This 4th of July may be a bit more restrained for you than usual if you're pregnant. You haven't had one ham slider and your favorite frosé glass is holding soda. Although, it seems like there's a real party in your belly. You may be wondering, "why is my baby kicking more during fireworks?"
According to Healthline, babies between weeks 25 and 26 gestation start to react to sounds outside the womb. Typically, this is the voice of the mother or music, but sounds like the percussive beat of fireworks certainly apply. In fact, researchers at the National Institute for Mental Health found that certain sounds actually serve to make the child's brain more plastic and reactive to sound in general. It's essentially a loop — babies begin to hear, they react to what they're hearing, and that hearing and that reaction causes them to become more adapt and to react more often. Because babies are really cool.
Fireworks are also really loud. According to Boys Town National Research Hospital, they are 170 decibels at the loudest location and a rhythmic pattern of sound that is almost musical. In my hometown of Canton, Ohio, the local civic orchestra actually plays to the beat of the fireworks as they're set off. The musical quality and loud booming nature of fireworks definitely does entice your baby to more activity, according to The Nordic Journal of Musical Therapy:
"Many pregnant women during the third trimester describe instances in which their fetus directly responds to sounds. Controlled studies substantiate these anecdotal experiences. Startling stimulation louder than 105 decibels, such as loud clapping or a sudden shriek, were found to increase fetal motor activity (excessive moving of hands and legs) and accelerate fetal heart rate."
So while you might not be partying as hard as you were last year, your baby is partying twice as hard. And no one is more surprised than they are. Deep inside your womb, your little one keeps hearing this thunderous beat and is probably thinking, "what was that?"
A note of caution, though. According to an article in Livestrong, there is some cause for concern that prolonged exposure to loud noises can damage baby's hearing, even in the womb, but according to The Nordic Journal of Musical Therapy, a baby's threshold for hearing is 30 decibels lower than the average adult's. Provided you're a safe distance away — about 60 meters or around 200 feet, according to Boys Town Hospital — your baby shouldn't be adversely affected by the noise, even if they're kicking the crap out of you. Too bad the same can't be said for your bruised bladder though. Why does your baby kick more during fireworks? They're just enjoying the show.