Pictures of NICU preemies bristling with wires and IVs can tie my stomach in knots even though more than 30 years have passed since our baby’s stay in the University of Nebraska’s neonatal intensive care unit. Many changes in NICU preemie care have evolved in those years, and one of them made the news in Texas a while back.
NICU Preemies Respond to Music
Preemies respond well to music, according to “Candy Bruton, the neonatal intensive care unit supervisor at Texas Health HEB in Bedford, Texas where she is also leading a music therapy study to see how classical lullaby music impacts premature babies,” according to a KDAF-TV story about preemie babies and music.
Why Study Premature Babies and Music?
Here’s what Bruton says about why she started the study: “Can you imagine what you feel like when you are on those drugs? Babies probably feel the same way so we’re trying to do the research saying this music helps as much as giving drugs.” (On a side note, I’m grateful that NICU babies are now given drugs because that was not the case in 1982 when our son was born. For more information on the subject, check out the post Can You Imagine Infant Surgery Without Anesthesia?) And the idea of using drugs and music to make a preemie’s NICU stay easier is something to sing about!
What Are the Effects of Music on NICU Preemies?
Bruton has documented the following effects of music on NICU preemies: “”Usually if they’re fussy their heart rate goes up, their saturations can fall down and when you play the music it calms them. Their heart rate comes back to a normal resting heart rate and their saturations come back up.”
Like I said, something to sing about. To read the print story and watch the news video, check out the post, Premature Babies & iPods: Could Music Replace Drugs in the NICU?
How Does Music Affect Your Child with Special Needs?
Does music affect your child with special needs, either positively or negatively? Leave a comment about your observations and best musical advice. Ah, one, and a two, and a, you know what to do!