How Music Therapy Helps Premature Babies Develop Faster.
We have good news today for mums whose babies are in a Neonatal Intensive Care unit: Music therapy can help them develop and come home faster. According to a research, which was carried out by the director of music therapy program at Florida State University, Jayne Standley and a team of other researchers, they discovered that playing music in the NICU could lead to babies developing faster. And so, they would be discharged earlier from the hospital.
Why You Should Consider Music Therapy For Babies in Neonatal Intensive Care Units
In Africa and most parts of the world, parents have been employing the aid of lullabies to soothe babies to sleep and comfort them when they are going through stress. Likewise, this research adopts a similar approach which proves that parents have actually been on to something.
Jayne Standley, a pioneer of this method, has been experimenting with this treatment for almost 20 years ever since she learned that kids who are born prematurely are more likely to need special education when they get older. Consequently, the research shows that they do not ony get discharged earlier. In addition, it aids and improves their language development.
When applied to babies in NICU, this method which is called multimodal neurologic enhancement is said to involve “using different modes of stimulation for the infant to help them learn how to respond to a potentially more stressful experience.”
This is likely considering that infants in NICU go through a different phaset of development and are very delicate in this phase.
How Music Therapy for Kids in NICU is practised
The music therapy happens around their gestational stage or within the development stage, they would have been if they weren’t born early. It is a combination of humming and singing depending on which stage the baby is currently at and develops to singing at the appropriate time. Some of the music therapists who work with them and parents who have been involved in this procedure report that during this period the kids have reported that their vitals have improved positively during this time
Precautionary Measures for Using Music Therapy for Kids in NICU
As with all medical procedures, this must be carried out by a trained music therapist. It isn’t the same as when parents hum or sing lullabies to kids who do not require intensive care. Kids at this stage are very delicate and if adequate procedures are not followed, it could cause great distress for babies. However, parents could be trained by the professionals on how to use music to help their kids at this stage. Family members are also trained on what to do to enable them to interact with the kids when it gets to the stage where they can go home.
This is definitely good news for parents with kids in NICU, besides kids getting home earlier than expected and having a better chance of developing at a fast rate; it would also ease a lot of stress for the parents because it would make you feel less like a bystander while your baby is at this delicate stage. This might involve extra expenses and requires that music therapists are made available at hospitals and trained on how to practice this method carefully. We look forward to seeing this practiced in more African hospitals.