Premature infant responses to taped maternal voice
Premature infants are at risk for many potential problems including deficits in social interaction and sensory perception skills. One of the major reasons for this is the relative social isolation of these infants housed in incubators and separated from parents. There is a need to identify social stimuli that may be provided for premature infants that will encourage normal development without adding additional stress. The purpose of this study was to describe the behavioral (facial, motor, activity, visceral, state, and attending) and physiologic (heart rate, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation) responses of premature infants to taped maternal voice. Fourteen stable premature infants from 31 to 34 weeks gestation were monitored and videotaped four times each day for three consecutive days during the first week of life. Each infant served as his own control providing baseline, tape and post tape measures for each of the 12 study sessions. The data for each individual infant and all of the infants as a group were compared over these three study conditions.The results of this study suggest that premature infants are capable of attending to intermittent exposure to taped maternal voice without undue stress. There were no significant differences in heart rate, or oxygen saturation throughout the study conditions. There was a trend toward significance in lower respiratory rates from the baseline to the tape segment. There was a significant increase in respiratory rate during the post tape segment when compared to the tape segment.From the baseline to the tape segment, the infants showed significantly higher amounts of attending. Stability behaviors were significantly higher during the tape segment as well as attending behaviors when compared to the post tape segment. From baseline to the post tape segment, the infants were more likely to be asleep, but continued to show more attending behaviors if awake. There were significantly less stability behaviors from baseline to post segment. The infants trended toward less activity during the taped segment and more wakefulness. The level of stress was minimal across all study conditions.The findings of this study indicate that premature infants in early gestation are responsive to taped maternal voice. Although attending behaviors were not present in all of the sessions, significantly more attending behaviors occurred during the tape segments overall. Taped maternal voice appears to be a nonstressful stimulus for premature infants that may potentially facilitate social responsiveness.
- Nursing - Seattle