Music Therapy May Increase Breastfeeding Rates Among Mothers of Premature Newborns: A Randomized Controlled Trial


music therapy
maternal welfare

How to Cite

Vianna, M., Barbosa, A., Carvalhaes, A., & Cunha, A. (2012). Music Therapy May Increase Breastfeeding Rates Among Mothers of Premature Newborns: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 12(3).


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of music therapy on breastfeeding rates among mothers of premature newborns.

METHOD: In an open randomized controlled trial, mothers of premature neonates weighting ≤1750g were submitted to music therapy sessions three times a week for 60 minutes. The primary endpoint was breastfeeding rate (exclusive, predominant or continuous) at the moment of infant discharge and at the first follow-up visit (7-15 days after discharge).

RESULTS: A total of 94 mothers (48 in the music therapy group and 46 in the comparison group) were studied. Breastfeeding was more frequent in the music therapy group at the moment of the infant hospital discharge (RR: 1.22; 95% CI: 0.99-1.51; P = .06; NNT = 6.3) and at the firstfollow-up visit (RR: 1.26; 95% CI: 1.01-1.57; P = .03; NNT = 5.6).  Breastfeeding rates were higher in the intervention group at day 30 and day 60 after discharge, but these results were not statistically significant (RR: 1.21; 95% CI: 0.73-5.6 and RR: 1.28; 95% CI: 0.95-1.71 respectively). 

CONCLUSIONS: Music therapy increased breastfeeding rates in premature newborns at discharge, as well as 7-15 days later. This approach could be useful for increasing breastfeeding rates among premature newborns.

[Editors note: The article presented here is republished from Jornal de Pediatria, 2011, 87(3), 206-212, doi: 10.2223/JPED.2086, with the kind permission from the publisher and the authors.]

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