Sing Away Maternal Stress
Mothers of preterm babies often experience stress in the hospital as they worry about the survival of the baby. This heightens the risk of anxiety and depression especially in the case of infants whose birth weight is very low. Maternal stress can pose risk to the infant’s emotional development. Researchers at the University of Helsinki have found that singing during ‘kangaroo care’ when infants are placed on the chest of the mother to establish skin-to-skin contact helped in reducing maternal stress and anxiety. The study found that 85% of the mothers reported improvement in the mood while 57% percent felt it enabled them to cope in a difficult situation. A music therapist guided the parents in the intervention group to sing in a manner appropriate for the age of the preterm infant and also provided singing material.