Nurses treat premature babies by playing Vivaldi
21 May 2007 , GRANADA – A maternity hospital uses classical music to relax premature babies, a pioneering technique intended to reduce stress.
21 May 2007
GRANADA – A maternity hospital uses classical music to relax premature babies, a pioneering technique intended to reduce stress.
The project is being directed by three nurses at the hospital's newborn unit, who pipe music into the incubators and observe the babies' reactions. They are aided by a music expert charged with choosing the pieces the preterm infants will hear.
The principal objectives of the research include reducing the stress premature babies suffer from losing the safe, relaxing surroundings of the womb before they are ready, and also to make the hospital stay of parents and babies "closer, more human, more like family," said Maria Rodriguez, one of the nurses involved in the project.
Nonetheless, the research also looks to discover any other benefits that music therapy may have on these patients, who usually weigh less than 2 kilos (4 1/2 pounds), such as the possible weight increase derived from this treatment or improved neurological development.
To study the benefits music therapy may bring these patients, the research team has structured the process in three groups.
The first group evaluates the progress of babies who are not exposed to music therapy, another has babies listening to classical music, while a third group hears recordings of their parents' voices reading stories, singing nursery rhymes or just talking to the infants.
Another of the researchers on the project, Eva Perez, said that with this third group they try analyze whether the babies' relationship with their parents improve in any way compared with premature babies that are not submitted to this technique.
The nurses put tiny speakers in the incubators three times a day to coincide with feeding times, since the goal is to lengthen the babies' sleeping hours so that their activity will be as similar as possible to what it would have been inside the mother's womb.
Although the project is still in its first phase, which consists of collecting the babies' different reactions, the mother of one of the preemies in the study, Vanessa Alvarez, told Efe that her little Paula "must feel something" because "she relaxes and laughs a lot while hearing the music."
According to Perez, these readily visible effects are accompanied by a lowering of the baby's cardiac rhythm and improved breathing.
The project's music expert, Mauricio Linori, said that the pieces heard by the babies over the speakers, whose intensity is never more than 65 decibels, are made up of baroque Vivaldi fragments segued with sounds of nature such as birds and the sea.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news