I’m a big believer in the benefits of relaxation, before during pregnancy and for the rest of life too. Lots of things in our modern lives can easily cause us stress and the more relaxation we can include in our daily lives the better we are in both body and soul. I think that the important part of the study below was the commitment on the part of the women to set aside time each day to simply listen to soothing music. It’s that commitment actually schedule relaxation into your life, as opposed to it being something that you do when everything else is done (sound familiar to anyone else?), that brings about changes to your daily life.
How you relax doesn’t really matter. You can meditation, listen to relaxation Cd, listen to music or just simply lay down for a bit. The key is that it happens.
So one of my resolutions this year is be make time every second day for relaxation. To choose to shut off the tv, and leave the emails unanswered, and head upstairs to my bedroom instead for some quality me time. (I would love to say that I will do this everyday, but I want to make my resolution realistic enough that I will actually follow through on it).
Here’s to a relaxing new year to all!
Ps. For those of you reading this who are pregnant, it’s of note that a decrease in anxiety and stress during the pregnancy will significantly decrease the chances of postpartum depression. 🙂
Music Reduces Pregnancy Stress
Classical Music, Nature Sounds and Lullabies Reduce Stress, Anxiety and Depression
By Caroline Wilbert
WebMD Medical News Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
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Oct. 8, 2008 — Forget pickles and ice cream. What do pregnant women
really need to take the edge off? Brahms and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little
Music may reduce the stress , anxiety , and depression that many
pregnant women experience. A study of 236 pregnant women in Taiwan shows
that the participants who listened to music for 30 minutes per day for
two weeks significantly reduced their stress, anxiety, and depression,
compared with participants who did not. The study, conducted by
researchers at the College of Nursing at Kaohsiung Medical University,
was published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.
The participants were all in either their second or third trimesters.
All expected to have uncomplicated vaginal deliveries. They had similar
backgrounds in terms of occupation, class, education level, and marital
About half were given CDs and asked to listen to them for a half hour
per day. They could choose between classical music, nature sounds,
Chinese children’s rhymes and songs, or lullabies. Most chose nature
sounds or lullabies. Participants kept diaries about when they listened
to music. Popular times included while they were resting or doing
The other half did not listen to the CDs. Both groups received routine
Women in the music group saw a significant drop in stress, anxiety, and
depression scores, while the control group had a minor drop in stress.
Overall, the changes seen in the music group were significantly
different after the two weeks of music therapy.
“Pregnancy is a unique and stressful period for many expectant mothers
and they suffer anxiety and depression because of the long time period
involved. In fact, anxiety and depression during pregnancy is a similar
health problem to postnatal depression,” study author Chung-Hey Chen,
who is now based at the National Cheng Kung University, says in a news
release. “Any intervention that reduces these problems is to be
welcomed. Our study shows that listening to suitable music provides a
simple, cost-effective and non-invasive way of reducing stress, anxiety
and depression during pregnancy.”
SOURCES:Chang, M. Journal of Clinical Nursing, October 2008, vol 17
issue 19: pp 2580-2587.News release, Journal of Clinical Nursing.
© 2008 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.