Significance of Music Therapy in Obstetrics and Neonatology

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Abstract

Introduction. The multi-faceted function of music and its influence on psychological as well as physical well-being have been known from ancient times. Positive reports regarding music therapy contributed to increased interest in this particular branch among many obstetricians and neonatologists. The following study describes the review of clinical trials concerning music influence on pregnant women, women giving birth and on newborns. It has been proved using cardiotocography that fetus reacts to music - for example increased fetal heart rate was monitored as well as the baby being more active when the mother was exposed to particular sounds. Additionally, newborns respond positively (calm down more easily) when listening to the kind of music that their mothers had been listening to during pregnancy. Listening to classical, religious or even popular music can effectively reduce anxiety and pain sensation among pregnant women in both vaginal delivery as well as caesarean section. Two weeks of listening to music for 30 minutes a day can significantly reduce the risk of post-natal depression. In the case of newborns, especially premature neonates, the choice of music has a particularly strong impact. The American Academy of Pediatrics acknowledged 45 dB as an upper limit for the sound that should reach the incubator. Results. Babies exposed to higher level of noise can be at risk of changes in routinely monitored parameters such as increased heart rate, breathing frequency and hypoxia. On the contrary, a reversed outcome can be achieved by applying pieces by Mozart. Current reports prove the positive influence of introducing music therapy as an element of interdisciplinary and holistic care of pregnant women and newborns.

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