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Quiet conditions are bad for new-borns in care

By Tim Sandle     Nov 13, 2013 in Health
Neonatal intensive care units are full of life-saving equipment and people. It could be that the noise that the equipment makes also helps new-borns recover from serious health conditions.
The finding comes from a new study, which indicates peace and quiet may actually be bad for some babies. This came from a study led by Roberta Pineda of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The research team studied of 136 preterm babies in intensive care units. The study took place at the urban St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
At the end of the study, the researchers found that babies who stayed in private rooms had less mature brains than those who stayed in an open ward. With the private rooms, the researchers are of the opinion that the noise abatement effort made things too quiet for these babies. This matches other research which indicates that babies need stimulation to thrive.
The premise is that babies live the first none months in one of the noisiest places around when they are in the womb. This includes the mother’s breathing, conversations, and other ambient noise, which are both loud and reassuring. Going into a perfectly silent environment after birth is probably not good for the developing infant.
The associated research paper is titled “Alterations in Brain Structure and Neurodevelopmental Outcome in Preterm Infants Hospitalized in Different Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Environments.”
More about Quiet, Newborns, infirmary, Babies, Noise
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