ArticleLiterature Review

Birthbeats: Music to your ears

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Abstract

Promoting normal birth is fundamental to the midwife's role yet it is easy to overlook simple coping strategies on a busy labour ward. As The Code (Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) 2008) directs us to ensure that our practice is evidence based, it is valuable to review the literature exploring the alternatives available to reduce pain and anxiety during labour and birth. In March 2011 an extensive literature search was completed to review the evidence relating to the use of music to reduce pain and anxiety. As a result of these findings a free web resource was developed for parents and professionals to promote the use of music and explain how music can be beneficial during labour. The birthbeats project was funded by the Iolanthe Trust.

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... Relaxation, muscular control, and pain management play, of course, a crucial role in obstetrics and midwifery. Today, music is widely regarded as an appropriate alternative, complementary, or add-on means to reduce anxiety and pain (Beckett, 2012). By contrast, a meta-analysis on relaxation techniques for pain management in labor says that there was insufficient evidence for the role of music and audioanalgesia (Smith, Levett, Collins, & Crowther, 2011). ...
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