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Connecting With Your Baby in Utero, with Penny Simkin

The Birthful Podcast: Episode #36

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.

To listen here, click the play button on the player above, or click the button below to listen in iTunes.


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:


Courtesy of Penny Simkin
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-laws, and a pug, Lola.

Find out more about Penny at her website:, or join the conversation at

Adriana Lozada


The Magic of Music | Island Midwife

[…] When parents play or sing a song to their growing baby, the baby will remember the song after they are born and are often soothed by hearing something familiar sung by familiar voices. When this singing is accompanied by smiling, touching, gazing into each other’s eyes, our brains get oxytocin flowing and you and your baby really get that feeling of falling in love, feeling secure and building attachment. Sometimes I feel like there are so many discoveries of diseases, genetic changes or personality quirks that “begin in the womb” that it can be difficult to not feel responsible and guilty during the pregnancy, even when some of these things are out of our control. But singing and talking to your baby are in your control and have a positive, lasting effect on your baby and a positive effect on you that can continue after the birth. Learn more from long time doula and advocate for families and babies, Penny Simkin, who is passionate about singing to babies as a way to foster further attachment between parents and baby. Check out what she has to say on this podcast. […]

Bonding With Baby – The Birth Nerd Kelowna

[…] Your baby will come to know the voices of the people in their family as well as common noises around the home, including pets.  These sounds will soothe them once they are born.  Practicing one story or song is particularly beneficial. […]