Premature Babies Get Healthier with Musical Pacifier Therapy

Source: Adventist News Network

[February 20, 2007] Premature babies at Florida Children's Hospital are the first tiny patients in Central Florida to receive music therapy with the Pacifier Activated Lullaby (PAL) System. The musical pacifier is used as a therapy device that teaches infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) how to suck, swallow, and breathe in a healthy rhythm. In addition, it helps premature infants feed normally and gain weight.

The sucking action is also believed to play a role in neurological development. Research shows that preemies increase their suckling rate 2.5 times once exposed to the PAL and leave the hospital an average of 11 to 12 days sooner with PAL, as opposed to those who do not receive the treatments. With six out of every 100 births occurring prematurely, too-early birth is a critical health problem.

The pacifier works by playing a soothing, reinforcing lullaby when an infant sucks the specially wired, pressure-sensitive pacifier and stops playing when the infant stops sucking. Within minutes, preemies weighing as little as three pounds learn how to keep the healing music playing.

By Florida Hospital Staff and Adventist News Network