IU Health Methodist Hospital

Lullaby At Methodist? It’s Not A Baby Being Born; It’s Better

July 18, 2017

There is no way not to smile when the sweet melody lilts across the speakers at IU Health Methodist Hospital.

A baby was just born in labor and delivery. A new life. A sweet bundle of joy.

That’s what people in the hospital say when they hear the music -- “Awww. A baby.”

But that lullaby that plays for mere seconds inside Methodist at random times throughout the day doesn’t signal the birth of a baby. It is triggered by something even better.

A healthy baby.

When a nurse transfers a newborn from labor and delivery to the mother and baby unit, the lullaby plays.

As the mom is heading down the hallway to her room, she gets to enjoy the music. And that was the point, says Jacqui Huber, clinical manager of labor and delivery at Methodist.

“When the baby is born that mom is so busy she doesn’t know. She doesn’t have time to hear the music,” Huber says. “Our trigger is taking mother over to mother-baby (unit). She can enjoy it.”

Not to mention, once the baby and mom are ready for the unit, they are out of the high-risk category. And healthy.

The secretary at the main desk of labor and delivery is the person who pushes the button for the lullaby.

And that button isn’t anything fancy. It’s on a CD player. But when the button is pushed, the music spreads throughout the hospital.

For one baby, it plays once. For twins, twice. And the smiles begin.

But what is that lullaby? No one knows for sure.

“It’s a little bit benign, but it is very pleasant,” Huber says.

And people love it.

Huber has been with labor and delivery for three decades. For years, the maternity center for IU Health was at both Methodist and IU Health University Hospital.

About 10 years ago, maybe more, it was decided “we would play music for the babies,” says Huber.

When maternity was consolidated to Methodist several years ago, the music remained. But University definitely misses it.

“We brought so much joy to people in the hospital when they heard that,” Huber says. “I still hear from people at University who say, ‘We miss that music.’”

-- By Dana Benbow, Senior Journalist at IU Health.
 Reach Benbow via email dbenbow@iuhealth.org or on Twitter @danabenbow.

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