Pregnancy and Motherhood By Anna Grabner

Support in Pregnancy and Motherhood
The journey to becoming a mother is a very special and sometimes challenging time in a woman’s life. Voice Movement Therapy Practitioners accompany mothers-to-be to make this process of transitioning easier. In individual sessions and group contexts, VMT Sessions offer support through Prenatal Singing, Birth Preparation as well as Postnatal Care. The Sessions intend to provide a safe space for mothers-to-be, to bond with their baby through the vibration of their maternal voice.

Prenatal Singing and VMT
Singing to your baby nurtures your unique connection, and promotes both the baby’s and your well-being. Many mothers need time to fully embrace this new beginning, wherefore singing helps create a moment of calm, soothing the mother as well as creating a sound massage for the baby in the womb. Singing has numerous proven physical benefits for both mother and baby, such as the increase of oxygen flow, as well as increase of the hormone oxytocin which helps deepen the bond between mother and child. Through the use of specific VMT techniques, such as guided breathing and toning practices, as well as guided imagery, a mother-to-be improves her body awareness and understanding of new body sensations. She learns to embody the connection of breath and sound, as well as to explore her maternal voice and relation to the pelvic floor, to feel more prepared and empowered for pregnancy, labour and the postpartum recovery process. Moreover, embodying specific movements, such as circular and rocking pelvic movements together with specific vocal techniques will ease lower back pain and create a sense of space and flexibility for the mother-to-be. On an emotional level these VMT sessions help a pregnant woman to take the time and space to listen and communicate with her baby. It allows her to be fully present with and transform any overwhelming emotions such as anxieties that may be creating extra stress and take away the healthy focus of awakening and deepening the body-voice connection with her baby in the womb. Furthermore, VMT practitioners share their vast collection of lullabies and nursery rhymes, mostly simple and repetitive songs, helping to create a sense of ease in the body-mind that will also provide the family with practical musical tools for when the child is born.

Birth Preparation and VMT
Conscious birth preparation has proven to facilitate the birthing experience. VMT practitioners offer birth preparation sessions for pregnant women and couples, to embody a natural movement and vocal practice for an empowering birth experience. The more active the mother can be during labour, the more empowered and safe will she feel. These sessions intend to create a space for the mother-to-be and her partner to listen to each other. The guided
process of embodying the skills of breathing, movement and voicing, thereby deepening the vocal capacity of both the partner and the pregnant woman, will enable the mother-to-be to feel emotionally and physically prepared and supported by her partner before and during the birthing process. Moreover, highlighting the healing and connective capacity of Song, the VMT practitioner guides you in creating your own special song for your baby, that you can sing together during the pregnancy and parenthood. This personalised lullaby also gives your partner an active role in an experience that he cannot physically embody. Furthermore, this unique song may also be shared with every member of the community that the child will grow up in and may help strengthen the bond before the baby’s arrival.

Postnatal Care and VMT
VMT Practitioners accompany women through motherhood, to create a safe space for healing and to help reflect on any challenges that a mother may feel overwhelmed with. In individual sessions a mother may be invited to connect with herself through the VMT technique of a guided voice movement journey, to consciously embody the whole journey from pregnancy into the present moment. VMT practitioners have witnessed the importance for a mother to give voice and transform a sense of intensity and separateness related to pregnancy and giving birth. Postnatal Depression is serious, though sadly often overlooked or misunderstood, and therefore is carefully accompanied by our VMT practitioners. Moreover, postnatal care gives space to singing lullabies and practicing purposeful singing to the baby, which is a form of improvised singing that evolves in the moment between mother and baby. Also, as mentioned above, the creating and reconnecting with a personalised lullaby for your child helps deepen your mother-child connection. Singing this way invites a moment of calm, helping you as the mother to ground and nourish yourself. Especially in times of sleep deprivation and overwhelm, singing can energise you and help awaken a sense of joy.