Songs for Someone New

 New Online Site and Music Helping Mums Tune Into Their Unborn Babies

A group of pregnant women in Forth Valley have been tuning into their new babies, courtesy of an online experiment in what’s being described as health and ‘edutainment.’ The results can be downloaded from the NHS Forth Valley website and follow recent research which suggested that fetuses can hear sounds as young as 16 weeks gestation.

The audio tracks have been compiled by sound artist, Mark Vernon and writer Nicola White, who met with Camelon Young Parents Group in Falkirk and maternity day care patients at Forth Valley Royal Hospital for a series of recorded conversations. These interviews formed the basis of the song lyrics written by Nicola which were then set to music composed by Bill Wells and performed by the National Jazz Trio of Scotland.

 he three songs can be downloaded individually or as a complete piece from the NHS Forth Valley website. They are ideal for playing or singing to your baby before and after its birth. It has been shown that children remember songs or music they hear in the womb, and these familiar sounds can be useful for settling them once born.

Sound artist Mark Vernon explained: “What a baby hears mostly is the sound of its mother’s body, the beat of her heart, the blood whooshing in the veins, her voice. It can also hear the world outside her body – the voices of those nearby, music, laughter or loud noises.

“Talking to your unborn child is a great way to start forming bonds – not only the mother, but the father and friends and family members can begin a relationship with the baby in this way.”

NHS Forth Valley Midwife Debbie Forbes, who has been working with the project, said: “I think it’s lovely for women because it gives them a chance to express themselves when it comes to experiencing their baby’s movements. As well as tuning in to foetal movement, it’s also an opportunity for starting conversation with an unborn child. The aim is to engage the widest audience possible to talk to their babies before birth without feeling embarrassed.”

The project was commissioned by NHS Forth Valley’s Women & Children’s Unit and funded by a grant from the RVS and Artlink Central.    

Songs for Someone New is a collaboration between NHS Forth Valley, sound artist Mark Vernon, writer Nicola White and composer Bill Wells. Music performed by the National Jazz Trio of Scotland (Aby Vulliamy, Kate Sugden, Bill Wells and Gerard Black)

Thanks to the staff and patients of the Women and Children’s Unit at Forth Valley Royal Hospital and members of the Young Parents Group, Camelon Local Learning Centre.

The website can be accessed at: