Music is an incredibly powerful tool and when used as therapy, it is even more powerful. Did you know that a baby can hear muffled sounds within the womb? The wooshing sounds of the mothers body, her muffled voice and the sound of a mothers heartbeat are a babies favorite sounds. But then imagine when all that comfort is taken away, whats a baby to do? They are in a strange new world where they are cold and just want comfort. Now think of a new mother. She was told all these amazing things about childbirth. She was told it would be magical and when she first holds her baby, she would feel immediate love. What happens when those things don’t happen? Then she’s sent home with fear and discomfort right into the unknown of a house that doesn’t feel the same.

Some of these things happened to me. I had a child within the height of the pandemic which of course made things worse. But then add an extremely traumatic birth experience ontop of all that and you’ll be where I was. Honestly, I am not even sure where I was. Much of it was a blur but all I do remember is how afraid I was. Afraid I wouldn’t survive. Afraid of my husband having to care for our child all alone. Afraid of the unknown once I left the hospital. Afraid that baby would catch COVID and get really sick. So much fear yet through it all, I wish I had used music more. I wish I had used music to connect more with myself, my husband and my newborn. But I was not really sure how. I had been trained in a lot of areas, but this wasn’t one of them. I had some of the tools, but with no one checking in on me, I didn’t use them. My mind was in a bad place and it was very difficult to find my way out. But I eventually did and I don’t wish that dark place upon anyone. That’s why I took this training. My goal is to support more women (post partum) and men (paternal post partum) during their journey. I want to help them bond not only with baby but with each other too as they navigate this new life.

Music therapy is person centered therapy, so no two sessions will ever look the same. Music therapists are trained to use music within the moment to help connect with those around them. Using music to expand the bonding experience after birth is so important for both parents and baby. But what exactly is “bonding”? How can a father be present in bonding? How can a mother not feel self-doubt when breast feeding becomes a challenge? Music therapy can assist in all of this. Below I will detail a few of the different ways a music therapist will be able to help.

Explore bonding: music therapists will use music to help parents feel more connected to baby and baby to feel more connected to them.

Breastfeeding support: when a mother is calm and relaxed, letdown occurs more readily. With music interventions before a breast feeding session, we can work together to increase milk letdown and make the breast feeding experience more positive overall.

Ukulele: this is one of the calmer instruments and a great one to learn! Mothers and fathers can learn basic chords on the ukulele to help increase singing to baby especially during the 4th trimester. This is a wonderful experience for fathers especially to feel connected and a part of the bonding experience when so much often falls on the mother especially during times of feeding.

Writing lullabies: a music therapist can assist families in writing a lullaby for baby. This could be in piggyback style (taking a favorite song and adding or altering verses) or just writing a simple lullaby.

Birth experience coping: music therapists can use music to help parents cope and reflect on the birth experience they may have encountered and help them navigate this new life especially when the birth expereince may not have been what they planned.

If you’ve read this far, thank you. If you’re interested in learning more, please connect. As someone who has been there, I get it. I understand how difficult childbirth is. I understand how you feel when things don’t go the way you planned. I understand what it’s like to not have a village behind you. I understand what it’s like to feel disconnected from those around you. I understand what it’s like having a difficult baby to care for. I understand difficulties breast feeding. I understand PPD and what it feels like to be in the depths of it. And because I understand, I AM HERE FOR YOU. I am here to listen to your story. I am here to help you work through your space to be the absolute best parent you can be for your child. Music therapy is an incredible way to support you, so please reach out.

I look forward to hearing from you!