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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.