Mozart’s music reduces pain in newborns

Mozart's music reduces pain in newborns

Playing a Mozart lullaby could reduce the pain babies feel during a blood test. The famous Austrian composer would have an amazing analgesic effect!

The analgesic powers of a lullaby by Mozart

The researchers conducted their survey of around 100 newborns as part of routine screening for conditions such as jaundice and phenylketonuria (PKU) between April 2019 and February 2020. The protocol followed was careful to isolate the only impact of Mozart’s lullaby (which you can listen to in the video below).

As part of standard care, all infants received 0.5 milliliters of sugar solution two minutes before the heel prick. 54 of the 100 infants listened to an instrumental Mozart lullaby for 20 minutes before and during the heel prick and for five minutes afterward, while the rest did not listen to any music. The authors accounted for the potential influence of other sensory inputs on pain levels by consistently performing the procedure in a quiet, dimly lit room at room temperature and providing no pacifier or physical comfort to infants.

To ensure that the investigator himself was not influenced by the music, he wore noise-canceling headphones. It assessed the infants’ pain levels before, during and after the heel prick based on facial expressions, degree of crying, breathing patterns, limb movements and alertness levels.

Less pain during and just after the bite

Result: The median pain score of infants who listened to the lullaby was significantly lower during and immediately after the heel prick. On a maximum scale of 7, infants who listened to the lullaby had pain scores of 4 during the heel prick, 0 one minute after the intervention, and 0 two minutes after the heel prick, while the pain scores of pain of those who did not listen to the lullaby were 7, 5.5 and 2 points. The authors did not observe any significant differences beyond three minutes after the intervention.

Mozart’s music could therefore be effective in relieving pain in newborns during minor procedures. The authors want to continue their research by determining in particular whether the recordings of parental voices can also have an analgesic effect, but also to evaluate the influence of the “physical comfort” of caregivers, in addition to music, on the levels of pain of the baby.