Listening to music while cleaning? Obviously. By making love? It’s much better. While jogging? Turn up the volume! But listening to music while giving birth? The right pieces can play an important role in managing stress, even pain, assure those who accompany mothers in this transformative moment in their lives.
It’s stronger than her, it overwhelms her. Each time the crystalline notes of Alexandra Stréliski’s Prelude resonate, Émilie Perreault’s eyes mist up. Normal: it was this music that filled the room, and his heart, when his son arrived among us, eight years ago now. “Well, the truth is, maybe he didn’t come out during that play,” the host laughs. “When you push, you’re a little less attentive to what’s playing. But she was on my reading list, that’s for sure. »
Drawing up a list of the songs they want to hear in the moments preceding the arrival of their new favorite person is one of the duties that doula and perinatal nursing assistant Julie Amic submits to the women she accompanies, once the third trimester has begun. . Music, she says, plays a “huge role” in dealing with the stress and pain of childbirth.
In order to imbue your reading list with this state of fullness, it can thus be useful, and above all pleasant, to rotate it during the sweet moments that punctuate a pregnancy, such as that of the arrangement of the baby’s room. “The more the music is associated with memories of love, underlines the doula, herself a mother, the more the music will have the power to bring the mother back to this feeling of appeasement. »
Pianoscope, Alexandra Stréliski’s first album, rocked Émilie Perreault throughout her pregnancy. “For me, it’s clear that music should be part of the overall concept of health,” pleads the author of the Essential Service essay (Cardinal Editions). “Music is not going to replace the epidural, we agree, but it can put you in a good mood, help you feel in familiar territory. »
The impact that the soundtrack of this unforgettable day can have would therefore be dependent on the prior relationship uniting a woman to the songs that compose her. “If in other spheres of our daily lives, music has allowed us to access this state of openness, of letting go, if it helps us to inhabit our body, rather than to think, it can potentially take us there. bring back during childbirth, “says professor in the midwifery department of the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières Mélanie Martin.
Although most mothers select quiet songs, the midwife has already witnessed a birth that took place to the sound of sharp rock guitars and another during which the father played his djembe.
It is these familiar melodies and sounds that will have the greatest potential to promote the life-saving secretion of endorphins. “In the game of hormones that are present during childbirth,” explains the professor, “adrenaline is an endorphin antagonist. As soon as there is adrenaline, the contractions become more painful and everything starts rolling square.”
This is why, without making it an absolute rule, Julie Amic usually suggests to her clients to avoid music that is too rhythmic. If songs with faster pulsations invite movement, and movement can promote certain stages of labor, they more rarely achieve the trance-like state to which she tries to guide women.
Same observation for the songs in which the text occupies a dominating place. “The woman must disconnect from her analytical brain”, says the one who also suggests the use of meditative music or guided meditations. “I often compare contractions to waves: you have to go to the rhythm of the ocean when you move your pelvis. »
Beyond the role it plays in the mother, music can also densify the emotional richness of childbirth, a moment that is already very busy in this regard. Julie Amic will always remember this newborn who lived his first seconds of life to the sound of Haley Reinhart’s piano-voice version of Can’t Help Falling in Love, a staple of the playlists she puts together for these occasions. “I like to say that babies choose the song they want for their birth. »
“A hospital room is so cold, it’s hard to create a bubble that will help you cope with the pain,” observes Émilie Perreault, in whose house music had precisely created this atmosphere. and, more surprisingly, to relax the anesthesiologist, who had shown up at his bedside with a big day in the body and in the face.
Julie Amic confirms that music is generally well received by medical staff. “Beyond the soundtrack, I invite moms to create a vibe, with lights, photos of their other children or the ultrasound, which will remind them why they are going through all this. The idea is to forget that you are in a hospital room and amplify this feeling of a little cocoon of happiness. »