Music To Your (And Baby’s) Ears


The science of music and the debate around its influence in childbearing has been ongoing for years. I certainly remember in 2009 when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter the onslaught of products from Disney Einstein that played classical music. It was thought that playing Beethoven to your bump would increase your child’s intelligence. An over simplistic view of IQ and the many factors surround it, not doubt. However we do know that music has many benefits in other aspects of our lives. That goes for pregnancy and labour too.

There’s been a few studies published in the last year that have shown the positive effects that music could have on maternal well being. Garcia-Gonzalez et al (2018) and Gokyildiz Surucu et al (2018) both showed that listening to music can reduce anxiety, with the latter study showing that pain during labour may be lowered. The benefits extend beyond the birthing room, with another study published last year finding that music can increase well being and decrease rates of postnatal depression.  

What Should Be On Your Playlist? 

Music is a very individual thing. You may want something quiet and calming which will aid your breathing, or you might want something a bit more upbeat to encourage dancing. Movement will release those endorphins (natural pain relief!) and upright movements will help encourage contractions and help baby into an optimal position for birth. Spending time choosing the music is a great time to bond with your partner, with both of you cultivating the feeling that you want in the birth room.

If making a playlist seems a bit daunting, or even a bit too much like pre planned organisation for you, having a favourite radio station on could do the same trick.

For some inspiration here’s a Spotify Birth Playlist :
1. Pearl Jam — “Just Breathe”
2. James Bay — “Let It Go”
3. Regina Spektor — “Don’t Leave Me”
4. Sigur Rós — “Festival”
5. Death Cab for Cutie — “Transatlanticism”
6. The Lumineers — “Ho Hey”
7. Norah Jones — “Sunrise”
8. Craft Spells — “After the Moment”
9. Xavier Rudd — “Follow the Sun”
10. Lucinda Williams — “Fruits of My Labor”
11. John Lennon — “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)”
12. Colbie Caillat –” Capri”
13. D’Angelo — “Really Love”
14. Milton Nascimento — “Nos Bailes Da Vida”
15. Coldplay — “Don’t Panic”
16. Fleet Foxes — “Your Protector”
17. Yeah Yeah Yeahs — “Maps”
18. Kygo, Maty Noyes — “Stay”
19. P!nk – Try
20. Muse — “Starlight”
21. John Legend — “All of Me” (Tiesto’s Birthday Remix)
22. David Bowie, Queen — “Under Pressure”
23. U2 — “With or Without You”
24. Wilco — “Impossible Germany”
25. Arcade Fire — “Wake Up”
26. R.E.M. — “Nightswimming”
27. Patty Griffin — “Heavenly Day”
28. Iron & Wine — “Naked As We Came”
29. Beyoncé — “Blue”
30. Johann Sebastian Bach, Yo-Yo Ma — “Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1”

If you want to bring a bit of humour to the room, there’s always Salt-N-Pepa!

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