With Music Therapy Assisted Childbirth a woman can achieve a natural, drug-free labor and delivery. It has also been shown to reduce the length of labor. The weekly sessions will begin in the sixth month of pregnancy and consist of five separate meetings, one of which takes place post-partum.
During the first session, the client’s music preferences are assessed. By the second session, a custom music CD will have been created to practice relaxation for early labor. The client will be briefed on the childbirthing process and encouraged to attend a childbirth education class. Also for the second session, a music CD will be ready for use during active labor. The music therapist will guide the client in a music imagery session in which relaxation cues are reinforced. The third session will introduce music for transition. The challenges of this most active stage will be discussed as well as additional comfort measures to augment the effectiveness of the music. The fourth session will begin by choosing a birth song, a special dedication to the new baby and family. This song can communicate a message to the baby that will last a lifetime. Then, after a music imagery exercise, the client will receive instructions on how to practice what she has learned in order to be ready for the big day. Equipment needs will be assessed and arrangements will be made to accommodate any lack thereof.
The client will be assisted in formulating a birth plan that incorporates her new skills and includes her partner in the process. After the baby is born the music therapist will return for one last visit to teach infant massage techniques, finger plays, and lullabies, and to administer an exit questionnaire.
Other optional services may include:
- Sibling class to help adjustment of older children to the new baby
- Birth partner training in the use of materials and recognition of labor needs