Music in Labor

Music plays an important role in our lives. It’s woven through our holidays, celebrations, weddings, worship and for a lot of us, even our exercise and commutes. I have a workout playlist, a sleep playlist, and praise and worship playlist and even a playlist to calm the baby when she is fussy. That last one has actually dropped from a playlist to just a single song that makes our baby stop crying. Psalm 23 is the quickest way to calm the baby and is our tried and true trick for getting her to sleep. If we want to make her laugh, 90’s rap is the way to go, but it definitely doesn’t help her sleep. I learned this the hard way when my iPhone was accidentally on shuffle on 11pm.

I actually listened to Psalm 23 all through my pregnancy in the car and even in early labor when I needed to relax. A lot of people ask, “what music should I play in labor” and start planning their labor playlist months in advance. There is no right or wrong music. If you want to dance to Beyonce in labor, sway to Neil Young or just listen to a track of birth affirmations, we’ll help you find your rhythm. Sometimes you need music to help you relax, give you a burst of energy or just distract you and give you something to focus on to cope. Listening to music can definitely help you to concentrate and to keep your breathing steady in labor. Certain songs can also trigger happy memories and help you to release oxytocin in labor.

My favorite music for labor is The Rhythm Within. I used it myself and it was a game changer for my coping in labor. This music was created to mimic our resting heartrate (80 beats per minute) and helps you to really tune in to your own internal rhythm. The first track was designed to keep you grounded in active labor and the second track was specifically built to tap into the energy you need during transitional labor. I’ve even been told by some trusted sources it can be used to help toddlers chill out in the car when they’re losing it.

Whether you actually end up using music in labor or not, it’s a good idea to make a few different playlists. You can make one for early labor and one for active labor like I did, or make one for relaxation and one for a labor dance party. You never know what you’ll want to use to cope in the moment, so get creative.

Did you listen to music in labor?