Guest Post: Music Therapy and Birth

Guest Post: Music Therapy and Birth
by: Megan Martin, MA, MT-BC
Music Therapy Assisted Childbirth Clinician
(804) 244-0193
Healing Sounds RVA

Imagine this: you're pregnant and you're nervous. Maybe you're nervous about labor and delivery. Maybe you're nervous about bonding with your baby. Maybe, you've heard stories about birth and newborn babies that have made you afraid. Pregnancy. Birth. Newborns. These are all words that bring enormous amounts of excitement and an enormous amount of fear to women. There are a lot of resources and strategies available for women these days to help you have a healthy pregnancy, a low-intervention birth, and support in those first months post-partum. One resource is not as well known- music therapy.

            Music therapy is the evidence based practice of using music for a variety of needs. Music therapy during pregnancy, childbirth and post-partum is a largely underutilized resource. Music therapy is a licensed allied healthcare profession and we work just about everywhere! We have an undergraduate education in music therapy, train in an internship for 6 months after our education, and then have to pass a national board certification exam to become Board Certified Music Therapists. That's the MT-BC designation after my name. After passing the exam, music therapists continue to learn as we are required to accumulate 100 hours of continuing education every 5 years. There are a few music therapists who go on to train in very specific areas of practice- such as music therapy assisted childbirth- to fine tune our skills to work with a niche population. That is exactly what I did. After having my daughter in 2013, I felt empowered to bring the power of music therapy to families in Richmond after receiving my childbirth education.

            The use of music therapy during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum can provide numerous benefits for both parents and babies! Using music therapy during pregnancy can help parents learn coping skills for labor, write lullabies for their new baby, begin to bond with their baby, create a lullaby for their baby, and use a variety of creative interventions to work through anxiety and fear prior to birth. Having a music therapist present during birth provides extra support for parents; music catered for each stage of labor, provides non-pharmacological pain management, and decreases the need for interventions. After birth, the music therapist can help parents bond with their baby through original lullabies, postpartum support music and music therapy interventions to help with postpartum depression, anxiety, and sleeplessness. At our practice, we provide workshops for expectant parents and birth professionals, as well as music therapy assisted childbirth.

            Consider learning more by attending one of our workshops at Healing Sounds RVA, or call us and get a FREE consultation for music therapy assisted childbirth!