A new study showed that playing classical music helped reduce stress for babies during minor painful procedures
Here’s a good reason to queue up some classical music on your phone during your baby’s next doctor appointment. A new study, published in Pediatric Research, found that playing calming music, like a Mozart lullaby, can reduce babies’ stress and pain when they undergo procedures like heel pricks and vaccinations.
These types of procedures are very common for young infants, and while some researchers have argued that these babies’ brains aren’t developed enough to feel pain, anyone who’s been in the room with them during a shot or a heel prick knows that definitely isn’t the case. The authors of the study measured the pain levels of babies who received a heel prick test by assessing their facial expressions, crying, breathing, limb movements, and alertness. Around half of the babies listened to instrumental Mozart music for 20 minutes before the test, during it, and for five minutes after. The rest of the babies didn’t listen to any music.
All of the babies in the study were recorded at zero pain before the heel prick, but the babies who were listening to music had a much lower average pain score during and immediately after the test than the babies who didn’t.
“Music intervention is an easy, reproducible, and inexpensive tool for pain relief from minor procedures in healthy, term newborns,” said Dr. Saminathan Anbalagan, a neonatal and perinatal medicine fellow at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia and the lead researcher on the study. “We suggest that future studies should also strongly consider exploring the effects of similar interventions, such as recorded parental voice instead of Mozart music.”
So is it worth creating a “Shots & Other Uncomfortable Things” Spotify playlist? It certainly can’t hurt!