Are you pregnant and feeling stressed? Maybe you have other children already, or maybe you’re nervous because it’s your first. No matter your situation, music is an amazing tool you can use to help you during your pregnancy and post-partum!
– ease tension
– relieve anxiety
– help you manage stress
– aid in expressing emotions
– promote wellness
During your pregnancy, music can promote bonding between mom and baby even before the baby is born. This is because within 22 days after conception, the cochlea (part of the ear that receives sound) begins to form. By 4-5 months of fetal development, the baby is able to hear and respond to sound and melody! Singing and reading stories to your baby in utero is important for them to learn your voice and native language, as well as aid in bonding. Music therapists recommend that mothers sing simple melodies to their babies. Ever heard of the Mozart Effect? It’s been debunked! Classical music can actually be very complex and over-stimulating for babies, so it’s best to stick to simple lullabies and children’s songs.
In addition, music can be used to ease anxiety about your pregnancy and even ease pain during birth. Because music is so accessible now with streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, making thoughtfully curated playlists is a quick and easy way to benefit you through the whole labor & delivery process. Music therapists primarily recommend instrumental songs that do not have a lot of singing/lyrics, but ultimately any type of music that you personally find relaxing while also being interesting enough to distract you is the best type of music to add to these playlists!
Music can be a great outlet for dealing with stress and anxiety of everyday life. However, it can be especially helpful to use during your postpartum recovery. It is very common for women to experience “baby blues” after giving birth (about 80% of women, in fact) as your body’s hormone levels drop, lcausing chemical changes in your brain. This is also why a more serious (but completely treatable) condition, postpartum depression, occurs in every 1 in 9 women. Music can be helpful in easing your transition to parenthood.
In addition, music is beneficial in bonding and healthy attachment between newborn babies and parents and can be paired with rhymes or stories. Listening to music can be a great way to unwind before naptime, bedtime, and any other stressful time. Taking a minute to breathe and listen to relaxing music can really change your mood and environment drastically.
Lastly, music can help you process. In addition to the big life change of becoming a parent, postpartum depression may be lurking and your sleep schedule is bound to be very different than it was before! Music can help induce sleep (also recommending instrumental music for this) and help you process your emotions as you adjust to becoming a parent. Finding music that has lyrics you can relate to is one way to process without having to come up with the words to express your emotions on your own. In addition, writing your own songs can be very therapeutic and a great coping skill as well as a leisurely outlet.
Take advantage of music and use it any and every way you can! It’s a great tool to help anyone in any situation, and one especially important during pregnancy and as a new mom.