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Pregnancy and the Singing Voice: A Survey of What Singers Report

      Summary

      Pregnancy has profound effects on a variety of body systems by way of hormonal and physical changes. Many of these changes directly affect body systems involved in singing. Assumptions exist about what can happen to a person's voice during pregnancy, but these assumptions are based on theoretical predictions leaving little knowledge of the lived experiences of voice changes during pregnancy. An anonymous mixed-method survey was given to 321 professional singers to gain insights on the lived experiences of pregnant singers. This investigation explored what people were told about the effects of pregnancy on the voice in comparison to what they actually experienced. Results show that about half of the respondents’ experience matched what they were told for respiration. For phonation and vocal quality less than 25% respondent's experience matched what they were told. In addition, most of the information respondents received came from friends, colleagues, and teachers compared to medical professionals suggesting a need for more interdisciplinary education to best prepare vocalists who are contemplating becoming pregnant.

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