Music in the operating room and a doula by your side can make your c-section calmer, more memorable and family centered. Although brief, this article mentions the importance of music in the operating room for creating a calm, relaxed and patient centered environment. As a music therapist, I’ve witnessed the power of music during transformative moments like this. Imagine: you are a first time mom, about to go into the OR for a c section. You are anxious about surgery, what to expect as a parent. You do not know what to expect. However, you know that your partner is by your side. You know that your doula is your family advocate. You hear some music begin to play as you are wheeled into the operating room. The music is familiar. You know this music will support your emotions and physiology. You have practiced relaxing to this playlist before. You know what song is next. You and your music therapist designed this playlist and used it to prepare for birth. Music therapy was used to prepare for this exact moment when you become “mother.” You breathe deep and the cello plays andante. A new life enters the world. His cries echo with the female voices chanting. A drum beat mimics his beating heart.
This moment, the music, the baby, the parents: all bonded together. I’ll be so bold to hope that through an expansion of family centered c-sections or gentle c-sections like the ones mentioned in the Fox News link here, that perhaps a new level of mindfulness may come to those staff involved in surgical births also. A new level of awareness of environmental music therapy perhaps. I believe in the power of music at the moment of birth, the prenatal experience that promotes bonding through creativity and using music therapy to process fears, address anxieties and embrace the transformative power of birth.