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The Effect of Music-Based Listening Interventions on the Volume, Fat Content, and Caloric Content of Breast Milk–Produced by Mothers of Premature and Critically Ill Infants

Keith, Douglas R. PhD, MT-BC; Weaver, Barbara S. RN; Vogel, Robert L. PhD

Section Editor(s): Dowling, Donna

doi: 10.1097/ANC.0b013e31824d9842
Original Research

PURPOSE: Maternal breast milk is considered the nutritional “gold standard” for all infants, especially premature infants. However, preterm mothers are at risk of not producing adequate milk. Multiple factors affect the production of milk, including stress, fatigue, and the separation of the breastfeeding dyad—for example, when mother or infant is hospitalized. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of listening and visual interventions on the quantity and quality of breast milk produced by mothers using a double electric breast pump.

SUBJECTS: Mothers of 162 preterm infants were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 groups.

METHODS: The control group received standard nursing care, whereas mothers in the 3 experimental groups additionally listened to a recording of 1 of 3 music-based listening interventions while using the pump.

RESULTS: Mothers in the experimental groups produced significantly more milk (P < .0012). Mothers in these groups also produced milk with significantly higher fat content during the first 6 days of the study.

Georgia College and State University, Milledgeville (Dr Keith); Medical Center of Central Georgia, Macon (Ms Weaver); and Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro (Dr Vogel).

Correspondence: Douglas R. Keith, PhD, MT-BC, Department of Music Therapy, CBX 067, Georgia College, Milledgeville, GA 31061 (

This research was supported in part by the MedCen Foundation, Macon, GA, grant 23750 (10/1/08-9/30/09).

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

© 2012 National Association of Neonatal Nurses