The name “SoundBirth” came to me when I was in labour with my third baby at home. My Mum started playing one of my crystal singing bowls while I was quietly groaning my way through a contraction in the early stages of labour. As soon as I heard the beautiful, resonant tones emanating from the crystal bowl, I immediately had a feeling of being held – as if the sound was an invisible hand of love holding and soothing me at the same time. It created a space that felt sacred and private…like a cave where nothing else existed…no people, no pain, no room…just me and the sound. I knew there and then that I wanted my support friend to play the bowl throughout each contraction thereafter.
The sounds also drew me into the present moment. I was in “the zone” and to my surprise actually enjoying the process. I remember in between contractions expressing how awesome the previous “sound contraction” was. I even felt abandoned a few times when my friend couldn’t be there to play the bowls so I demanded someone else to play it…NOW! That is how much I felt it was supporting me.This in itself was powerful as I could hear that someone in the room was connected to the rhythm of my contractions. I also found that I began to give myself permission to make more sounds with my voice (toning and groaning as I like to call it) which helped me to release the pain. Instead of focussing on the pain and going into my head thinking “’when is this going to end?”, “’I can’t do this” etc, I was transfixed by the sounds the bowl and I were co-creating.
Finally after a relatively short six hour labour our baby was born as her Daddy, Nonia and two big sisters welcomed her into the world.
Because this birth was so amazing to me I started researching why the crystal singing bowl and toning seemed to support me. Compared to my previous two labours, also at home (which were 26 and then 15 hours long) this one felt so easy and powerful and sacred. All of the information (most of it from sound and music therapists) confirmed to me why adding sound to my labour made a huge difference!
I then felt compelled to create “Soundbirth” with the intention to inform expectant couples and birth professionals how they too can use SOUND and MUSIC in a homebirth or hospital setting to:
I envision that one day every birthing room will include a crystal singing bowl and that women will feel empowered and safe enough to make the sounds they need to make to bring their baby into their arms.
Nicole Lloyd B(Mus) is a mother of four girls and creator of SoundBirth. Here she shares her experiences using sound before, during and after the birth and anything else about sound or birth that she feels like writing about!