Today’s show is about connecting with your baby in utero through song. Figuring out a newborn’s needs can be tricky, and sometimes a baby will cry no matter what you do. Wouldn’t it be great to have a tool to help you automatically soothe your child? One that you put in place during pregnancy, that also reduces your stress? Penny Simkin is here to tell us about just that.
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What we talked about:
- How did Penny find out about the benefits of singing to babies, anyway?
- The benefits for you of singing to your baby during pregnancy
- Usefulness of a song in a Cesarean birth or when there is separation
- When should you start singing?
- Uses for your child’s song after the birth, and well into their life
- Improving those dreaded car rides!
- Other simple and effective ways of enhancing bonding between parents and babies
- The Caregiver’s Motto, by Penny Simkin
Links for more on high-risk pregnancy:
- Of human bonding: newborns prefer their mothers’ voices, research by Anthony J. Decasper (this is the study Penny talks about)
- Singing to The Baby, video from Penny Simkin’s YouTube Channel
- Resource guide of research papers on the “Psychobiology of Bonding and Attachment” from Phyllis Klaus’ website
- Parents’ Singing to Fetus and Newborn Enhances Their Well-being, Parent-Infant Attachment, & Soothability: Part Two, from Lamaze’s Connecting the Dots blog, by Penny Simkin (find Part One here)
- Why you should sing to your baby (instead of nagging!)
- Singing to children may help development of language skills, The Guardian
About Penny Simkin
Penny Simkin, PT, is a physical therapist who has specialized in childbirth education and labor support since 1968. She estimates she has prepared over 13,000 women, couples, and siblings for childbirth. She has assisted hundreds of women and couples through childbirth as a doula. She is author or co-author of books for both parents and professionals, including “The Labor Progress Handbook;” “Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide;” “When Survivors Give Birth: Understanding and Healing the Effects of Early Sexual Abuse on Childbearing Women;” “The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions,” She has developed teaching materials for birth classes and produced several videos for educators, doulas, and families, the latest of which is for siblings-to-be, “There’s a Baby.” She is co-founder of DONA International (formerly Doulas of North America) and PATTCh (Prevention and Treatment of Traumatic Childbirth).
Currently, she serves on the editorial board of the journal, Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care, and serves on the senior faculty of the Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations at Bastyr University, which was named in her honor.
Today, her practice consists of childbirth education, birth counseling, and labor support, combined with a busy schedule of conferences and workshops.
Penny and her husband, Peter, have four grown children and eight grandchildren from 11 to 28 years of age, two grandchildren-in-law, and a pug, Lola.
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