Home WorldAsia Study Confirms Mother’s Voice can Slow Down the Heart Rate and Pain Degree in Premature Babies

Study Confirms Mother’s Voice can Slow Down the Heart Rate and Pain Degree in Premature Babies

by Amélie Poulain

The latest research shows that the heart rate and external pain response of premature infants will be significantly reduced after hearing the familiar mother’s voice below 70 decibels when taking heel punctures to collect blood. At the same time, the breathing rate will slow down, the mother-infant connection will be better, and the blood oxygen saturation will also increase.

Studies show that when premature infants have a heel puncture for blood collection, their heart rate and pain response will be significantly reduced after hearing the familiar voice of their mother.
(Photo via pexels.com)

Taipei, TAIWAN (Merxwire) – The latest research shows that when premature babies have a heel puncture to collect blood, their heart rate will be slower and the external pain response will be lighter after hearing the mother’s familiar voice. This clinical trial is a collaboration between the Department of Nursing of National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University in Taiwan and Lincou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital. The research results have been published in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing.

Since the health status of most children can be grasped through blood testing of premature babies, there will be a need to collect baby blood doing tests. Considering the bleeding risk of traditional blood testing, heel puncture is the more commonly used technique to collect blood for premature infants. But parents are still very concerned about the pain and other negative effects of such invasive tests.

In a French clinical study, the mother read the story of Le Petit Prince to accompany the baby and found that at a volume of 70 decibels, the voice has the effect of soothing the baby. It can reduce anxiety when the mother is not around, and also stabilize the baby’s heart rate. If the volume exceeds 70 decibels, the heart rate will increase, so it is also important to maintain a comfortable and gentle volume.

To understand whether the mother’s voice can have a certain soothing effect on the premature baby’s heel puncture, Professor Chi-Wen Chen from the Department of Nursing of National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University and his research team cooperated with the Lincou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital. 64 premature infants were randomly divided into an experimental group and a control group. When the babies in the experimental group were to undergo blood testing after the fourth day of birth, the audio files of the children’s book stories pre-recorded by their mothers were played from the first 3 minutes of the heel puncture.

Since childhood sprouts in the uterus, the mother is the baby’s biggest backer. (Photo via pexels.com)

The research team specially selected the children’s book “The Yellow Persimmon of Xiaoqi” which metaphors premature babies as immature persimmons. They bear beautiful fruits after careful care and the story also encourages mothers of premature babies. The volume is kept below 70 decibels during playback from the first 3 minutes of blood collection to the end of the whole process. Let the mother’s voice accompany the baby and also observe and measure the children’s reactions.

In addition to measuring the baby’s heart rate during the blood collection process, the experiment measured whether the pain response was reduced by observing six major indicators, including facial expressions, breathing, hands, feet, crying, and alertness. It turned out that hearing the mother’s voice did make the child’s heart rate and pain response much lower than that of the control group.

The study also found that compared with the control group, the experimental group who heard the mother’s voice had a slower breathing rate, better mother-infant connection, and increased blood oxygen saturation. Although this part of the figure did not reach a significant difference, it did have a clear positive impact. Professor Chen said that premature babies need more frequent care and the company of their mothers, but due to the limitation of meeting time and space environment, the mothers cannot accompany the babies, thus affecting the children’s physical pain and behavioral responses.

Therefore, the mother’s voice can not only make the baby laugh but also help the baby to relieve pain. The ICU nurses who participated in the study suggested that in the future, more consideration should be given to the mother-infant-friendly environment and related measures in the care and equipment of premature infants. To meet the emotional needs of mothers and children and provide both physical and physiological multimodal care. Let premature babies grow up smoothly under stable protection.

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