Perspectives: A Publication of the early Childhood Music and Movement Association

Perspectives: A Publication of the early Childhood Music and Movement Association


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Journal of the Early Childhood Music & Movement Association, established to provide a network of communication, encourage teacher development, and advocate education of parents, classroom teachers and administrators.

 

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  • Music: An Option for Reducing Stress in Pregnancy and Labor

    Author Lauren Kooistra

     

    Lauren Kooistra
    The Pennsylvania State University



    Stress can be a natural part of pregnancy and the life changes that occur with a new infant.  Higher levels of stress impact quality of life, manifesting in symptoms of anxiety and depression.  Physical responses to stress occur in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal cortex system as well as the sympathetic nervous system, affecting the well-being of both mother and child (Chang, Chen, & Huang, 2008).  Cortisol—a hormone associated with stress, and a leading predictor of premature labor—is higher in mothers experiencing stress, and can affect the fetus as well (Field, 2008; Schwartz, 1997).  Leung et al. (2010) found that the level of prenatal maternal stress predicted the amount of cortisol found in newborns and 10-month-old infants.  

    Heightened stress and anxiety levels are also likely to be…

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