WHAT IS MUSIC THERAPY ASSISTED CHILDBIRTH?
Although there have been advancements in anesthesia for labor and delivery in recent years, many couples today choose to have a natural childbirth experience. It has been substantiated by research that birth outcomes for mother and baby can be greatly enhanced through the natural childbirth process. Many free-standing and hospital-based family birthing centers are popping up around the country to meet this growing need. Several nonpharmacological interventions are available to laboring mothers including: hypnosis, biofeedback, touch and massage, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, and transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation. Another successful discomfort management technique being explored is the application of prepared music programs during Music Therapy Assisted Childbirth.
In the early 1980s, Music Therapists began to explore the use of “audioanalgesia” (sound for discomfort relief) in the music therapy process in working with labor and delivery patients.Music therapistsassist patients in the clinical application of music in suppressing the discomfort response, but can also work with patients in deeper psychological and emotional ways. The process of “music therapy” differs from “music medicine” based on the establishment of a relationship between therapist and patient. Music therapists specifically design and develop unique treatments for each patient based on the patient’s need and condition.
A Music Therapy Assisted Childbirth program is conducted by a board-certified music therapist, and consists of a series of sessions usually offered in the last trimester of pregnancy. Some music therapists also provide labor and delivery support for the couple during the birth and post-natal visits. Couples are taught how to use music to support their physical and emotional needs throughout the stages of labor and delivery. The music therapist assists the couple in selecting and applying a specially chosen music program to calm, comfort, block discomfort, and focus breathing for each mother. The music therapist may also provide instruction in imagery and relaxation techniques, movement training, singing of lullabies and womb songs, and other creative arts experiences. (A womb song is a special song that is written for the baby while in utero.) Familiar music can help comfort the mother during the birth experience and practice with the music before the birth is essential. This therapy has been found to significantly decrease the mother’s anxiety and discomfort responses, decrease the need for analgesic medications during birth, and has contributed to overall positive feelings about the birth process.
HOW DOES THE SOUND BIRTHING TM METHOD WORK?
You will learn how to use music to support your physical and emotional needs throughout your labor and delivery. Your Music Therapist will assist you in designing a personalized music plan of both live and recorded music to help calm, comfort, block discomfort, and focus your breathing during labor. You will also learn deep relaxation and imagery techniques, movement exercises, and how comfort measures and positions can be supported with music during labor. You will experience the rhythm of the music as your body entrains with it and supports your natural labor rhythm. Familiar and preferred music will comfort you during your birth experience and consistent practice of the techniques with the music before your birth is essential.
THE SOUND BIRTHINGTM METHOD HELPS YOU
- Reduce stress and anxiety during pregnancy
- Learn relaxation, imagery, movement, and breathing techniques for labor
- feel emotionally prepared to give birth
- Feel empowered and confident in your ability to give birth
- Connect with your birth partner
- Connect and bond with your baby in utero and postpartum
WHAT TYPE OF MUSIC IS USED?
The SOUND BIRTHINGTM Method uses specially prepared music playlists that are sequenced to match your labor rhythms. Sound BirthingTM also includes live singing to enhance your bonding experience with your baby.
WHAT IS A WOMB SONG?
A Womb Song is a song that is createdanm sung to the child in utero during gestation. If sung every day during pregnancy, the baby will learn this melody and be calmed by your singing of this tune after birth.
- Are short in length
- Have simple melodies
- Communicate words of feeling and love
- Are gentle and non-percussive
- Can be sung acapella (without accompaniment) or with gentle live or recorded accompaniment