Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Slovak Hospital Plays Mozart to Babies to Ease Birth Trauma

Slovak Hospital Plays Mozart to Babies to Ease Birth Trauma
Or Mozart Makes You Stress Free


(posted by Michael Bellissimo)

At Kosica-Saca hospital in eastern Slovakia, new born babies are fitted with tiny head phones and are made to listen to Mozart in the first hours of life. This is not an attempt to produce super intelligent babies but rather a method of stimulating their mental and physical functions as revealed by music therapy that will reduce stress.
The birth trauma is "enormously stressful for the baby," said Slavka Viragová, the doctor in charge of the hospital's maternity unit, who launched the music project.
The claim is that Mozart helps the infant recall the mother when she is not with them. (this is not clear in the article so I have to assume the these mom’s were asked to listen to Mozart during pregnancy).
"In general, music therapy helps a baby to gain weight, get rid of stress and handle pain better.”
The hospital also uses this method to help premature infants with other health issues stabilize their breathing.
The infants listen 5-6 times a day and it is always a Mozart's classical works, a piano composition by French pianist Richard Clayderman, a mix of natural forest sounds or some other soothing music. Even the nurses can listen to Mozart to help relieve the stress of caring for 20-30 babies every day.
This has been deemed a very successful project for and many women travel long distances to participate.


The article reveals that this is not an experiment but rather a method for stress reduction and it “affects the baby in a very positive way." We should note that this is determined by their behaviour in the hospital as the article does not follow these infants after they leave the hospital. However, Mozart as a stress reducer is plausible. Could we say that Mozart’s music, the tempos, rhythms, perhaps even the sequence of notes have a kind of entrainment effect that calms the babies and reduces the stress in adults? I don’t know but other are taking this seriously in fact Weill Medical College of Cornell University has just finished a study on this and results are forth coming. Although the results from the Slovak hospital are anecdotal evidence has suggested that listening to Mozart may ease stress in newborn babies.

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