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Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2017 May;27:61-67. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2017.03.004. Epub 2017 Apr 1.

Effects of prenatal music stimulation on fetal cardiac state, newborn anthropometric measurements and vital signs of pregnant women: A randomized controlled trial.

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Nurse at Rafael Mendez Hospital, Lorca, Murcia, Spain; University of Lorca, Lorca, Murcia, Spain. Electronic address:
Professor at the University of Almería, Lorca, Murcia, Spain.
Midwife at Rafael Mendez Hospital, Lorca, Murcia, Spain.
Professor at the University of Almería, Lorca, Murcia, Spain; Andalusian Council of Health at Almeria Province, Almería, Spain.



Music has been used for medicinal purposes throughout history due to its variety of physiological, psychological and social effects.


To identify the effects of prenatal music stimulation on the vital signs of pregnant women at full term, on the modification of fetal cardiac status during a fetal monitoring cardiotocograph, and on anthropometric measurements of newborns taken after birth.


A randomized controlled trial was implemented. The four hundred and nine pregnant women coming for routine prenatal care were randomized in the third trimester to receive either music (n = 204) or no music (n = 205) during a fetal monitoring cardiotocograph. All of the pregnant women were evaluated by measuring fetal cardiac status (basal fetal heart rate and fetal reactivity), vital signs before and after a fetal monitoring cardiotocograph (maternal heart rate and systolic and diastolic blood pressure), and anthropometric measurements of the newborns were taken after birth (weight, height, head circumference and chest circumference).


The strip charts showed a significantly increased basal fetal heart rate and higher fetal reactivity, with accelerations of fetal heart rate in pregnant women with music stimulation. After the fetal monitoring cardiotocograph, a statistically significant decrease in systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure and heart rate in women receiving music stimulation was observed.


Music can be used as a tool which improves the vital signs of pregnant women during the third trimester, and can influence the fetus by increasing fetal heart rate and fetal reactivity.


Fetal heart rate and anthropometric measurements; Full-term pregnant women; Music therapy; Prenatal; Vital signs

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