Creative Childbirth Concepts

Music Therapy Assisted Childbirth. Doula Services. It's Your Birth. Be Creative


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I have been SO inspired over the last few days!  music art growth love

All of these amazing birth workers and doulas from around the world are celebrating the work of birth support.  More and more individuals and institutions are starting to recognize the value of continuous labor support and it’s incredible to see.

 

In fact, I was asked by the nursing honors society of DePaul University to speak to their nursing students and professional RN’s next month about my work as a music therapist in childbirth.  Today they asked me for a short biography and some speaking points.  Well for someone like me who wants to passionately share every detail about my work and experience, the term “short biography” is an oxymoron.

So today, as a challenge to myself, I’m sharing my short biography for World Doula Week.

To be fair, I have written some that are 50 words or less for many conference brochures, but this one feels really good to me and is inspiring some major copy changes across my current website and my new projects too.  I had to really stop critiquing myself and write this from a place of celebrating my unique business and all of the amazing experiences I’ve been privileged to have as a professional doula and board certified music therapist.  I also had to let go of the idea of putting every little detail in it and instead just paint an overall picture of well-rounded and authentic experience.    Either way, it’s done and here it is:

Kate Taylor, MA, MT-BC is the owner of Creative Childbirth ConceptsⓇ which provides full spectrum pre and perinatal music therapy and birth services to all Chicago area families.   Through this unique music therapy practice Kate also assists women in labor and delivery as a birth doula.  Kate has advanced clinical training in providing Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) support, as well as applications of guided imagery, neurologic music therapy and end of life care.  Kate draws upon her experience of the creative arts to deliver innovative childbirth education classes, music therapy assisted childbirth and unmatched personalized support for all families.  Kate enjoys using creative writing, movement, music and art in birth preparation to help families be ready for birth and beyond.  Kate also uses these creative tools to train and supervise other music therapists and birth workers including fellow birth, postpartum and bereavement doulas.   Kate has presented her research at regional and national conferences of the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), the Online Music Therapy Conference (OCMT) and the prestigious Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health.  Kate Taylor has also had the honor of speaking at the World Congress of Breastfeeding through La Leche League International and on behalf of organizations like the Holistic Moms Network.  More information about Kate can be found at www.birthmusic.net.   Find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CreativeChildbirthConcepts, on twitter:  @musictherapy4me or on instagram @birthmusictherapy.

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Childbirth Education Re-created: An exciting new workshop for pregnancy and birth.

Join Kate Taylor, experienced birth doula and board certified music therapist as she presents the first ever Creative Childbirth Concepts®  intensive workshop in the beautiful downtown Crystal Lake Muse Art studio.

September 1st, 2015 6:30-9:00 p.m.

Open to anyone preparing to give birth, their partners or birth team members.  No previous artistic ability is required.


Come,  learn comfort measures for birth and create:  It's Your Birth. Be Creative.

  • a visual birth plan
  • birth mandala
  • meaningful nursery art piece

Experience first hand the relaxation and inspiration of coloring, painting, movement and music during this exciting childbirth workshop.   This 2.5 hour workshop will help you to begin exploring new ways of understanding your pregnancy, birth and parenting journey and offer you countless resources for pregnancy, birth and beyond.

Resources include:

I look forward to hearing from you and serving your growing family! Kate.

I look forward to hearing from you and serving your growing family! Kate.

Many couples have benefited from working directly with Kate Taylor and her unique concepts for bringing creative arts experiences into childbirth education and prep classes.  Their stories and testimonials share a glimpse into how meaningful this creative arts workshop will be for you and your birth team.  Read their stories at: http://www.birthmusic.net/testimonials.html

This is your chance to work with Kate Taylor in an exciting new creative space and small group setting so that you too can tell your creative childbirth story.  There are only 6 spots open for couples wishing to be inspired through creative arts, music for birthing and mentored with expert doula advice.  Register today at http://www.birthmusic.net/register-for-classes-or-workshops.html

It’s your Birth.  Be Creative.

Cost for couples to attend is $125.00.   Contact Kate for individual rates or fees to invite another birth team member like a hired doula to attend.  mymusictherapist@gmail.com.  Visit:  www.birthmusic.net for more info. 


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Music for pregnancy & birth: 4 tips from Board Certified Music Therapist, Kate Taylor.

When childbirth is viewed as a holistic experience, music becomes one of the best resources to reach the diverse needs involved: physical, neurological, spiritual, emotional, social, environmental, interpersonal, even transcendental.  Music for birth is just.so.awesome.   Here are a few tips you can use when considering how to use music for during pregnancy, labor and beyond: Continue reading


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Add some MUSIC to your birth bag.

If I had to name just one thing that made my daily life as a music therapist easier it would have to be music, of course.  Music is a resource that can enhance most experiences, particularly childbirth.    As leaders in health care, music therapists have demonstrated how accessible and enriching music can be for improving quality of life, rehabilitation and healing.  As a doula  and music therapist, I’m entrusted to bring the music to the birth environment.   So every time my phone beeps or buzzes in the middle of the night, I make sure my bluetooth wireless speaker is charged, packed and ready to help deliver the most precious cargo in my birth bag….the music.  

First let me say, music for birth can come in many forms.  I use my voice, my body, and at times various instruments through live musical interactions whenever appropriate, which can be often.  Yet, most times during the labor and delivery stage, music enters the space as pre-recorded playlists.  To deliver this experience I rely on a few important pieces of equipment.  As a music therapist, the days of lugging around a giant case book of CDs, and a boombox bungee corded to my instrument cart are over.  Music is more portable and higher quality than ever before.   I use my mobile phone/ipod or tablet and streaming or downloaded music to organize and execute the applications of music.  But without a speaker, much quality and application may be lost.   So for the birth worker, music therapists and parents out there who may be seriously considering adding music to your birth plan, I’ll share a few specifics about the speaker I’ve had the most success with and a few reasons why it may be a useful tool for you to shape your birthing experience.

Currently I’m digging the portability and look of my SoundFreq Sound Kick speaker.

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It has just the right balance between size and sound and is an excellent travel speaker with charging capabilities, aux and USB ports.  The website boasts 7 hours of charge time but honestly I’ve used it for nearly 10 without having to recharge.  I do notice the bass sound to diminish a bit as the battery life is low.  Usually I carry a USB led charge pack with me and as soon as that is connected, the sound quality seems to return to normal until I can fully charge again.

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The Sound Kick is designed with two 2.3 inch custom drivers and a XKICK™ chamber that pulls out of the back and supports the speaker.  The expansion of this rear compartment at first glance appears to be a kickstand yet it serves a more important function to enhance the lower-frequency sound giving it a much fuller range than other portable speakers.

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I recently saw the Bose Sound Link Mini in action at a outdoor party and was impressed with it’s ability to cut through the party volume.  However it seemed to almost challenge conversation at times.  I think I might explore it due to it’s extremely compact size.  Yet, I hesitate that speakers of notable brand and portable mini size “disappear” more easily from the unit or birth place if left unattended.  I tried for years to love the Sony SRSBTX300/BLK Bluetooth Wireless Speaker.  But alas, I had to leave the relationship. The kickstand kept falling when on the hospital tray would wheel and it would turn off the speaker.  The Sony bluetooth reception was spotty resulting in interruptions like a skipped CD and the weight is rather heavy for a birth bag.  Doulas, as you know, every ounce counts when packing a bag to use while hauling a birth ball in tow.  The size of the SoundFreaq Soundkick really is convenient and it’s weight is ideal.

Music Therapists, you’ll also love how light and compact the Soundfreaq speaker is.  IMAG2798_20150515101039483

I’ve always been able to discreetly set it up on the window ledge or bedside table at birthing centers.  I have even slipped the speaker and ipod into the pocket of a dad’s scrub attire as they headed into an emergency c section birth (with his permission of course).  I love the variety of reactions I get when I pull out the speaker in prenatal visits too.  In fact, one time during a prenatal education class, I pulled out the speaker, popped up the sound chamber a husband reacted with wide eyes and nervously asked, “what is that?!”  He admitted he was scared it was a contraction stimulator and that I was planning to hook him up to it for childbirth education class.   (Apparently, he’d watched too many youtube videos).  Needless to say, he was relieved when the speaker started playing his wife’s favorite Latin tunes, instead of stimulating contractions on his abdomen.

Often when I set up the speaker, I get some oohs and ahhhs as well.  Not just because of the speaker’s quality of sound, but it’s unique in aesthetics.  You see, I have branded my business with two colors: a bright fresh green grass color and a soothing teal/aqua.  Conveniently for me, the speaker comes in these amazing chromatic colors called Ocean (seen here), Sunset and Twilight.  Nurses have come to recognize my speaker in the birth rooms and associate it the effects of the music therapy assisted childbirth.   It just so happens that colors also affect our mood, memory and help with identity branding.  So browse the variety of colors and styles offered by SoundFreaq speakers and see what fits your brand and the mood you wish to create in your birth place.

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So whether you’re a music therapist, a doula or a couple preparing for birth, you can add music to your birth bag or tool kit with a small portable bluetooth speaker like the Soundfreaq Soundkick and a mobile device that streams music. Please consider that you may need some additional support in executing or implementing the most effective application of music in the birth environment.  Certainly, you, your partner or your clients will be able to help assess some good musical choices.  Ideally your preference is key to music being supportive and relaxing for you or doula clients.  But with the collaborative guidance of a well trained and experienced music therapist, your ability to apply music effectively and your confidence in using music for birth will greatly be enhanced.  Stay tuned for several more posts in response to Serenade Design’s Music Therapy Blogger Challenge and more in an upcoming series on creative resources for childbirth.  Kate

Learn more about Kate Taylor, MA, MT-BC Birth Doula at www.birthmusic.net

Or contact Kate at mymusictherapist@gmail.com


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Kate Taylor will be at the International Birth Psychology Conference this week!

AAAPAH Birth Psychology International Congress

As a master trainer in Sound Birthing Music methods, Kate will be presenting data on our most recent survey of the Creative Arts Birthing process. Stay tuned for photo updates and all the exciting new info!