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8 REASONS WHY YOU WILL WANT TO LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE YOU LABOR

8 REASONS WHY YOU WILL WANT TO LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE YOU LABOR

Music is incredibly powerful. In everyday life it can evoke deep emotions and stir in us feelings of excitement, or sadness, or nostalgia, or love, or hate. It wouldn’t be a multi-billion dollar industry if it wasn’t so effective on our psyche. Now consider the situation of labor and birthing, when a mother and father are in one of their most vulnerable moments as they bring their own flesh and blood into the world, music is extremely influential.

  1. Music is a great way to set the atmosphere for your birth. No matter where you are laboring when you have music playing people will shift to match what is being played. If you have soft relaxing music people around you will move about quietly and gently.
  2. Music can help the mother to focus her concentration on her birthing body. Especially if the mama has been playing music throughout her pregnancy when relaxing or bonding with her baby.
  3. Music can decrease tension and anxiety. If you are worried about birthing then choose music that calms your soul.
  4. Music stimulates a mother’s body to release endorphins, the natural pain-relieving hormones. I once attended a birth when mom was right about 50 hours into her labor (unmedicated) sitting on a birth ball deeply relaxed when Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” came on her playlist. As I was giving her counter-pressure on her back the ball started to bounce up and down to the beat. Soon we were all grinning and dancing with a sense of euphoria.
  5. Music can help to release pent up emotions in the mother as she works to relax. There is no doubt about it, labor is HARD WORK for the body. But one of the most effective things a mama can do in her labor is to relax! Have you ever heard of working hard to relax? When in labor it seems almost counter-intuitive to relax because that uterus is flexing nice and hard so it feels as though all the muscles in the body want to tense up with it. However, if a mama can relax her body, her contractions will be more effective and her baby will come sooner. Which brings me to music, I once had a client that picked a playlist of instrumental but intense music like Last of the Mohicans and Pirates of the Caribbean, she loved it because she said the music acted as a release to the energy she had in her body from wanting to tense up but instead relaxing every muscle.
  6. Music can make a memorable birth experience. One birth I attended the mama was about 15 hours into her labor, she was completely open to 10cm and didn’t feel the urge to push but was over being in labor. She asked her caregiver what she could do to get the baby out? Her midwife suggested lunges. So she approached it with fun, she turned on Bob Marley and the whole room conga lined it and swayed and laughed. Her baby came less than an hour later. We still talk about how much fun we had in her labor.
  7. Babies like the rhythmic sounds of music. Just how babies love the sound of their mother’s heartbeat the rhythm of music not only calms mama but baby as well.
  8. Women using music during labor perceive greater support from significant others and report lower levels of anxiety, pain, and discomfort during labor. Done. Sign me up.

Spend a little time putting together a playlist for your labor, add your favorite songs or artists. Talk to your significant other as you accumulate songs, consider your babies taste in music. Think about if you want music with lyrics or straight instrumental. Maybe you’ll want to add the song your baby was conceived to, then you can torture your child with the song as they grow up because mortifying our children is a rite of passage as parents. The possibilities are limitless.




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