Caring for an infant in the NICU can be stressful and trying for parents, no matter the duration of time spent there. But the staff at Dell Children’s Medical Center is doing everything they can to make the experience a little easier, including the use of music therapy. Because these little ones can’t always be held and sung to by their parents, certified music therapist Della Molloy-Daugherty has come up with a way to ensure that the babies always have access to their parents’ voices.
A Little Music Goes a Long Way
Thanks to Della’s efforts, new mother Suzanne Kilpatrick is comforted, knowing that her daughter Aza will be able to hear her voice even when she can’t physically be there. With Della’s help, SNICUuzanne has recorded her voice so that Aza never has to feel isolated from her. Aza, who has been at Dell Children’s for eight and a half months, is just one of many infants who has her own special lullaby, sung or even hummed by her mother, that plays on repeat when she can’t be in her arms.
Comforting Parents and Baby
Della emphasizes the importance of a mother’s voice to the growth and development of infants, as this is the first human sound to which they’re exposed. So not only is music therapy comforting to parents, giving them the sense that a part of themselves is constantly at their baby’s side, but it can also have a huge impact on the infants as well.
While parents are, of course, encouraged to speak and sing to their babies in person any chance they get, sometimes that direct contact isn’t possible in the NICU. With the help of Della and her guitar, infants and parents at Dell Children’s don’t have to miss out on these crucial bonding moments.