The December 2011 issue of MIDIRS Midwifery Digest includes an article on the role of music during labour. This interesting topic looks at the implications for labouring women. Read on to find out a bit more..
This article investigates birth as a multisensory experience with a focus on the use of music during labour and birth and its relationship to the use of analgesia and reduced anxiety. A literature review references studies from wider medical fields to explore the uses and benefits of music to enhance care, which leads to an analysis of the specific ways in which music can be used during labour and birth. Finally a synopsis of the application of findings to practice links the use of music to the promotion of normal childbirth.
Midwifery is described as both an art and a science and the two aspects can complement each other to enable holistic practice. As the profession develops an ever more robust evidence base to support best practice, the value of objective systematic research, and in particular the randomized controlled trial (RCT), is widely acknowledged (Weightman et al 2005). However, in order to understand aspects of care and support that might not be measurable in the ways of scientific enquiry, midwives have a rich history gained from being ‘with woman’ when they are in labour and giving birth. Where such insight, understanding and knowledge can be gained from observation, experience and sharing with others, it is argued that this is equally important to practice.
Music has its own role to play in invoking intuition and subliminal support systems by being instinctively pleasurable or annoying. In order to support the ‘common sense’ or intuitive understanding that music can soothe, relax and distract women in labour, a wide variety of sources have been reviewed. The focus of this work is the interaction between music and listener, evaluating the body’s response to music, the environment and emotion and the need to explore its use in midwifery care.
Beckett R (2011). The use of music during labour and for the birth. MIDIRS Midwifery Digest 21(4):471-4.
Access to all of MIDIRS evidence-based resources can be gained with a subscription to MIDIRS Gold. Starting at £62 per year (based on our unbeatable 3 year deal) for students and £113 per year for professionals, MIDIRS premier service includes:
- MIDIRS Midwifery Digest – our quarterly 136 page journal
- Essentially MIDIRS – our monthly 54 page journal
- MIDIRS Reference Database – our unique time-saving research resource
Information relating to all of MIDIRS services can be found at www.midirs.org/professionalservices.
Alternatively, to speak to one of our Customer Service team call 0800 581 009 (+ 44 117 9251791) or email our Customer Services team using our contact us form.
Photo credit: © maluska26 – Fotolia.com