In this episode, we talk with Marie Bigelow (www.mariebigelow.com), a doula, childbirth educator, music therapist, public speaker, and author of The Sacred Gift of Childbirth: Making Empowered Choices for You and Your Baby. We begin our conversation by talking about what inspired Marie to apply her expertise as a music therapist to the world of birth.We then talk about how anyone who likes to listen to music can benefit from music in their birth space.
We discuss how our bodies and minds respond to music, including how our body’s autogenic response helps us apply breathing techniques in labor if we’ve learned them with music. Marie then talks about what inspired her to write The Sacred Gift of Childbirth, and shares her desire to provide women with evidence-based research that will help women understand how impactful the birth experience is.
We talk about the change in brain chemistry and physiology that occurs in the birthing process, and how your experience in pregnancy and birth has a lasting effect on your experience as a mother. Marie explains why she believes the science and data behind birth goes hand in hand with the spiritual and instinctual nature of birth.
We cover other topics from Marie’s book, including the U.S.’s high caesarean rate, and how birth is different for each individual. We then dive back into the benefits of music in birth and motherhood. We discuss how listening to music and/or singing or chanting can help relax you during birth. We talk about how lullabies and singing can be a powerful parenting tool, and how music can help bonding and oxytocin production.
We then talk about how data and evidenced-based research can help you approach major decisions with birth, including induction. We encourage the listener to google “the bishop score” to help you determine how safe your induction will be. We talk about the importance of choosing the provider and the type of birth that’s right for you.
We invite you to explore Marie’s doula services, her book, as well as her self-study course on www.mariebigelow.com.
• 2:49 The Role of Music in Birth; How We Respond To Music
• 8:08 About The Sacred Gift of Childbirth
• 23:04 Choosing the Best Music for Your Labor
• 34:44 Approaching Major Decisions in Birth
Labor is an experience that brings emotion and sensation to the forefront. It is when we are in the best possible place to be in tune with the natural rhythm of our bodies. Music can be a powerful addition to this, when applied in synchronicity with the feeling that the person birthing is trying to become one with. The right music can be absolutely vital to creating an empowering and meditative birth space.
Sarah and Marie highlight the grounding and connecting effect that music can have on the mindset while birthing and introspect about the effects of music during their own birth experiences. They also talk about the way that an empowered and uplifting birth can affect bonding with the baby after birth.
Marie Bigelow is a a doula, childbirth educator, music therapist, public speaker and author. She is passionate about childbirth and positive outcomes for mothers and infants, and that passion led her to write The Sacred Gift of Childbirth: Making Empowered Choices for You and Your Baby. She is an advocate for evidence-based practices in America, and was one of the first doulas in the country to be awarded the prestigious Advanced Doula Designation through DONA. She and her husband have four children and live in Boise Idaho.