Music Therapy Assisted Childbirth
What is MTACB?
Music, support, information, and education provided to the birthing family by the music therapist during pre-natal, labor, birthing, and the immediate post-partum experience.
A Music Therapy Assisted Childbirth program is conducted by a board-certified music therapist, and consists of a series of sessions usually offered in the last trimester of pregnancy. Some music therapists also provide labor and delivery support for the couple during the birth and post-natal visits. Couples are taught how to use music to support their physical and emotional needs throughout the stages of labor and delivery. The music therapist assists the couple in selecting and applying a specially chosen music program to calm, comfort, block discomfort, and focus breathing for each mother. The music therapist may also provide instruction in imagery and relaxation techniques, movement training, singing of lullabies and womb songs, and other creative arts experiences. (A womb song is a special song that is written for the baby while in utero.) Familiar music can help comfort the mother during the birth experience and practice with the music before the birth is essential. This therapy has been found to significantly decrease the mother’s anxiety and discomfort responses, decrease the need for analgesic medications during birth, and has contributed to overall positive feelings about the birth process.
7 Foundational Processes of Music During Labor and Birth
Music changes biology- is used to support a laboring mother to regulate breathing, lower blood pressure and respiration, and decrease discomfort
Music enhances the ability to use coping mechanisms during labor (childbirth techniques), and may seem as though that time is passing faster than it is
Music evokes social support from others and holds the birthing team together including: coach, nurses, doctors, doula, family members, and music therapist
Music can be used to match or affirm moods and feelings the laboring mother is experiencing (iso principle) or may be used to help her change her mood
Music can support the process of becoming a mother, help her to work through her fears and to let go
Music can enhance and support spiritual processes of the laboring mother and may evoke a peak or transpersonal experience
Music can be very important in blocking out extraneous sounds in the birth environment that may interfere with the laboring woman’s entrainment process. Music also provides a “sound blanket” which fills the space and wraps the birthing mother in sounds of comfort and safety
Essential Oils in MTACB
Using Young Living Essential Oils, before, during, and after birth
Belly tightness, and a lavender towel during labor and birth
Queasiness, increases energy, and elevates mood
Queasiness, headaches, and should be avoided in late pregnancy.
For nausea during birth: one drop on a q-tip passed back and forth about three times at least 8-10 inches away from the nose (pending they have no history of rapid heart Rate or reported asthmas or allergies).
Boosts immunity, make chemical free hand sanitizer
Skin breakouts, diffuse to clear odors
Digestive discomfort in 2nd to 3rd trimesters
Smooth skin, relieve itchy skin, grounding
Cramps, aches, pains, skin breakouts, teething
Diffuse for restful sleep, place on heart or behind ears
Diffuse or place on feet for stuffiness
Clary Sage (non-kit oil, and under the direction of midwife/medical professional)
Can aid in the start of labor
Can diffuse mother’s preferred essential oils during birth
What Websites are Saying About MTACB
"Music Therapy Assisted Childbirth is an incredible tool for mothers and fathers as they progress through labor and welcome their new little one into their arms and their life. Using music for relaxation, pain management and to facilitate rhythmic breathing brings the expectant parents and the entire childbirth team together. It supports the mother and her birth partner in creating and facilitating the desired birth experience."
Roman Music Therapy Services
"Regular practice is required to receive these benefits. The music is selected from the repertoire of the couple and the music therapist. In addition, through toning and sounding techniques the voice becomes an instrument of self expression and empowerment allowing the mother to creatively express her feelings during the birth process."
Center for Prenatal and Perinatal Music
What Clients are Saying About MTACB
“Music was the third person in the room. When the contractions were the strongest, the music drew me in. When I felt respite, the music and toning gave me strength. When it came time to push, the music was the driving force. And when we held our child for the first time, we played his special song to welcome him. I don’t think I could have achieved the natural childbirth I desired without the music.”
New Mother from Roman Music Therapy Services
“When we decided to do this I thought you were going to be a DJ for our birth. Wow was I wrong… I had no idea what a spiritual experience this would be and how it would bring us all together in the birth. It was amazing.”
New Father from Sound Birthing Pre and Peri Natal Music Therapy Services
All information regarding music therapy assisted childbirth has been provided by Mary DiCamillo from