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Baby Music Therapy

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Little Hudson Massey loves listening to music nestled close to his mom.

He was born three months early, weighing less than three pounds.

"Wasn't moving very much, was very red - it was really overwhelming," says Andrea Zalkin.

After six weeks in an incubator, Hudson is now strong enough to spend some time outside it, and enjoy some music therapy.

"When the music is playing, his behavior changes and my behavior changes as well."

New research from the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine shows playing live music to premature babies like Hudson can help them get healthier.

"Lowering of the heart rate, high oxygen saturation which is sort of more even, comfortable breathing," says Dr. Aimee Telsey.

A gato box mimics the mother's heartbeat. When it was played during music therapy sessions like this one, almost all of the infants' sucking ability increased.

"Music has the capacity because it has rhythm, timbre, melody and phrasing, to synchronize in time with the baby's vital signs," says study author Dr. Joanne Loewy."

The study found lullabies also helped ease parents' stress and anxiety.

"It calms my heart rate; it allows the relationship I have with Hudson to grow and it allows us to be more comfortable with each other."

Mom's song of choice is "8 Days a Week." She says it will be music to her ears when doctors finally let Hudson go home.

Recorded music can be helpful when the parents aren't in the hospital with their infants, but the study found the benefits to be greater with live music because the volume and rhythm are adjusted to each baby.

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