Music Therapy Assisted Childbirth
More About 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 therapists assist 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.
7 Foundational Processes of Music During Labor and Birth
In a study * of 14 couples who participated in a Music Therapy Assisted Childbirth program it was found that music therapy was very beneficial during the labor and delivery process (DiCamillo, 1999). The use of music during labor and delivery was most effective in supporting (rhythmic) breathing (86%), remaining calm (86%), focus (71%), and in discomfort management (64%). Clients who practiced the techniques at home and who were familiar with their music felt in control and had more positive birth experiences. Many of the clients (64%), felt in control most of the time during labor and delivery. Imagery techniques were effective when paired with the music, and (71%) stated that these techniques were the most beneficial. All of the clients (100%) felt well supported during labor and delivery. All participants (100%) stated that the music therapy program enhanced family bonding with the baby during the immediate postpartum period.
In another case study * by DiCamillo (2000), Music Therapy Assisted Childbirth was found to greatly enhance the birth outcome of an emergency preterm delivery of an infant (33 weeks gestation) due to the client’s condition of severe pregnancy-induced hypertension (high blood pressure). Due to the client’s precarious medical condition while in labor, the physician recommended against epidural anesthesia. The client was able to have an unmedicated, vaginal birth which is what she desired using only music for discomfort relief. The baby was breathing on its own at birth and did not require ventilation. Both mother and baby are doing fine today.
*DiCamillo, M. (2000). Music therapy assisted childbirth: a case study of an emergency highrisk preterm delivery due to pregnancy-induced hypertension. International Music Society for Prenatal Development Review, 12, 2, 813.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is music therapy?
Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.
Who can receive music therapy?
Individuals of all ages and abilities may benefit from music therapy. Music therapists work with expectant mothers, in Neonatal Intensive Care Units, with children and adults with medical diagnoses, intellectual and developmental disabilities, or mental health needs.
What does a typical session look like?
Because each session is tailored to the individual client’s goals and objectives, there is no such thing as a “typical” music therapy session. Music therapists use client-preferred music to address cognitive, social, emotional, physical, and communication goals using a variety of instruments and therapeutic techniques.
Do you have a facility or do you come to my home?
Either one! Nikki, the clinical director, has an in-home studio in southwest Fort Worth. Most of our therapists do home visits throughout the DFW area.
Do you accept insurance?
Heart and Harmony Music Therapy is considered an out-of-network provider for private insurance companies and services may count toward out-of-pocket deductibles. We do not file for our clients at this time, but we have an NPI (National Provider Identifier) number and are happy to help you file for private insurance reimbursement by providing an official assessment report, treatment plan, and appropriate CPT codes. We also accept private payment for our services.
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