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Music For Life:
Coming Alive with Interlude Music Therapy Birth Services

Heidi

Lizzy: Hi Heidi! We are so excited to welcome you to the Inspired Family community! Your work is so interesting, and we can’t wait to hear more about it.

Heidi: Thank you! It’s wonderful to be here, and I’m thrilled to be part of the Inspired Family community.

Lizzy: Heidi is the Founder and Owner of Interlude Music Therapy Birth Services. She is a Board Certified Music Therapist and Certified Birth & Bereavement Doula who works with families anticipating any pregnancy outcome, in any trimester. Heidi, tell us what you love about your work.

Heidi: Wow, where should I begin? I consider it an absolute privilege and honor to travel alongside families during such a unique and special time in their lives. I love empowering Moms, Dads, and Partners to understand more about themselves and their relationships. I love seeing the light bulbs go on when they realize that they are completely capable of taking on the challenge of birth and parenthood, and even enjoying it! And, of course, I love meeting cute babies (laughs).

Lizzy: Tell us a little bit more about Music Therapy. What is it?

Heidi: Sure! For those of you unfamiliar with Music Therapy, I would describe it as using music, within the context of a therapeutic relationship, to encourage wellness (as defined by the client). A variety of musical experiences can be explored such as making music together, song writing, improvisation, music listening and analysis, and music therapy assisted relaxation and guided imagery (just to name a few). These musical experiences help the client to understand him or herself on deeper levels that stimulates growth in all areas of life. The benefits of music therapy can be seen, if you will, in emotional, physical, social, and spiritual areas of life.

Music Therapists go through extensive training ranging from undergraduate to PhD degrees, and must be board certified to practice. We maintain our credentials through ongoing continuing education and are constantly monitoring our work through ongoing research to develop well-rounded treatment options. I completed my undergraduate Music Therapy degree at Temple University in 2004, my Master of Music Therapy degree at Temple in 2009, and have been a Board Certified Music Therapist since 2004.

Lizzy: So how can Music Therapy help a woman during pregnancy and birth?

Heidi: There are so many wonderful ways Music Therapy can support the perinatal period in a woman’s life, and each Mom will experience it in her own unique way. The short answer, though, is that Music Therapy is used during pregnancy to help the Mom explore her own health and identity as a developing Mother, prepare for and support her birth experience, and encourage postpartum wellness and bonding with baby.

Lizzy: And for those of us who aren’t aware of what a Birth and/or Bereavement Doula is, could you explain that as well?

Heidi: Absolutely. The word ‘Doula’ means “a woman who serves”. A Birth Doula is a non-medical support person who provides support to Moms throughout pregnancy, birth and postpartum. A Bereavement Doula is a non-medical support person who is trained to support Moms experiencing a pregnancy loss of any kind, in any trimester or at the time of birth. I am a trained DONA International Birth Doula and a Certified StillBirthday Birth & Bereavement Doula.

I like to view my role as one that empowers and supports EVERYONE involved in the birth or loss process – Moms, Dads, Partners, Doctors, Nurses, Hospital staff, etc. This means that I view myself as taking a ‘back seat’ to everyone and everything else in the room. I try to listen and observe as much as possible so that I can understand what everyone needs, and from there, help facilitate a healthy birth or loss environment in the most unobtrusive way possible. Being a supportive presence throughout the entire process is my primary goal.

Lizzy: What are the benefits of music therapy during the labor and birth experiences? And what are the benefits of hiring a doula?

Heidi: There are tons! (laughs) A few of the benefits of having a Music Therapy Assisted Childbirth include lowering anxiety and stress throughout pregnancy and birth, facilitating healthy communication between Moms and Partners, using the appropriate kinds of music the help support the body in moving it seamlessly through the birth process, and enjoying some really beautiful bonding moments with your baby. Benefits of a doula can include assistance in understanding and planning for your birth, having an extra set of hands for comfort measures during birth, encouragement for you and your partner, and help with the immediate postpartum period.

Lizzy: I’m curious about the name of your company. How did that come about?

Heidi: One of the main reasons I started my practice was that I saw a need for support… a need we all experience for companionship throughout the many different seasons of family life ranging from conception, to life, to sometimes, loss. We all walk through our own “seasons” at one time or another, right?

The word “Interlude” is a musical term that describes the transitional space between one musical “place” and another. A musical interlude transports the listener from one state of being into a new one. I felt it was the perfect word to describe the purpose of my practice- to provide a safe space for someone traveling through uncharted waters into a new way of life.

Lizzy: What kind of services do you offer at Interlude?

Heidi: The best way to think about our services is that we support three different communities: Expectant Families, Bereaved Families, and Healthcare Professionals. I provide Music Therapy Assisted Childbirth as well as Doula Support Packages to families expecting a live birth outcome. I provide Music Therapy as well as Loss Doula Support to families traveling through the loss of a child. I provide Sound Birthing Music™Music for Birth™ and Creative Arts Birthing™ workshops to expecting families, and I also train Music Therapists, Creative Arts Therapists, and various Birth Professionals through Sound Birthing Music™, LLC professional workshops.

Lizzy: Let’s talk about you. Tell us about a day in the life of you.

Heidi: I start of my day with some self-care, usually by going to the gym. My mornings are spent being present with my family life. I work at Interlude in the afternoons and evenings. And of course, births can happen at a moments notice!

I’m very particular about the way I spend my time, because if I’m not, my work-life balance deteriorates quickly. I structure my days so that when I’m with my family, they get the best of me, and when I’m with my Interlude clients, they get the best of me. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Lizzy: What 5 things do you never go to a birth without?

Heidi: Chapstick, hair ties, my ipod & speakers, the client’s chart, and my brain. (laughing) We sing a song at my house: “Head and shoulders knees & keys, where’s my cell phone?” (more laughing)

Lizzy: What are some of your favorite songs for pregnancy, birth, and postpartum?

Heidi: Oooh, that’s a tough one- there are so many great pieces of music out there. Some of my favorites include Gonna Let My Soul Catch My Body (Over the Rhine); Strength, Courage, & Wisdom (India Arie); My Ship (Ella Fitzgerald); Baby Mine (Kenny Loggins)… but I use literally hundreds of different pieces of music depending on the needs of the Mom and baby.

Lizzy: Thanks for bearing with me; I think it is fun to hear about the woman behind the business!

Heidi: It was my pleasure!

Lizzy: How can readers find you if they are interested in Interlude’s services? (Facebook, email, website, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.)

Heidi: You can learn more about our support packages at http://www.interludemusictherapy.com. We’re on Facebook at Interlude Music Therapy Birth Services, LLC. Our Twitter handle is @interludemustx. And, to schedule a free consultation, you can give us a call at (504) 434-BABY.

Lizzy: Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me today! We look forward to having you join us in the Inspired Family Marketplace!

Heidi: Thank you for having me! I can’t wait to see you again at the Inspired Family Marketplace on March 22nd and meet lots of awesome families!

ENTER TO WIN A FREE CONSULTATION WITH HEIDI!!

Win a FREE, private, 1 hour, in-home Doula consultation to help you develop your birth preferences! This meeting will help you understand the birth process on a deeper level, help you understand your birth preferences, and give your partner a greater sense of his or her role in your pregnancy and birth.

To enter, fill out and submit our Birth Philosophy Worksheet found at http://www.interludemusictherapy.com/birth-philosophy-worksheet/ and like us on Facebook (Interlude Music Therapy Birth Services, LLC)! We’ll use your completed Birth Philosophy Worksheet during our visit together. We can’t wait to meet you!