A recent review of published research indicates that hearing their mother's voice can benefit the health of preterm infants.
The review included 15 studies with 512 infants from 2000 to 2015. Hearing the maternal voice, either recorded or live, was linked with the physiologic and behavioural stabilisation of preterm infants, with fewer cardiorespiratory events. There is insufficient evidence to evaluate long-term effects, however.
"Preterm infants' state becomes more stable when mothers talk and sing to them, with potential clinical benefits on autonomous nervous system maturation," said Dr. Manuela Filippa, lead author of the Acta Paediatrica study. "This is an appeal to caring teams for supporting vocal contact between parents and preterm infants, as well as an invitation to investigate its long-term effects on preterm infants' development."