Can putting together the right labor playlist get you ready for the big day ahead? Definitely!
Music helps us through all sorts of moments in our lives.
Through falling in love and out of it, through celebrations and disappointment, through dance parties and daydreams — our favorite songs are there for us.
And, as it turns out, our favorite sweet sounds can give us comfort and strength when we’re giving birth.
So as you start to prepare for the big day ahead, should you start putting together a labor playlist?
The answer is a big YES. Here’s why.
In this article: 📝
- Does listening to music help with labor?
- How long should my labor playlist be?
- What kind of music is best for labor?
- What should be on a labor playlist?
- Your labor playlist
Does listening to music help with labor?
Anyone who has had all their best feelings turned up when listening to their favorite tunes knows the effect that music can have on our mood.
There’s a wealth of research to suggest that music increases our feelings of wellbeing, and reduces stress and anxiety.
In fact, studies show that listening to music stimulates the production of dopamine (AKA the feel-good hormone).
It’s not hard to see why this might be useful during labor.
There is evidence to suggest that the planned use of music can be really beneficial when it comes to labor and delivery.
That’s because it helps with stress management, and may even work to reduce sensations of pain.
So yep, putting together a labor and delivery playlist is a great way to prep for the big day.
Plus, the actual task of putting it together can be a serious stress reliever.
(Total permission to sing at the top of your lungs while you do it.)
So where do you start? Let’s dive in.
How long should my labor playlist be?
So here’s the thing — no two labor experiences are alike, and it’s hard to know how long yours will be.
The longest labor ever lasted for 75 days. But the chances of this happening to you are very slim.
To help you plan your playlist, let’s take a look at the stages of labor, and how long they might last:
- The first stage of labor is the prep phase. It usually lasts between 10 and 20 hours. During this time, your cervix dilates (opens up) and effaces (thins out) and contractions get into full swing.
- The second stage of labor is the pushing stage — and this is when your baby will make their way through the birth canal if you’re having a vaginal birth. It can last from a few minutes to a few hours.
- The third stage of labor is when you birth the placenta. This one’s generally under an hour — and typically only between five and 15 minutes.
- The fourth stage? Well, that’s recovery. Phew. May need some extra chilled tracks for this one.
So, what we would suggest is to prepare a longer playlist, just in case.
That’s if you’re looking for variety. But if you prefer to have a few of your comfort songs on repeat, that’s good too.
What kind of music is best for labor?
Songs for giving birth should make you feel calm and powerful.
You already know what music has that effect on you.
To help guide you, here’s what the experts say:
What should be on a labor playlist?
Research out from the University of Vermont Medical Center suggests that you make a playlist for each of the phases of labor.
That’s because every stage requires a different kind of energy, and music can help you get in the right mood.
We’ll take you through it:
First stage of labor
Early labor: Here, just pick your faves.
Active labor: Opt for music that makes you feel good.
Second and third stage of labor
Pushing and delivering the placenta: Pick some high-energy music.
Fourth stage of labor
Recovery: Choose music that is celebratory and joyful.
Your labor playlist
So with all that in mind, here are our favorite picks for every phase.
Early labor playlist
This is where you choose some of your favorites. These are some of ours.
- “Ily (i love you baby)” — Surf Mesa
- “Baby Love” — The Supremes
- “Got to Get You Into My Life” — The Beatles
- “Better Together” — Jack Johnson
- “Walking on Sunshine” — Katrina and the Waves
- “Put Your Records On” — Corinne Bailey Rae
- “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” — Cindi Lauper
- “I Gotta Feeling” — The Black Eyed Peas
- “My Baby Just Cares for Me” — Nina Simone
- “Sunday Best” — Surfaces
- “Love on Top” — Beyoncé
- “Strawberry Swing” — Coldplay
- “Pure Shores” — All Saints
- “Someone Like You” — Adele
- “Say Yes” — Michelle Williams, feat. Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland
Active labor playlist
This is music that puts you in a very good mood.
- “On Top of the World” — Imagine Dragons
- “Happy” — Pharrell Williams
- “Don’t Worry Be Happy” — Bobby McFerrin
- “Lovely Day” — Bill Withers
- “Stronger” — Kelly Clarkson
- “Got to Give it Up” — Marvin Gaye
- “Dancing Queen” — ABBA
- “Keep Your Head Up” — Andy Grammer
- “Shiny Happy People” — REM
- “Take On Me” — a-ha
- “Good Life” — One Republic
- “Good Vibrations” — The Beach Boys
- “(You Make Me Feel Like) a Natural Woman” — Aretha Franklin
- “Oh, Happy Day” — Edwin Hawkin Singers
Now’s the time for that high-energy music. And we’ll start with a rather obvious option:
- “Push” — Madonna
- “Symphony no.1, op.25” — Sergei Prokofiev
- “Firework” — Katy Perry
- “I’m a Believer” — Smash Mouth
- “The Marriage of Figaro” — Mozart
- “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” — Justin Timberlake
- “I Feel Love” — Donna Summer
- “Dog Days Are Over” — Florence + the Machine
- “Uptown Funk” — Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
- “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’” — Scissor Sisters
- “Heroes” — David Bowie
- “I Got You (I Feel Good)” — James Brown & The Famous Flames
And now it’s time to chill. Relax. You’ve done it.
- “Weightless” — Marconi Union (Fun fact: this song was created with a sound therapist in an attempt to make the most relaxing song in the world.)
- “Air On the G String” — J.S. Bach
- “I’m Here” — Rosemary and Garlic
- “Holocene” — Bon Iver
- “Electra” — Airstream
- “Watermark” — Enya
- “Fade Into You” — Mazzy Star
- “Clair de lune” — Claude Debussy
- “Wiegenlied” — Johannes Brahms
You may also want to opt for nature sounds for this part of your journey. They offer some serious soothing feels.
And why not chat to your Peanut community to see what their favorites are?
All the best, mama!
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