10.02.2017 change 10.02.2017

Breastfeeding infants recorded in the AGH anechoic chamber

In the anechoic chamber of AGH in Kraków, one of the quietest places in Poland, last week on Tuesday a recording was made of noises made by babies during breastfeeding. The recording will help mothers distinguish between their child drinking milk, and suckling for enjoyment.

From Feb. 9 the recording will be available to YouTube (yt.propersound.pl). The authors of the project: acoustic engineer from AGH University of Science and Technology Marcin Zastawnik and midwife Anna Kotlińska told journalists that this would be the first video with such high-quality audio on the Internet.

"We looked for similar recordings. However, we have not found any with excellent sound quality" - said Zastawnik.

The aim was to create a video widely available in the Internet video, which would help especially young and inexperienced mothers tell when their child eats, and when it suckles for enjoyment or due to pain.

On the recording made in the AGH\'s chamber you can hear that for the first minute baby suckles the breast evenly and fairly quickly - during that time the baby stimulates the breast milk flow. After approx. one minute, you can hear the sounds of more regular suckling and swallowing - the child eats.

"We want to show that contact with the breast is not only feeding. The recording will serve as a kind of guide, a tool for parents who want to learn more about child\'s contact with the breast. By listening to the sounds that a child makes during feeding, parents will be able to tell whether the child eats milk or suckles just because he wants to be with the mother, wants to smell, hear her heartbeat, or maybe suckling is a painkiller "- said Anna Kotlińska, which is also a lactation counsellor and a doctoral student at the Jagiellonian University.

She emphasised that the recording would not replace a consultation with physician or midwife. "Our recording is a few minutes long tool available on the Internet for anyone, at any time, but it will not replace specialist\'s advice" - she noted.

Making the film with excellent sound quality was possible due to the conditions that the AGH anechoic chamber provides. It is a special room with free field conditions (sound field, in which reflections from the surrounding surfaces are negligible in the test frequency range) thanks to special diffusely-absorbing elements applied on walls. This unique reinforced concrete structure has the outer edge of approx. 10 m (approx. 1,000 cubic meters volume). The mass of the chamber is estimated at 600 tons, and the "cube" is mounted on special vibration isolating springs that reduce the transmission of vibration from a nearby road. Due to the placement of wedges also on the floor, researchers in the chamber move on a net stretched half a meter above the wedges.

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