First View – Article (published on 31 March 2022)
Investigating the suitability of customised playlists for childbirth in Ireland and Hong Kong
Pui-Sze Cheung & Tríona McCaffrey
The aim of this study was to explore the experience of two couples using customised playlists to support childbirth at the public maternity hospitals in Ireland and in Hong Kong. Two couples participated in a pre-delivery meeting with a music therapist one month before their infant’s due birth date. During this meeting, the couples were assisted in setting up customised playlists and received recommendations on strategies and relaxation techniques to use with the playlists. Data collection was performed through semi-structured interviews with the participants two weeks after the childbirth. The interviews were then examined through Thematic Content Analysis (Braun & Clark, 2006). Three final themes arose included: (1) feasibility of using customised playlists during childbirth; (2) preferred music selection; and (3) perceived benefits of the playlists. The feasibility of using playlists was affected by the adaptability of the playlists to the changeable birth situations and the uncertain feedback and restriction from hospital staff. The suitability of original music selection and the meaning of songs were highlighted. Participants reported that the birthing playlists promoted relaxation and better sleep; provided spiritual support; and diverted attention from discomfort and disturbances.
music therapy, music, playlists, childbirth, labour
Pui-Sze Cheung is an accredited music therapist and a researcher. She is currently doing doctoral research on music and perinatal wellbeing at the University of Limerick and delivering the first music-based intervention at the University Maternity Hospital Limerick as part of the Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Service. [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Dr Tríona McCaffrey is a Lecturer in Music Therapy at the University of Limerick who has a practice background in mental health. Her research primarily focusses on the uses of music therapy and the arts to promote mental well-being with a strong emphasis on the inclusion of service user perspectives. [email@example.com]