Stress and anxiety during pregnancy and childbirth have negative consequences for both mother and child.
There are indications that music has a positive effect in this situation.

The present study investigates the influence of music during the caesarean on anxiety and stress of the expectant mother.

Link to the research article

Cesarean section is a common surgery that, like most surgical procedures, can cause stress and anxiety in patients. Stress and anxiety in women undergoing cesarean section is especially concerning due to negative effects on post-operative recovery, lactation, and newborn development. More non-pharmacological treatments are needed to reduce stress and anxiety in pregnant women.

Music has long been considered to have stress-reducing effects, and numerous trials have shown that playing music during the surgical process reduces pain and anxiety in patients undergoing a variety of surgical procedures. Although there have been a few studies on music during cesarean section, there is no strong evidence of an effect on validated or objective measures of stress and anxiety of patients. Therefore, Hepp et al. carried out a randomized controlled trial to examine if music during cesarean section reduces both validated patient-reported and objective measures of stress and anxiety.

Three hundred and four patients were randomized to hear music from their choice of genre or no music during standard cesarean surgery. Both groups had high self-reported anxiety before the start of the procedure, but the group that heard music reported a significantly greater reduction in anxiety at the end of the procedure. Measurement of a stress hormone at the end of the procedure showed that stress sensation during surgery was significantly lower in the group that heard music.

Together, these results show that playing music during surgery is a relatively easy way to reduce stress and anxiety in new mothers giving birth by cesarean surgery.

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