Thursday, September 25, 2014

Health Issues Wk5 - Labor of Love

A few of my friends recently had babies. I’ve never been pregnant so I don’t know what it is like to have labor pain. I’ve only seen mothers screaming at their husbands threatening to kill the husbands for putting them through the agony of childbirth.  That is about the closest I have gotten to being in a room with a screaming pregnant lady wishing for the baby to come out already.

Though I am 45 years old, I still have high hopes that I will be pregnant and have my own children one day. Knowing that the pain is part of the package, I asked my newly-mothers if they had anything to help with the pain. 4 out of 5 told me they had an epidural injection to help with the pain. They told me you’ll forget it once it’s over, but during will be the worst kind of pain a woman could imagine. The one friend who didn’t use any medication said that it hurt, but she endured it.
Unsatisfied with their answers, I did some research on what could be done naturally, and relating to the arts that could help alleviate the labor pain.  Kara Maria Ananda started a Healing Arts of Birth workshop in Mount Shasta, California. Ananda trains therapists to help expectant mothers give healthy births. “Natural healing arts can offer effective pain relief and support for labor and birth without any of the negative side effects that narcotic and pharmaceutical pain relief can cause. Birthworkers, birth partners, and pregnant women can all benefit from learning techniques and practices from energy healing, massage, craniosacral therapy, rebozo, dance, yoga, sound healing, and holistic nutrition for improving labor experience and outcomes.” (Ananda, 2012)

Sound Healing was something new. It turns out that this type of healing is based on the belief that sound changes your consciousness. If this were so, can music help relief pain during labor? If so, what type of music would one listen to? If a person likes Trance, would she listen to “Starry Eyes Surprise,” by  Paul Oakenfold during labor or will she need to listen to classical music –even if it is the last genre on her list of must haves?
A recent article by Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation published a study on how effective music is during labor. Serap Simavli and team recruited 156 primiparous women who planned for vaginal delivery. About half were randomly chosen for the music therapy group and the other half were placed in a control group. This study was place in Turkey. There were five types of music: “classical music, Turkish art music, Turkish fold music, Turkish classical music, popular music.” (Simavli, 2014)

The study found that, “Music therapy was an effective method for reducing and relieving labor pain and anxiety, improving maternal-fetal-neonatal parameters and reducing postpartum analgesic requirement compared with the control group. It can be clinically recommended as an alternative, safe, easy, noninvasive and nonpharmacological method to relieve pain and improve maternal-fetal well-being.” (Simavli, 2014)
What I found interesting was that “during active labor, women with more rapid chest breathing need more rapid music with a faster tempo. We used different tempi and volumes according to the progress of labor.” (Simavli, 2014)  Maybe you can listen to Trance while giving birth.

Ananda (2012) Birthemissary.  [Blog]  Retrieve from:

Simavli S, Gums I, Kaygusuz I, Yildirim M, Usluogullari B, Kafali H. (2014, Sept. 16) 'Effect of Music on Labor Pain Relieve, Anxiety Level and Postpartum Analgesic Requirement: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial' Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation.    DOI: 10.1159/000365085

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