by Andrea Stainbrook
One thing that can help you cope in labor is an environment around you that brings you comfort. Music is one factor that can really help our minds be calm, distracted, or energized even!
Ever go for a drive and a song comes on that takes you to a memory? You could almost smell the smells from that time! Our connection to music is powerful. Imagine getting into the zone and focusing on some tunes. That will certainly help distract you from some intense feelings of labor. Music is a wonderful sensory input.
No matter where you birth, hospital, birthing center, or at home you can play the music of your choice. Bring a portable Bluetooth speaker that connects to your phone.
Pro-tip: Create several playlists.
Labor has times that you need relaxing tunes, but it also may need some jams that are upbeat and uplifting. The rhythm of labor is similar to baby’s heart rate which averages between 110 and 160 beats per minute. Think Justin Timberlake’s “What Goes Around Comes Around,” which is about 150 bpm. So it is a good idea to make a few playlists.
Ideas for playlists:
- One that can perk you up! Maybe even laugh!
- One that is super relaxing and you could almost drift off to sleep listening to it.
- Visualizations being repeated.
- A mash up of all your favorites from a variety of artists and genres.
There is no right or wrong to what you should listen to. If it speaks to you and brings you comfort it is perfect! Also now is the time to pay full price for any streaming service. No one wants commercials when giving birth!
So when creating your mixes think about songs that give you the feels. If they trigger you to feel good that also helps with the hormone oxytocin being released, which is the hormone that causes your uterus to contract! This is all good news in keeping a labor moving! If you are having a planned Cesarean birth you can request for you music to be played or to wear ear buds during the birth if possible.
In my career I have heard a variety of styles that people enjoy in birth. From reggae, to 90s hits, to heavy metal, to rap, and everything in between. What will your mix be?