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Using the Power of Music to Send Premature Infants Home Sooner

POSTED BY: Hannah Ballew

Learn how the music therapists of Orlando’s most advanced NICU are helping

premature infants overcome developmental challenges through song.

We all know that music can be fun or relaxing, but did you know that it can also have a profound effect on the growth and development of children? The Florida Hospital for Children music therapy team often uses music to help our patients reach physiological, emotional, cognitive and social goals. Our therapists even use the power of music to help the premature babies in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) go home sooner.

In the womb, infants begin to learn essential skills that help them eat, breathe, comfort themselves and grow. Some premature infants come into the world too soon to achieve these developmental milestones, preventing them from eating normally and in turn, keeping them in the hospital longer. With the help of a tool called the Pacifier Activated Lullaby (PAL®) our music therapists help overcome these challenges by rewarding infants with ten seconds of soft music every time they suck on the pacifier device. Within two minutes, infants learn that their sucking is what produces the music.

According to Florida Hospital's board certified music therapist, Amy Robertson, the PAL® allows babies to go home with their families an average of five days sooner compared to traditional techniques. The tool has also lowered readmission rates for feeding-related issues.

Florida Hospital for Children would like to thank Powers Device Technologies, Inc. for their donation of two PAL® medical devices. Our NICU sees miracles happen every day thanks to the dedicated efforts of our medical professionals, amazing advances in medicine and the tremendous power of prayer.

How do you employ the power of music in your everyday life? Click here to learn more about how the Florida Hospital for Children music therapy team uses music to help our patients heal.