5 Must-Have Playlists for Labor

Sometimes my two worlds collide. I have a background in music, so I often use what I have learned from that world with my doula clients. Most people understand the power of music; from the mood-enhancing benefits to the intelligence-boosting. Music calms, energizes, inspires, and beautifies our world. It helps people accomplish things they didn’t think was possible. This holds true for athletic feats, the everyday mundane tasks, as well as miraculous events such as giving birth. Here are a few must-have playlists to help you prepare for your upcoming and amazing birth.

Music for Relaxation

First, you will need a playlist containing music that always relaxes you during times of stress. This could be instrumental ambient music such as what you might hear at a yoga studio or the latest popular music. It doesn’t matter what you choose as long as the music evokes a sense of well-being and relaxation. Consider this playlist “home base.”

A few of my favorites:

August Wilhelmsson Now is the Time to Leave

Temmy Lewis Far Away

Hans Zimmer Earth

Beast Mode Music

Most of the time, the music for relaxation playlist will be all someone needs during labor, but sometimes a change of scenery becomes necessary. This playlist needs to be one that makes you feel like a badass and like you could conquer the world. This needs to include music that makes you want to take off running or do something really hard. It needs to pump you up and make you think, “Yeah! I’ve got this! I’m doing this!” This could be any genre that gets you motivated to do hard things. I even have a playlist called, “Badass Orchestral” on my Spotify app.

A few of my favorites:

Sky’s the Limit (Sasha Banks intro)

Imagine Dragons Whatever it Takes

Two Steps from Hell Protectors of the Earth

Music for Making Love

I’ve written before about how the hormones during sex and birth are the same. Giving birth is just a continuation of the reproductive process. It would be nice if it felt like one big drawn-out orgasm, but it doesn’t. However, it is important to set the scene as if giving birth WAS like preparing for a big drawn-out orgasm. This playlist needs to include music that gets you in the mood for sex or at least makes you think of sex. It needs to be able to get those oxytocin juices flowing. It needs to be something that makes you want to move your hips in nice, big circles without even thinking about it. This will be a great playlist to have if you feel like your contractions need a bit of a boost for whatever reason.

A few of my favorites:

Berlin Take My Breath Away

Foreigner I Want to Know What Love Is

Klaus Wiese El-Hadra

Marconi Union Weightless

Comedy Playlist

Okay, this isn’t a music playlist, but you’ve heard the saying. Laughter is the best medicine. Sometimes the best change of scenery is to smile and laugh. I love the PG Comedy playlist on Spotify and listen to it often. Jim Gaffigan and Brian Regan are two of my favorite comedians, especially since they are dads. I feel like they understand what it is like to be in the thick of parenthood.

A few of my favorites:

Ismo: Ass Is the Most Complicated Word in the English Language

“Two Chips”/A Short Animation

Jim Gaffigan: Mr. Universe – 4 Kids

Affirmations Playlist

It helps to have someone telling you that you are amazing and that you’ve totally got this whole giving birth thing. Childbirth programs such as the hypnosis-based programs as well as Birth Boot Camp have awesome affirmation downloads available for purchase that are designed for birth. It helps to put a hand over your heart as you repeat affirmations to yourself. It makes them feel more believable.

Music is such a wonderful tool to use during difficult times. Even with my background in music, I often forget it is available to me. Once I remember to add music to whatever I am doing, it helps the thing I am trying to accomplish become more manageable or even pleasant. It is worth a try! As you pack those bags or get those birth kits ready for labor, remember to prepare your playlists.

Did you listen to music during labor? Was it helpful? What were your favorite songs for labor?


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