Study finds music may soothe premature babies

Once the pregnancy calendar comes to an end, it isn't only new moms who have trouble catching some shut-eye. Often, babies have trouble resting and relaxing as well, but there may be a new form of relief available in the near future. A study conducted by researchers from the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City has found that live music may be able to help premature infants get to sleep.

Through their research, experts found that playing music seemed to help regulate development by causing premature infants to calm their breathing and slow their rate. In turn, they were able to return to normal sleeping and feeding patterns. This development may be valuable to many - approximately 500,000 premature babies are born in the U.S. each year, according to The New York Times.

"Loud machinery, medical rounds coming through with 12 people, alarms on ventilators and pumps [and] the hiss of oxygen [can be over-stimulating]," Helen Shoemark, a music researcher at Murdoch Children's Research Institute, told the news source. "Sound can be damaging. But meaningful noise is important for a baby's brain development."

One expert told The Daily Mail that music may benefit babies because it reminds them of the noises they heard during fetal development in the womb. In any case, music may become an essential tool to ensuring babies have promising futures ahead of them.

Does music affect pregnancy?
For years, people have wondered whether music plays a critical role in development. Some women swear by classical music while they're expecting, but the fact of the matter is that there has been no definitive evidence that proves these sounds have a positive effect on unborn children. In fact, babies are unable to hear until later in the pregnancy, meaning making an effort to listen to soothing sounds during the first trimester may have no impact at all.

Previous research found that classical music can reduce the stress levels of expectant mothers, which can be beneficial to their children-to-be. However, no significant evidence has been found on the link between music and babies in the womb. Until experts find definitive proof that tunes can do children some good, it isn't necessary for expectant mothers to focus on it during their pregnancies.

Do you think that music can help your unborn child? Do you listen to soothing sounds to keep yourself calm while pregnant? Leave your feedback in the comments section!