Mother's lullaby is a hit as preemie babies are found to respond well to the sound of their mother's singing

Test have found that the sound of a mother's singing can help stabilise a premature newborn’s breathing rate.

Sleeping mother and baby

Start warming up those vocal chords because new research has shown that the soothing sounds of a mothers and fathers singing can help your premature baby relax and even breathe easier!

Giving birth prematurely can be very stressful for you and your little one. Babies born early can often need to spend some time in hospital after birth which can add to the stress and make this an anxious time.

It can also make it tricky for you to bond with your baby straight away as you may not be able to cuddle him or her as much as you would like to at first.

There are lots of other ways to bond with your baby though and this new research has found that singing to your little one can have benefits beyond simply helping you to connect.

Tests across dozens of clinical trials found that mothers singing helped to stabilise premature newborn’s breathing rate and relax them during their time in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Babies get to know the sounds of their mother’s voice inside the womb so its familiarity will be music to their ears and can aid in sleep or even stabilizing heart rate.

Professor Andy Shennan, in charge of Tommy’s Preterm Surveillance Clinic at St Thomas’ hospital in London, supports the idea that these noises are soothing to babies, but says more research is needed to find out if this has neonatal health benefits:

“It is well established that babies hear and react to noise in the womb, even months before birth. We do not know whether types of noise or music are beneficial in terms of improving health outcomes. Interaction with the developing mind clearly is part of normal development, and exposure to varied stimulus early in life, including noise before birth, logically can only be beneficial in stimulating normal neural pathways. More work is needed to relate the findings of this this study to important neonatal outcomes.”

In the meantime, you should keep singing to your premature baby as parents who took part in the study said that it was good for their stress levels too.

It is important to be aware though that a minute or two of stimulation can be exhausting for premature babies so perhaps stick to the shorter numbers, the complete works of Billy Joel can wait until they are older enough to be embarrassed!

Read more about caring for your premature baby in hospital here

Read more about Tommy’s Preterm Surveillance Clinic here

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