Using Music During Childbirth


  • Caryl Ann Browning BEd, BMusTh, MTA, CD(DONA)

    1. Caryl Ann Browning is in private practice as an accredited music therapist and a certified doula, and works at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
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Address correspondence to Caryl Ann Browning, 31 Balmoral Drive, Brantford, ON, N3R 5B6 Canada.


Background:The application of music in pain management has become popular in the past two decades. This article describes the responses of primiparas to the use of music therapy during the births of their children.Method:Eleven women who attended childbirth education classes in Brantford, Ontario, Canada, volunteered to participate in a music therapy exercise. During pregnancy each participant selected preferred music, listened to it daily, and received instruction about focused listening. Within 72 hours after birth they were interviewed about their use of music as a coping strategy during labor.Results:Women selected the combination of music and labor support as a helpful coping strategy during labor. All women used the music during labor to help distract them from the pain or their current situation.Conclusion:The planned use of music by mothers and caregivers can be an aid to prenatal preparation and an important adjunct in pain and stress management during labor and birth.