Can music help premature infants sleep and feed?

Conclusion This research has found that live music therapies may slow infants’ heartbeats, calm their breathing, improve sucking behaviour important for feeding, improve sleep patterns and promote states of quiet alertness. Different interventions led to different patterns of improvement, but all three types of musical therapy appeared to have a positive effect on the infant. The therapies also seemed to help the parents of premature infants feel less stressed. Although this research is interesting, it is still unclear whether music therapy can lead to tangible health improvements, for example, the researchers did not measure whether infants receiving music therapy were able to leave hospital earlier or had better long-term health outcomes. There are also practical considerations in that access to musical therapists is likely to be limited. Despite these limitations, the study seems to provide a degree of evidence that the deep-seated human instinct to sing lullabies to your baby does them good. For more information, read Getting your baby to sleep Analysis by Bazian. Edited by NHS Choices. Follow Behind the Headlines on Twitter. Links To The Headlines Why playing music to premature babies 'helps them sleep and improves their breathing'. Daily Mail, April 15 2013   Links To Science Loewy J, Stewart K, Dassler A, et al. The Effects of Music Therapy on Vital Signs, Feeding, and Sleep in Premature Infants. Pediatrics. Published online April 15 2013  
Source: NHS News Feed - Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Pregnancy/child Source Type: news

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