Home Health Parents News Now Live Music Has Health Benefits for Premature Babies, Study Finds Live Music Has Health Benefits for Premature Babies, Study Finds By Holly Lebowitz Rossi April 16, 2013 Advertisement Save Pin FB More Tweet Mail Email iphone Send Text Message Print shutterstock_51534769 30276 Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City led the research, conducted in 11 hospitals, which found that live music can be beneficial to premature babies. In the study, music therapists helped parents transform their favorite tunes into lullabies. The researchers concluded that live music, played or sung, helped to slow infants' heartbeats, calm their breathing, improve sucking behaviors important for feeding, aid sleep and promote states of quiet alertness. Doctors and researchers say that by reducing stress and stabilizing vital signs, music can allow infants to devote more energy to normal development. And while the effects may be subtle, small improvements can be significant. Premature births have increased since 1990, to nearly 500,000 a year, one of every nine children born in the United States. The study, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, adds to growing research on music and preterm babies. Some hospitals find music as effective as, and safer than, sedating infants before procedures like heart sonograms and brain monitoring. Some neonatologists say babies receiving music therapy leave hospitals sooner, which can aid development and family bonding and save money. Image: Mother rocking baby, via Shutterstock By Holly Lebowitz Rossi Save Pin FB More Tweet Mail Email iphone Send Text Message Print Comments Add a Comment Be the first to comment! Advertisement Close this dialog window Add a comment Live Music Has Health Benefits for Premature Babies, Study Finds Add your comment... Cancel Submit Success! Thanks for adding your feedback.