Giving birth is among the most precious moments for a woman. This is a time to celebrate the firsts of your motherhood. You anticipate the future of your child and you surely want to give them a good future, but when you give birth to a premature baby, you also worry about their development and if your child is taken to the NICU, you would want to know ways of shortening their stay.
While premature babies act and develop later than the full-term babies, playing classical music like that of Mozart music for babies can help them radically with their physical, emotional and cognitive development.
Current studies used Mozart music for babies to determine if there is a positive response if they will listen to classical music for some time. But what benefits can your baby get in listening to classical music? We compiled a list of the benefits of classical music for babies.
If you’re ready, let’s get started.
Who Are the Premature Babies?
Before we begin discussing the benefits that babies get from listening to classical music, let us know first how to determine premature babies.
Normally, a pregnant takes 40 to 42 weeks before giving birth. However, some moms give birth earlier than expected.
Premature babies are identified into four variations, which include:
Late Preterm– This means that a baby was born between their mother’s 34th to 36th week of pregnancy.
Moderately Preterm– This means that a baby was born between their mother’s 32nd and 34th week of pregnancy.
Very Preterm– This means that a baby was born before their mother’s 32nd week of pregnancy.
Extremely Preterm- This means that a baby was born on or before their mother’s 25th week of pregnancy.
While some premature babies survive, some of them die because of complications that may include: breathing problems, heart problems, and brain problems. This is why most identified premature babies are taken to the NICU to be observed and taken care of until they are physiologically mature.
With the advances in technology, some researchers found out that listening to classical music helps alleviate, or even prevent, the complications that may occur to premature babies.
What Benefits Can Your Baby Get in Listening to Music?
We all have our music preferences but when it comes to our child, research shows that we cannot just make them listen to any music. They need to listen to music that does not only soothe their ears but also helps keep their well-being. Hence, listening to classic Mozart music is highly beneficial to them. The benefits of classical music to babies include:
Increased Oxygen Saturation
Researchers observed that there is an increased oxygen saturation to premature babies when they listen to classical music. Testimonies also affirm that music does not only calm the baby but also the parents.
Premature babies tend for their oxygen saturation rate to decrease and listening to music helps stabilize their breathing and normalize the oxygen saturation.
Stabilized Baby’s Breathing
Unlike full-term babies, the lungs of premature babies are not mature enough to adapt to the environment outside their mother’s womb. This is why they tend to have immense difficulty taking in oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide. This could destabilize their breathing pattern which may result in apnea or prolonged breathing pauses. And it must be heartbreaking to see your child in that condition. When this happens, listening to classical music may help stabilize your baby’s breathing.
According to current researches, the classics like Mozart music have a repetitive soothing melody that may help calm premature babies when they feel difficulty in breathing. So it is advisable to play classical music for babies.
Reduced Infant’s Stress
Stress is brought about by many factors. We, adults, tend to get stressed from work and more often than not, we use music to relax our minds.
Likewise, undergoing medical procedures may be painful and stressful for your baby. In light of this stress, listening to classical music can be beneficial for babies.
Studies show that the calming effect of Mozart music for babies may reduce the stress hormone cortisol of your baby. Music may also decrease the distressed behavior of your child. This is probably because of the nostalgic rhythmic pattern of Mozart, similar to the whooshing and heartbeat that they hear when they were still inside their mother’s womb.
Premature babies commonly have lighter weight, which is one of the reasons why they have to be incubated. They need to gain more weight so their physiological state becomes normal.
When your baby listens to music, they tend to be calmer and spend less stress hormone. This means that their heart rate is lower and their breathing is evener. This also means that they have lower resting energy expenditure (research says it drops by 10%) or the amount of energy they need to do physical functions. And when they have lower energy expenditure, there is a quicker increase in their weight, and they grow faster. And when they grow faster, they have a shorter stay in the NICU. Nothing would be more comfortable for moms like us than see our baby home.
Increased Brain Development
Premature babies are prone to having neuropsychological disorders. This is why they need to be given special attention.
Babies exposed to Mozart music have expressed an evident increase in their brain development. Although this should not be mistaken as making them smarter, listening to music helps in their cognitive development despite their stressful environment.
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), researchers found out that babies who listen to music have higher brain development compared to those who don’t listen to music. They found out that music has a positive effect on the brain networks of a premature baby.
Baby Planet Overview
Whether we are a mother to a full-term baby or a premature baby, we must think of their well being. Listening to classical music is a great help in bonding with our bundles of joy, let alone give us great assistance in the development of our babies, especially those who gave birth prematurely. So even during pregnancy, although old as it may seem, listen to the classics (Mozart is a big must) and have happy motherhood.