Objective: To evaluate the impact of music therapy on breastfeeding rates among mothers of premature newborns.
Method: In this open randomized controlled trial, mothers of premature neonates weighting ≤ 1,750 g were submitted to music therapy sessions three times a week for 60 minutes. The endpoints were breastfeeding rates at the moment of infant hospital discharge and at follow-up visits (7-15 days, 30 and 60 days after discharge).
Results: A total of 94 mothers (48 in the music therapy group and 46 in the comparison group) were studied. Breastfeeding was significantly more frequent in the music therapy group at the first follow-up visit [relative risk (RR) = 1.26; 95% confidence interval (95%CI) = 1.01-1.57; p = 0.03; number needed to treat (NNT) = 5.6]. Moreover, this group showed higher breastfeeding rates at the moment of infant discharge (RR = 1.22; 95%CI = 0.99-1.51; p = 0.06; NNT = 6.3) and at days 30 and 60 after discharge (RR = 1.21; 95%CI = 0.73-5.6; p = 0.13 and RR = 1.28; 95%CI = 0.95-1.71; p = 0.09, respectively), but those results were not statistically significant.
Conclusions: This study demonstrated that music therapy had a significant effect in increasing breastfeeding rates among mothers of premature newborns at the first follow-up visit, and also a positive influence (although not significant) that lasted up to 60 days after infant discharge. Music therapy may be useful for increasing breastfeeding rates among mothers of premature newborns.