The theme of Gonging and Sound Baths during pregnancy is one which has come up over the years, with many conflicting and in some cases frightening theories. As a mother of 5 this is a subject close to my heart and Womb!!
I decided to write this piece as a result of an email we received from a Sound Lover and therapist whom we had the pleasure of meeting at one of our workshops in the USA. Please note that the following is only an account of my experience, by no means meant to be the one and only truth. I respect and honour all ideas and opinions based on experience… This is my experience and that of pregnant women who I have had the pleasure of playing the Gong and offering sound sessions to over the past 15 years.
During my last pregnancy, I played the Gong, facilitated workshops and sound baths until week 36. I only stopped because it was too exhausting, but thoroughly enjoyed lying down and being played for. It was amazing feeling my baby move as I played or experienced, he really seemed to enjoy it. He is now a healthy, intelligent, sensitive and wise spirit with an amazing musical ear!!
There is a lot of noise around this subject, conflicting noise!! Some say NO, Never for play for Pregnant Women, others say ‘Only Dedicated Session during pregnancy’, and many other stories.
As far as I am aware, many of these theories are not based on personal experience, but rather on hear say and fear.
In my experience, exposure to Sound Baths while pregnant is safe when offered by an experienced and conciencious facilitator. Furthermore, I have found no proof or study that shows that it is harmful for the unborn child. However, we must remember that the feelings or thoughts of the mother during the session are important. Any strong emotions or feeling experienced by the mother will have an impact on the unborn child wether during a Sound Bath or any other situation. For this reason we generally encourage pregnant women who have never experienced a sound bath or who are afraid or insecure, to stay further away from the source of the sound and in a place where they can easily leave the session if they feel uncomfortable. Often, more experienced ‘sound bathers’ choose to stay really close, even in the last few weeks of pregnancy, and love it! I have also had pregnant women leave my sound sessions because they did not feel comfortable. It is important they are given the choice and full responsibility of the experience.
My sister while in her last 3 days of pregnancy attended one of our singing bowl workshops and loved having the bowls on her belly… She gave birth 3 days later!
The subject of sound in pregnancy is really one that should be left to the choice of the mother. After all I have never heard anybody saying that pregnant women should not listen to music….