It’s like the ultimate lovechild of Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop and Apple AirPods: an inter-vaginal speaker designed to blast your unborn child with music.
For $150, you can purchase your very own “Babypod”, a small speaker that can be plugged into any music-playing device of your choice and inserted into the vagina to gently play your favorite tunes into the womb. It also features earphones that hang out of the vagina so mothers and fathers can listen along too. Recommended artists include Sonic Youth, Childish Gambino, and any other artist name you can squeeze a baby pun out of.
“Music [activates] language and communication stimulation centres, inducing a response of vocal movements. Babies learn to talk sticking out their tongues,” the Spanish company claims in a website blurb.
“With Babypod, babies begin to vocalize from the womb.”
It’s a popular belief that a fetus can benefit from listening to music while they’re developing in the womb. Most people achieve this playing some nice classical music on the radio while they’re pregnant, but Babypod claims that’s not enough. They cite research by Institut Marquès, a Spanish gynecological clinic, that claims “the foetus hears only the sounds that come directly from the vagina and barely hears the noises from the outside.”
The research behind the device did actually win a prize at the Ig Nobel awards 2017, an annual ceremony that aims to highlight scientific research that “first makes you laugh, then makes you think.” It claimed to show that 87 percent of babies react to music “streamed vaginally” by bobbing their head and shimmying their body.
However, there’s not a load of independent research that touts the benefits of in utero music. Studies have shown that playing music to 9-month-old babies could help their brain process both music and new speech sounds, but that’s a little bit different for obvious reasons.
As for safety concerns, inserting anything inside your body come with risks. If you're pregnant, you should be super-vigilant about potential infections and illness, so you should only be using such a device after you’ve cleared it with a doctor.
In regards to the soundwaves, there’s no evidence that it could harm your baby. Then again, there has hardly been a lot of scientific research into the matter because, you know, it’s not exactly a prevalent practice.
When quizzed about the safety of the device by Insider, Babypod sent over documents that showed the Music In Baby device was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a “general welfare product”. This means it's not tested with the same scrutiny as medical devices, but that the device isn’t overly dangerous and it could potentially hold some positive benefits for general well-being.