Effect of music therapy during vaginal delivery on postpartum pain relief and mental health

J Affect Disord. 2014 Mar;156:194-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2013.12.027. Epub 2013 Dec 28.

Abstract

Background: Childbirth is an important experience in a woman's life, and unfavorable birth experiences have been shown to negatively impact postpartum maternal health. Aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of music therapy on postpartum pain, anxiety level, satisfaction and early pospartum depression rate.

Methods: Totally 161 primiparous women were recruited and randomized either music group (n=80) or a control group (n=81). Women in the music group listened to self-selected music during labor. Postpartum pain intensity, anxiety level and satisfaction rate were measured using the visual analog scale (VAS), postpartum depression rate was assessed with Edinburg Postpartum Depression Scale (EPDS) at postpartum day one and day eight.

Results: Mothers in the music therapy group had a lower level of postpartum pain and anxiety than the control group and it was statistically significant at all time intervals (1, 4, 8, 16 and 24h, p<0.001). A significant difference was observed between the two groups in terms of satisfaction rate (p<0.001) and postpartum depression rate at postpartum day one and day eight (p<0.05).

Limitations: We only measured the effect of music therapy on early postpartum depression rate. Effect of music on late postpartum depression rate should be investigated in future.

Conclusions: Using music therapy during labor decreased postpartum anxiety and pain, increased the satisfaction with childbirth and reduced early postpartum depression rate. Music therapy can be clinically recommended as an alternative, safe, easy and enjoyable nonpharmacological method for postpartum well-being.

Keywords: Anxiety; Music therapy; Pospartum depression; Postpartum pain; Satisfaction.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / prevention & control*
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Delivery, Obstetric / psychology*
  • Depression, Postpartum / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Labor Pain / diagnosis
  • Labor Pain / psychology
  • Labor Pain / therapy*
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Music Therapy*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Parturition / psychology*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Postpartum Period / psychology
  • Pregnancy
  • Young Adult