The sounds of live music confer health benefits on the tiniest and most vulnerable people—premature babies who are being treated in the neonatal intensive care unit, a new study says.
When the preemies in intensive care listened to live music, they showed measurable improvements in heart rate, sucking behavior, sleep patterns and calorie intake, according to the study. In addition, music helped parents and babies bond, and eased the stress of mothers and fathers.
While prerecorded music has health and psychological benefits, unlike live music, it can involve instruments, rhythms and melodies that can overstimulate a newborn who is used to the “enclosed sound environment of the womb,” the researchers wrote. That environment is defined by the mother’s heartbeat, breath patterns and voice.
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