Music Therapy During Labour

Labour and delivery can be an overwhelming and sometimes anxious experience for the mother, her support team, and the hospital staff. Music therapists can help reduce the difficult aspects of labour by providing music therapy before, during, and after the birth of a child. As well, babies become familiar with the music in-utero and are comforted by the music after birth.

A study was conducted by Hanser, Larson, and O’Connell, where they used music to prompt rhythmic breathing, encourage positive associations, focus attention away from pain, and aid in relaxation. They found that the mothers had fewer pain responses as it was successful in diverting their attention away from the pain. Support teams and staff also benefitted from the music as it was a positive addition to the labour and delivery experience.

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.


Personalized play lists are created for use before labour to practice relaxation, and during labour to help manage pain, distract, relax, focus, control breathing, and enhance the birth experience.