Premature babies are those born before 37 weeks. Premature birth can be caused by a number of factors, including infections, or smoking.
Music appeared to help the babies gain weight quicker, reduce pain and help encourage feeding. The researchers looked at the evidence from nine previous studies to draw their conclusions. More and more neonatal units in hospitals are playing music, usually lullabies, sometimes with heartbeat or womb sounds.
The study authors, Dr Manoj Kumar and colleagues, said: “There is preliminary evidence to suggest that music may have beneficial effects in terms of physiological parameters, behavioural states and pain reduction during painful medical procedures.
“While there is preliminary evidence for some therapeutic benefits of music for specific indications, these benefits need to be confirmed in well-designed, high quality trials.”