What is the best Music to use in Labour and Birth?

The other day I was cleaning out a drawer and found my old iPod mini.  It was a fun trip down memory lane to plug it in and see what I was listening to at the time.  On it, I found a playlist titled “Labour”. 

If you’ve been preparing for birth, you may have read or been told by someone to create a playlist for your birth experience.  For me, this was a no-brainer, since I love music.  Some people want their favorite pillow with them in the hospital; I wanted my iPod. 

Why is music important for labour?

  • Familiarity:  Like your favorite pair of fuzzy socks, familiar music can make you feel good.  This is especially important if you are birthing away from home, like at a birthing center or hospital.  The setting may be different but music can act like a psychological tie to familiarity. 
  • Relaxation:  I don’t mean just nature sounds or meditation music.  But the right music can get us into a mood of relaxation, which is beneficial to helping labour progress.
  • Distraction:  Closing your eyes and focusing on the music was an awesome distraction for me.  Having my ear buds in drowned out the sounds of the monitors and let me just escape where I was.  (For the record, I had an epidural and was feeling really disappointed.  Music distracted me from what was happening.)
  • Rhythm:  Music can help you move in labour.  And moving around is a great way to bring your baby lower into the pelvis.

So what was on my playlist?  Here’s some of the highlights:

1.     Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by The Beatles

2.     Hourglass by Squeeze

3.     Fingers of Love by Crowded House

4.     Perfect Day by Lou Reed (Duran Duran cover version)

5.     Ordinary World by Duran Duran

6.     Enlightened by Marillion

7.     Hurry up and Wait by Stereophonics

8.     Catching the Butterfly by The Verve

9.     Red Rain by Peter Gabriel

10. Try to Make It by Sloan

Have you thought about what’s going to be on your playlist?  Share your comments below!