Local hospital fundraises to get music therapy devices for newborns

A local hospital is fundraising to bring pacifier activated lullabies into their nursery unit.
Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 7:35 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - WVU Medicine Camden Clark is fundraising to bring a music therapy device into its nursery unit.

Music Therapist Abby Dodds and Director of Rehab Services Missy Covert are well-versed in the healing power of music.

They’re the faces behind the push to bring pacifier activated lullabies also known as PAL’s to WVU Medicine Camden Clark.

Dodds explained, “It is just a pacifier that is equipped with a sensor and when babies initiative the sensor that’s inside the pacifier it initiates a music signal to be played.”

It’s more than a cute lullaby. Dodds said the device helps newborns develop their suck.

“When you talk about feeding in infants, there are a few different components that are most important. It all starts with the suck.”

Dodds said babies that struggle feeding, babies away from their mother, and babies who aren’t engaged with the normal feeding process especially benefit from pals.

“And so the babies typically suck and are relaxed and often times they fall asleep. It’s just sort of a training tool that helps keep them comfortable at the same time,” she said.

Families can even add their own personal touch.

Covert added, “One cool thing about that is you can actually record the mothers voice so that when the baby sucks it actually produces a lullaby that the mom or father has sung or someone else in the family.”

Covert said it feels like the right time to bring pals into their nursery unit. WVU Medicine Camden Clark integrated music therapy into the hospital just last year.

“There’s lots of evidence that shows that music therapy decreases pain, anxiety - you actually use less pharmaceuticals intervention when music therapy is involved with patients,” she said.

WVU Medicine Camden Clark will be hosting a gala this Saturday where participants can donate towards the cause. Tickets are sold out but you can also mail a check to PO box 8200, Morgantown 26506. You put “Bid for Good MOV” in the memo line.