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Old 28th May 2009, 06:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Playing music to babies 'can help them feel less pain'

Playing music to babies 'can help them feel less pain'

Playing music to premature babies can help them feel less pain and lower their levels of stress, researchers have found.

By Kate Devlin, Medical Correspondent
Last Updated: 7:17PM BST 27 May 2009



Studies showed that babies who listened to music felt less pain than those in silent wards Photo: GETTY

The sound can improve how infants' hearts beat and help their breathing, according to a review of the previous evidence.

Music is increasingly being used in neonatal units, where the patients are often too small to be given some common painkillers.

Most commonly played are recordings of lullabies, nursery rhymes and classical music.

One of the studies showed that the music`helped the infants' heart rate by raising the amount of oxygen in their blood.

Other studies showed that babies who listened to music felt less pain than those in silent wards.

This included when they were undergoing a 'heel prick' test – a common but painful procedure for taking a blood sample from newborn babies.

The benefits of playing music to babies also included calmer infants and parents, faster weight gain and shorter stays in hospital, the researchers found.

Dr Manoj Kumar, from Alberta University in Canada, who led the study, said: "There is preliminary evidence to suggest that music may have beneficial effects in terms of ... pain reduction during painful medical procedures.

"Music may also improve oral feeding among premature infants when combined with other non-invasive (methods)."

He added that playing music on wards could also reduce the need for drugs or other medications.

But he added that the findings, published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, needed to be confirmed in well-designed trials, describing most of the evidence as "poor quality".

The review looked at nine studies carried out between 1989 and 2006.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/ch...less-pain.html

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