Often used by pregnant women to charm baby.
A Harmony Ball is essentially a chime pendant, a lovely piece of jewelry originating from Mexico. As the name implies a Harmony Ball can bring a sense of calm and harmony to the wearer as the pendant emits a soft but just audible chime sound with movement, creating a relaxing effect in a similar way that the sound of a rippling brook or small waves gently lapping the shore is relaxing. A harmony ball is also known in Mexico as a Bola (Spanish for Ball) or Bola Necklace or Angel Caller.
Pregnancy Harmony Ball
Aside from bringing a sense of calm and harmony to the wearer, the Harmony Ball (Bola) has been worn for centuries by pregnant women in Balinese and Mayan cultures for the calming effect it can have on the unborn baby in the womb. Unfortunately, this is where western society’s interpretation of the benefits of a harmony ball stops, the ‘during pregnancy’ phase. This doesn’t make a lot of sense really – does the unborn baby in the warmth and comfort of the womb need calming? I think not, there is no reason for the baby to be stressed inside the womb. Stresses in life begin after we are born, right.
So if this is the case then what is the real benefit of wearing a harmony ball during pregnancy? Why have women in Balinese and Mayan cultures been wearing these chime pendants for centuries?
The pregnant woman will wear the harmony ball on a long chain or cord so that the harmony ball pendant rests somewhere on her ‘bump’. As the mother-to-be goes about her daily tasks the pendant will move to emit the soft chime sound which is only just audible. This sound will penetrate into the womb and will be even softer.
An unborn baby will begin to hear at about 20 weeks gestation so your unborn baby will begin to hear your soothing voice and your loving words, and the baby will also hear the soft chime sound of the harmony ball. Of course the unborn baby will hear other sounds too however particularly in the quiet surroundings of the home away from loud noises the baby will hear the soothing chime sound every time mum moves, whilst doing her housework, or simply getting up off the sofa to make a cup of coffee and even at the supermarket or walking down a quiet street - anytime she moves. Aside from mums own voice the sound of the harmony ball will be the most frequently common sound a baby in the womb will hear (sorry Dads).
The real benefit of the Harmony Ball worn during pregnancy comes after the baby is born!
The real benefit comes during breastfeeding. In the short term after coming out from the warmth and comfort of the womb breastfeeding can be a stressful period for the newborn (and that can affect mum too). Newborn babies have one priority and that is to feed. Breastfeeding (nursing) is often a wonderful experience however it can be a very stressful time for baby and mum at times.
Soon after birth mum will shorten up her long harmony ball so that it is now around her breastbone area so whilst breastfeeding and gently rocking her newborn the chime sound from her harmony ball will be heard by the baby. It is a familiar sound to your baby, a sound associated with warmth and comfort. In addition to mums soft soothing words as her baby feeds the newborn hears the familiar chime. We are all much more comfortable and relaxed when we are in a familiar environment with familiar sights, sounds and smells – so too is baby.
As the newborn grows he or she will extend their little hand to touch that shiny thing around mums neck and play with it and enjoy that familiar sound. Because baby is calmer then so is mum – many of the stresses often associated with breastfeeding for some mothers, are now taken care of – not necessarily on every occasion but often enough for there to be a tangible benefit.
And as time passes and mum stops wearing her harmony ball there are times she may bring it out of its place of safekeeping and give it a shake or two to entertain or calm a young toddler.