
The device is inserted into the vagina with the audio cord side facing down and coming out of the vagina. Then, the pregnant user is supposed to attach the cord to a smartphone in order to play music inside of themselves. A second audio port connects to headphones if the woman wants to listen along to the same music.
When the user is done with the device, they "pull gently on the connection cord" to remove it from the vagina, similar to the process for removing a tampon.
Babypod said the device can be used once a woman reaches her 16th week of pregnancy for 10 to 20 minutes twice a day.
There is no proof that babies benefit from hearing music before they're born
Babypod told INSIDER a clinical trial of over 1,000 patients showed that the device is safe for fetuses. "The intensity of the sound that Babypod emits is similar to a conversation in low tone and has a control system so that it does not exceed this level, which can not damage the fetal ear," the company said in an email.
But while it may be safe, limited research on the benefits of in-utero music exists, and the study Babypod cited was conducted by its own team of researchers.
According to a statement Babypod sent INSIDER, the device was originally developed for researchers to study fetal hearing. It was previously used in a study to test how 300 fetuses reacted to different music genres .
For the study, researchers found that with some music types, fetuses stuck out their tongues or moved their mouths, which they hypothesized was a sign their brains were being stimulated. They were unable to prove this conclusively.
Another small independent study found that playing music for babies after they're born could help improve brain function . No research has concluded whether pre-birth music-playing has any added health benefits besides helping the parents feel more connected to their baby in the womb and helping expecting moms to relax .
Babypod is FDA-approved, but it's not right for everyone
Documents provided by Music in Baby show the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Babypod as general welfare product. That said, the FDA doesn't put general welfare products through the same rigorous testing as it does for other kinds of medical devices.
For this reason, Dr. Moore has concerns about Babypod's use. She said women could experience cervical irritation or pre-term labor if they put foreign objects in the vagina during pregnancy.
Babypod told INSIDER that women with certain conditions shouldn't try the device, including dilation of the cervix and vaginal or urinary tract infections.
Dr. Moore worries Babypod is being marketed towards pregnant women who will do just about anything to ensure their babies are healthy. She suggested proceeding with caution. "Anything that you may want to insert in your vagina during pregnancy should be cleared by your doctor first," she said.
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