MUSIC THERAPY AND PREGNANCY
There are now countless applications of Music Therapy both in Italy and abroad that fully involve this discipline in the pathways of accompaniment to birth. Pregnant women face a series of changes not only physical but also psychological as the continuous changes that occur during the nine months are sometimes accompanied by moments of anxiety, stress, fear and fatigue that can prevent the woman from experiencing this extraordinary moment of life in serenity. Listening to music but also the use of musical instruments through music therapy techniques, can help future mothers to reach a state of relaxation, to contain and / or channel states of anxiety, to reach and maintain a state of psycho / emotional well-being , as well as starting a path of recognition, acceptance and relationship with the fetus.
Music therapy sessions in pregnancy are usually proposed from the fifth month of pregnancy onwards as starting from the 27th week of pregnancy, the fetus is able to distinctly hear the sound of the mother’s voice and other family members, sounds with frequencies low and high, as well as perceiving the rhythm.
How to Listen to Music in Pregnancy
The best way to enjoy music therapy during pregnancy is to dedicate two distinct moments during the day, preferably in the late morning before lunch and in the late afternoon.
The first moment, in a reclining and / or sitting position lasting about 20/30 minutes, can be devoted to listening to classical music that emits light, joy, cheerfulness, safety and energy.
As a first approach to classical music I recommend listening to pieces by composers such as Mozart, Debussy, Vivaldi and Brahms, so that you can create that beautiful relationship between music and the fetus.
It should be borne in mind that listening to music favors the dialogue between the expectant mother and the fetus and, if continued even after birth, constitutes a bridge between before and after of great importance for promoting a harmonious development of the baby.
Here are some classical music pieces suitable for listening during pregnancy:
Brahms - Concerto in D Major Op.77 - Adagio
Mozart - Sonata for Two Pianos in D, K. 448
Mozart - Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major Andante
Claude Debussy - Clair de Lune
Ludovico Einaudi - Nuvole Bianche
The second moment to devote to listening, always lasting 20-30 minutes, is a pleasant time to get psychic-mental relaxation in the late afternoon. The relaxation that comes from listening in fact contributes, as found by several studies, to lowering tensions, to regularizing the heartbeat and blood pressure. In addition, music promotes the formation of endorphins, natural substances that remove stress and promote a general state of well-being.
In this part, I also recommend listening to the lullabies and melodies aimed at the newborn and also relaxing songs with a 432 hz tuning that generates a natural resonance with the frequencies at the base of our body. If you want to know more, I invite you to read my article about it: Tuning at 432 HZ: Everything you need to know
Here are some relaxing music pieces to listen to at this stage:
Sound Meditation with Simone Gatto
432Hz 》Nature's Healing Music
Simone Gatto - The Golden Ratio
OM SO HUM - I am the Universe
Emiliano Toso - Music for Cells
The ‘Mozart’ effect in pregnancy
Different and not yet completely irrefutable, are the theories on the Mozart effect according to which listening to Mozart’s songs can have a causal effect on raising the level of the fetus’ IQ. According to the theory developed by G. Shaw and F. Rauscher in the early 90s, listening to a Mozart sonata by a group of volunteers (Sonata in D major for two pianos KV 448), would have produced an increase, albeit temporary, cognitive abilities. The experiment, published in the journal “Nature”, was subsequently contested by other researchers, as the results were not replicable by other similar experiences. Only in 1998, studies conducted in the Wisconsin department of psychology showed that listening to Mozart temporarily increased space-time intelligence.
Based on these premises, the idea has spread that even listening to Mozart during pregnancy can affect the nervous system, producing effects on the unborn child’s IQ, increasing its level, but these are only theories yet to be refuted and proved. Obviously, the beneficial effect of listening to classical music during pregnancy remains undisputed.
The use of the mother’s voice
Few of us know that the voice in addition to being used in structured singing is a very powerful tool for self-healing and transformation. Much of the scientific data on the effects of self-created sound with our voice (humming, as well as intoning all vowel sounds) points to some important physiological benefits. They include:
- Increase in oxygen in cells – Lower blood pressure and heart rate
- Increase in lymphatic circulation
- Increase in melatonin levels
- Reduction in stress-related hormone levels
- Release of endorphins
- Increased production of interleukin-L, a protein associated with blood and immune function
- Increased levels of nitric oxide (NO), a molecule associated with promoting healing
- Release of oxytocin, the confidence hormone.
Especially during labor, mothers-to-be are focused only on what is happening to their bodies and natural singing in the form of a sweet moan is of great help in letting go of the pain that comes in waves.
Thus through a free and unjudged singing, according to a very personal scheme of use and declination, Music Therapy helps mothers to rediscover their own expressiveness. From the simplest and most unstructured song, authentic and personalized lullabies can also be born; from singing combined with words, nursery rhymes can be born for her baby: every mother has the opportunity to create a personalized musical path for herself and her baby, to be used during gestation, to keep and rediscover after birth.
The antenatal class is a very important appointment that should not be underestimated and that allows future parents to face the moment of childbirth and everything that happens before and after it with greater serenity and safety.
For some time I have been organizing classes for pregnant mothers which consist of ten weekly meetings in which future mothers are welcomed from the fifth month onwards and thanks to a team made up of a midwife, music therapist, naturopath, nutritionist, maternity educator. and psychotherapist allows the future mother to live the nine months of pregnancy with serenity, but also to learn many notions and practical techniques that will concretely help her in the moment of birth. Some examples are the recognition of contractions, pain management during childbirth, relaxation techniques, information on childcare but also all the psychological issues associated with this period.