Center for Prenatal and Perinatal Music, Giselle Whitwell, DoulaImage - Services Header Graphic

"Music duplicates the prenatal existence of flow and vibration,
always a part of man."  Carolyn B. Kenny, RMT
     Music Therapy Assisted Childbirth has many benefits, aiding mothers in the attainment of a natural birth (most often free of drugs). Music therapy studies and their application have demonstrated that a specially designed music program is effective in relieving pain, assisting with breathing, giving focus to the mind, helping with relaxation and generally enhancing the birth experience and outcome for mothers and babies. Regular practice is required to receive these benefits. The music is selected from the repertoire of the couple and the music therapist. Tapes are customized for practice as well as for the labor and delivery setting. Parents have reported continued use of this music after birth and for relaxation during breastfeeding. 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.


- Clark, M., McCorkle, R., & Williams, S. (1981). Music therapy-assisted labor and delivery, Journal of Music Therapy, 18, 88-100.
- DiCamillo, Mary P., Ph.D. (1999). A bio-psycho-social model of music therapy assisted childbirth: an integrative approach to working with families. Doctoral dissertation, Pepperdine University, CA.
- Gonzales, C. E. (1989). The Music therapy-assisted childbirth program: a study evaluation. Pre- and Peri-Natal Psychology Journal, 4, 111-124.
- Hanser, S. B., Larson, Sh. C., & O’Connell, A. S. (1983). The effect of music on relaxation of expectant mothers during labor. Journal of Music Therapy, 20, 50-58.
- Liebman, S.S., & MacLaren, A. (1991). The effects of music and relaxation on third trimester anxiety in adolescent pregnancy. Journal of Music Therapy, 28, 89-100.
- McKinney, C. H. (1990). Music therapy in obstetrics: a review. Music Therapy Perspectives, 8, 57-60.