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Music 'soothes stress' during pregnancy

Listening to lullabies, nature sounds and classical music can help women to feel calmer and less stressed during pregnancy, new research has shown.
Listening to lullabies, nature sounds and classical music can help women to feel calmer and less stressed during pregnancy, new research has shown.

Researchers from Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan divided a large group of pregnant women into two sections.

Some 116 pregnant women were given a selection of four music CDs to listen to throughout their pregnancy, while the other 120 received normal pregnancy care.

The four CDs contained lullabies, classical music, nature sounds and new age 'crystal music' featuring Chinese nursery rhymes.

Women in the music group were instructed to listen to at least one CD all the way through every day for two weeks.

It was discovered that the pregnant women who had listened to music reported feeling less anxious and depressed than the women who had not.

Before the study, the women in the music group scored 17.44 on the Perceived Stress Scale, which ranges from zero to 30, while afterwards, their stress levels had dropped by an average of 2.15, compared with just 0.92 in the non-music group.

Professor Chung-Hey Chen, who led the study said: "Our study shows that listening to suitable music provides a simple, cost-effective and non-invasive way of reducing stress anxiety and depression during pregnancy."

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