The Effect Of Contingent Music To Premature Infants

Those with health complications are subjected to painful and stressful medical procedures necessary for survival. Both the complications and the interventions are highly correlated with increased impairment in neurological development (Creasey, Jarvis, Myers, Markowitz, &amp. Kerkering, 1993. Karmel, Gardner, &amp. Magnano, 1991). The long-term neurological implications of premature birth are problematic, but fortunately the brain continues to develop throughout life and some damaged neurological networks can be overcome by nurturing and carefully structured learning opportunities (Benes, 1994).
To this point, research with premature infants in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU) has primarily focused on medical procedures for survival and on nurturing techniques such as reducing environmental stimuli, non-nutritive sucking, and touch (Dieter &amp. Emory, 1997). During medical treatment, the infant is often physically restrained by equipment. Additionally, treatments and nourishment are often scheduled with regard to health priorities, rather than with regard to the infant’s desire for food or attention. The detrimental implications of lack of opportunity to experience normal post-birth cause/effect relationships at this stage of development have recently been lamented (Dieter &amp. Emory, 1997).
The infant’s sucking ability is a critical behavior for both survival and neurological development. Sucking is the first rhythmic behavior in which the infant engages, and it is theorized to contribute to neurological development by facilitating internally regulated rhythms (Goff, 1985). Time spent in non-nutritive sucking has been observed in third trimester fetuses. Unfortunately, medical and environmental constraints often inhibit non-nutritive sucking…
To this point, research with premature infants in the newborn intensive care unit has primarily focused on medical procedures for survival and on nurturing techniques such as reducing environmental stimuli, nonnutritive sucking, and touch. During medical treatment, the infant is often physically restrained by equipment. Additionally, treatments and nourishment are often scheduled with regard to health priorities, rather than with regard to the infant’s desire for food or attention. The detrimental implications of the lack of opportunity to experience normal post-birth cause/effect relationships at this stage of development have recently been lamented.
The infant’s sucking ability is a critical behavior for both survival and neurological development. Sucking is the first rhythmic behavior in which the infant engages, and it is theorized to contribute to neurological development by facilitating internally regulated rhythms. Time spent in non-nutritive sucking has been observed in third-trimester fetuses. Unfortunately, medical and environmental constraints often inhibit non-nutritive sucking opportunities, as very premature infants are undergoing the third trimester of what would have been "fatal" development in the NICU.
When non-nutritive sucking opportunities are encouraged in the NICU, development of the premature infant is enhanced. The coordinated suck-swallow-breathe response, which develops in the 34th week of gestation, is a precursor to nutritive sucking ability and nipple feeding.