Singing to Preemies can Affect Their Health

Moms who sing lullabies may do more for their newborns than expected.

Studies in music therapy show when mothers sing to their premature infants, it can stabilize the baby’s heart rate and breathing. Full-term babies are able to recognize their mothers’ voices once they’re born, so allowing preemies the chance to gain this connection outside of the womb is important.

“The first drummer you ever hear is your mother’s heart. You hear the ‘whoosh’ sounds of the womb,” Joanne Loewy, director of the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine, told HealthDay Reporter.

In the studies, live singing had the best results, because mothers could adjust their volume as the baby fell asleep. The effects work the same with lullabies from fathers, and tracks of ocean sounds that could mimic the sounds heard in the womb.

Singing to the infants affected the mothers as well, calming them down. Loewy says, “a very simple, nurturing use of the voice serves as the best medicine between preterm infant and parent at this vulnerable time.”


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