Music Therapy to Promote Maternal Adjustment in Late Pregnancy and Postpartum

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Little, Patricia
Master of Arts in Music Therapy
Maternal depression, stress, and anxiety-- significant problems for women during late pregnancy and the first year of an infant’s life-- both influence and are influenced by the mother's level of maternal adjustment. Maternal adjustment refers to the ways that a mother thinks about, feels towards, and interacts with her infant. Positive maternal adjustment consists of possessing a high level of maternal competence, taking pleasure in the maternal role, and viewing one’s infant in a positive light. While maternal adjustment is a public health concern, there are few existent resources for clinicians wishing to address maternal adjustment. However, music therapy has demonstrated efficacy in addressing all three aspects of maternal adjustment. Because of the need for resources and the efficacy of music therapy, the following pages contain a proposal for the creation of a manual for music therapy clinicians working to address maternal adjustment and the manual itself.