Elisenda Pujals, Music Therapist, Singer, Vocal Coach
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The circumstances surrounding premature births are of an intensively stressful nature, not only for the newborn, but also for the parents as they witness their baby enduring life-threatening situations and painful medical interventions in the NICU. The extent and duration of negative emotions is such that depression and trauma among parents are frequent outcomes and, ultimately, attachment can be permanently compromised. Throughout an end-of-Master research at SJD, MT interventions were observed to identify those NICU-specific. Special attention was given to the conscious use of voice and breathing as stress inhibiting and emotion regulating tools. Additionally, the impact of such interventions on the mental health of the primary caregivers was assessed from a qualitative perspective by means of a series of interviews. Consistently reported feelings of joy, peace, relief and fulfilment after said MT interventions has been interpreted as unambiguous signpost of parents' resilience building up and of attachment preservation.