Disclosure :: This is a sponsored post brought to you by SongBirthNola. We are excited to share it with you today because we first and foremost believe that EVERY birth should be celebrated but secondly because we love to hear about other birth options, especially ones that exist within our community!
Maybe this is it….
I woke up on Saturday, September 20 (my due date) with menstrual-like cramps. I went about my morning as usual, not sure if this was it or not. My husband and I went for a walk around the block and I was stopped by the pain a couple of times. Once we got home, I started timing the cramps, realizing they were probably contractions. Achy inner thighs soon accompanied the cramps, and the contractions were coming about 15 minutes apart. We decided to go pick up lunch at Mid City Market and some fruit at Whole Foods. The rest of the afternoon at home was quiet. I didn’t even tell anyone I was in labor in case it was a false alarm. I rested and read, and as the day went on my contractions seemed to slow. They became more sporadic, occurring every 45 minutes and then not another for 30 minutes. I thought, “maybe I’ll get a good night’s sleep at home tonight after all”.
Around 8:00 pm, my contractions became stronger and more intense, and I felt nauseated. I continued laboring at home and was comfortable doing the Mamaste yoga mama cow position during contractions and lying on my side or in child’s pose in between. I vomited a few times and noticed some mucus and bloody show. Soon the contractions were 10 minutes apart, then 8 minutes and my husband was getting anxious to get me to the hospital. I knew I wasn’t quite ready yet. About 11:00 pm, I called my OB to let him know that I would be coming in tonight.
On to the hospital
My husband and I finished packing the car and we were on our way. On the way to the hospital, I listened to a SongBirthNola relaxation playlist to help me connect with baby. Upon arrival at the labor and delivery unit, the nurse asked me if I wanted to go back home if I wasn’t far along yet. I had been laboring all day! I knew the time was near. She examined me, and I was 5 cm already. We got checked in at 12:15 am. I continued to labor on all fours and rest lying on my side in between contractions. A few times, I told my husband, “this is hard,” though it was more the discomfort of the IV in my hand and the monitor around my belly than pain from contractions.
SongBirthNola and a baby girl
I listened to my SongBirthNola movement and relaxation playlists, which took my mind off the discomfort and helped make the time pass. 2 hours later, I was already 8 cm and my water broke naturally. I switched the music to my imagery playlist to use guided imagery during transition. Once my water broke, things got intense and the urge to push was strong. The doctor hadn’t made it yet, so the nurse and my husband encouraged me to breathe through contractions. Thankfully, the doctor arrived in time. I switched the music to a guitar birthing baby down playlist, and after a short time pushing, our little girl was born at 3:30 am. The surge of hormones after delivering was unreal. I was shaking uncontrollably and it took a while to register that I had a daughter. Once skin to skin contact began, I switched the music to the baby girl bonding playlist and “Isn’t She Lovely” came on. A nurse commented how appropriate the song was and my doctor said, “Of course. She’s a professional. That’s what she does.” After the first feeding, my husband enjoyed skin to skin contact with her while I put on a guitar folk lullabies playlist for them. Experiencing music therapy assisted childbirth first hand was such a thrill. Having our own personally selected playlist for each stage of labor really heightened the experience and allowed me to bond with my daughter during labor, delivery, and immediately postpartum.
So what are the benefits of music therapy assisted childbirth?
- Decreases the mother’s anxiety and discomfort responses
- Decreases the need for analgesic medications during birth
- Contributes to overall positive feelings about the birth process
- Supports rhythmic breathing
- Assists mother in remaining calm and focused
- Empowers mothers to feel in control
- Enhances family bonding during the immediate post-partum period
The Music Therapy Assisted Childbirth (MTACB) program offered by SongBirthNola:
- Is conducted by a board-certified music therapist
- Consists of a series of sessions, usually offered in the last trimester
- Teaches couples how to use music to support their physical and emotional needs throughout stages of labor and delivery, including c-sections
- Assists couples in selecting and applying a specially chosen music program to calm, comfort, and focus breathing
- Provides instruction in imagery and relaxation techniques, movement training, singing of lullabies and womb songs
Are you interested in learning more about music therapy assisted childbirth? Contact Lauren at [email protected] in the beginning of your 3rd trimester to set up a free consultation. There are 2 slots available for January due dates with a half off special rate.
Lauren Hines, MT-BC was born in Omaha, Nebraska and raised in a small rural town. She attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts where she received her Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy. Lauren then moved to New Orleans to complete her music therapy internship at Children’s Hospital. Captivated by New Orleans’ culture, she has remained a New Orleanian since 2006. Lauren has worked as a full-time music therapist at East Jefferson General Hospital since 2007. She has also worked in the Jefferson Parish School System with The Music School Bus and offered music therapy services to Hospice Associates. Lauren currently teaches piano and guitar to children of all ages. Lauren has received training and education in Music Therapy Assisted Childbirth from Sound Birthing Music.