By Juli Fraga | Special to The Washington Post
在她成为母亲之前，伊丽莎白·拉森，42，亨特利伊利诺斯endured four miscarriages.损失是毁灭性的，使她对未来怀孕的感觉复杂化。
“我一直很担心，等待另一只鞋子掉下来。I felt broken and depressed," Larsen says.
想办法减轻她的焦虑，her yoga teacher recommended music therapy.Larsen tried it and loved it.“我想找到健康工具，以确保我和我的宝宝能安全、精彩地出生。音乐疗法打开了我的身体感官，帮助我放松，”拉森说。
不像传统的心理治疗，人们谈论他们的问题，music and other expressive arts therapies seem to help people dealing with mental health issues,包括抑郁症，饮食失调和创伤后应激障碍，several studies suggest.
音乐在治疗中的作用已经被提升了一段时间：1948年，一项研究，发表在美国医学协会（JAMA）杂志上的文章建议医生将音乐疗法作为常规病人护理的一部分。By the 1950s,music was being used as a complementary therapy to treat mental-health concerns.More recently,音乐疗法被用来帮助退伍军人从创伤后应激障碍中恢复。新的研究表明，唱歌和听音乐会刺激大脑释放催产素和多巴胺，神经递质和荷尔蒙与快乐和爱情等情感联系在一起。
A recent study looked specifically at music and mental-health concerns during pregnancy,重点关注409名妊娠晚期的孕妇。None of the women had a history of anxiety.一半的妇女接受音乐治疗，which meant listening to a CD of relaxing,工具性的，一周三次的旋律音乐；另一半没有。完成治疗后，the women who participated in music therapy reported being less anxious than those who did not receive the intervention.
“怀孕期间，fears and anxieties about the health of the baby are very common.我们研究中的许多女性对压力测试感到焦虑，检查婴儿健康的超声波，”杰西卡·加西亚·冈萨雷斯说，the study's lead researcher.The study suggests that "anxiety during pregnancy can increase a woman's risk of postnatal anxiety and depression,but music therapy can help reduce stress."
While women know pregnancy can bring physical discomfort such as fatigue,脚踝肿胀和睡眠问题，许多人不知道抑郁和焦虑等母性心理健康问题也是怀孕的常见并发症。
国际产后支持，a nonprofit group focused on raising awareness about prenatal and postpartum mood concerns,says that 6 percent of pregnant women and 10 percent of new mothers suffer from anxiety right after birth,while 15 percent of women struggle with more significant depression after childbirth.
Left unchecked,this anxiety can lead to numerous pregnancy-related health complications.
“焦虑与产前健康问题有关，如先兆子痫，早产，低出生体重，这就是为什么对于女性来说，学习应对策略以减少怀孕期间的忧虑是很重要的，”Karen Kleiman说，a psychotherapist specializing in maternal mental health.
一些孕妇或新母亲可能需要更为密集的干预，如心理治疗。但对很多人来说，music provides the right antidote to anxiety,especially in the first few harried and sleepless months after giving birth.
Kate Taylora board-certified music therapist and birth doula,provides music therapy for pregnant and postpartum women.
"I use music as a teaching tool.我们可以分析歌词，或者听乐器或音乐来帮助放松，”泰勒说。“歌曲可以为女性带来强烈的情感，which can help them connect with the baby,并公开分享他们对母亲身份的担忧和感受。”
泰勒的音乐疗法帮助拉森应对怀孕期间的情绪压力。"During our sessions,we listened to the acoustic guitar.在家里，I listened to relaxing music on my headphones.The music calmed my anxiety,这帮助我保持乐观，”拉森说。
Crystal Duffy33,a mother of three living in Houston,found music therapy helped her cope with the anxiety she felt after being hospitalized because of pregnancy complications during her second trimester carrying twins.
达菲说：“我担心我的孩子是否会早产。”“在医院里，it was also difficult to be away from my oldest daughter.我不想让压力影响到孩子们。Creative outlets were a healing way for me to release and express my fears.
“我为孩子们谱写了两首摇篮曲，”她说。“一开始，我写了歌词，and then I put the words to music.我的治疗师在音乐的技术方面帮助我。”
Even though her babies were born prematurely,they were healthy.在他们出生后的几个月里，音乐疗法帮助达菲管理照顾多重人格的压力。
According to Kleiman,music therapy can be cost-effective,easy to implement and less stigmatizing than other types of therapy.她说：“美妙之处在于，孕妇有可能发现将放松音乐融入日常生活中的直接好处。”
Fraga is a psychologist with a specialty in prenatal and postpartum depression.