Kosice, Slovakia (AFP, Tuesday 16th August, 2005)
On their small head, the newborn get earphones stereo and their little hands are moving at the music rhythm. At the Kosice-Saca Hospital, in the East of Slovakia, the newborn listen to Mozart since the first hours of their life.
The objective is not to create a generation of genious musicians but to stimulate the mental and physical functions of the babies thanks to the benefits of the musicotherapy.
“The childbirth is a very difficult process and represents for each baby a tremendous stress”, explains to the AFP Miss Slavka Viragova, chief consultant, of the Kosice-Saca Hospital maternity, who has set up this project.
" In the womb of his mother, the child listens to the heart beating of his mother that represents for him a source of protection and positive feelings. In order that the baby reminds his mother during the period that follows immediately the childbirth when he is not with her, we made him listen to music”, she says.
In a room with walls and windows decorated with animal drawings issued from fairy tales, about ten newborn in swaddling clothes are put in small beds, one at the side of the other, in two lines. They listen to the music and sleep quietly.
From time to time, they open their eyes, move, yawn and grin sardonically.
Next room, another one with “incubators” for premature children
birth or with health disorders. They also listen to the music.
" We have noted that a well-chosen musicotherapy helps to the organs’ decongestion among premature baby birth and so to a stabilization of their breathing. Generally speaking, the musicotherapy helps the baby to increase his weight, to rid himself of the stress of the birth and to bear better the pain”, points out Ms.Viragova.
Mother of two sons 15 and 12 years old, Slavka Viragova, has applied this method to her own children. She made them heard some compositions of Mozart. " We have observed that the Mozart’s music has a very good effect on the development of the intelligence quotient”, she highlights.
At the hospital, the newborn listen to a piece of a classical work of Mozart of 10 minutes five or six times a day, from a Richard Clayderman composition for piano, made up of a mixture of virgin forest sounds or even of a relaxing music. “The music is very sweet and quiet, its intensity is between 30 and 50 decibels which can be compared with the sound produced by a normal walk or the opening of a door”, explains the chief doctor.
More often, the music is played in the whole room and softens also the stress of the nurses often exhausted with the 20 to 30 babies to care permanently in the maternity.
The earphones are used in order to create for the baby a more peaceful and relaxing surroundings.
Some babies are with their mother during all the day when these last ones feel strong enough after the childbirth. These rooms are equipped with of small stereo system. So, it is possible to bring ones CDs and cassettes.
This project, unique in Slovakia and in Central Europe, has been set up since two years and is well received by the mothers. It is certainly a very good idea and the effect on the baby is very positive, says Livia Oliarova, 30 years old, who second child, Adrian, is a born child at the Kosice-Saca Maternity.
We will keep on making him listen to music probably at home”, she says.
Now the Hospital is a little bit victim of its fame. And some women are ready to travel some hundred of kilometres for giving birth in this maternity, at the East of the Slovakia.