Baton Rouge General (BRG) is bringing a music therapy program to its tiniest patients through an expansion of its Arts in Medicine program. Beginning this month, babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) will be exposed to calming, rhythmic sounds that are designed to help babies grown and heal.
Studies show music therapy in the NICU provides a host of benefits, including a stabilized heart rate and improved breathing, feeding, weight gain, and sleep. BRG’s music therapists use breath, voice, and specialized instruments to recreate sounds from the womb that comfort and stimulate babies as they grow.
“Music therapy decreases stress and helps both parents and babies bond, which could mean a shorter hospital stay for their baby,” said Director of Women’s Services Erika Moss, RN.
BRG created its Arts in Medicine program in 2012. The program brings creative activities to patients to inspire hope and promote healing. On any given day, patients, family members, friends, and staff can be seen painting to reduce stress, playing harmonica to improve respiratory capability, singing or playing musical instruments to decrease anxiety and pain perception, or enjoying live music around campus.
“Research shows again and again the benefits of the arts on physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health,” said Kim Henderson, supervisor of the Arts in Medicine program. “No matter your age, music and art can help you heal.”