She’d regularly test it out on her friends, finessing the perfect labouring tunes.
Would Beyonce be better than Bruno Mars? Should there be a few classic tracks thrown in? What about something relaxing? Something motivating? Something to encourage her to push.
(Like she’d have any choice really?)
There was an iPod bought specially and a variety of playlists loaded each for every scenario.
Her husband tells me that when the big day finally arrived the music was his responsibility. He wanted to make sure he got it right, he carried it with him everywhere in the days leading up to the due date. When they raced to hospital he plugged it in first chance he got.
“Is this the right track honey? Is it helping? Do you want me to skip few songs?” he said he asked her nervously.
Only to be told in a variety of different tones of voice to, “GET THE F**ING MUSIC OFF I’M TRYING TO GIVE BIRTH HERE.”
It never got past the first song.
In the heat of the moment the focus wasn’t really on the accompanying soundtrack in the birthing suite.
Other couples though have successfully put their playlists into action and even timed it so the crowning of the new addition to the family’s head entered the world at the very moment I Want To Break Free was playing.
Can you imagine?
For many couples the birth plan is a big part of preparing for the arrival of their baby, – they focus on how they want their newborn to arrive and how they want to get through the labour – central to that is the background tunes.
In fact a study last year by US site Baby Centre showed that four out of five mums prepared playlists.
Even the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton reportedly laboured to the sounds of Calvin Harris, Bruno Mars and Of Monsters and Men.
Funnily enough the study found that while most women gave birth to music, two-thirds can’t recall what songs welcomed their baby to the world.
In fact there are over 90,000 “Push Playlists” on Spotify.
World-renowned obstetrician Dr. Jacques Moritz says that 70 per cent of his patients prepare playlists specifically for going into labour.
Being in the birthing suite with all that music, Dr Moritz has partnered with Spotify to create the ideal Birthing Playlist that is scientifically designed (and delivery room tested and approved) to accompany women through childbirth.
But there was one song missing that we noticed on the latest episode of Mamamia OutLoud. Where was Push It?
He’s even made sure the playlist mirrors the birthing experience. The slow songs are at the start for when you are all relaxed and chilled out, and when it’s time to push they get more “motivational” .
It concludes with Bach’s Unaccompanied Cello Suite #1 performed by the legendary Yo-Yo Ma for the moment women first meet their newborns.
The first five tracks from Dr Moritz’s playlist are;
- Pearl Jam – Just Breathe
- James Bay – Let It Go
- Regina Spektor – Don’t Leave Me
- Sigur Ros – Festival
- Death Cab for Cutie – Transatlanticism
“Music strongly influences our central nervous system’s limbic system which manages our memories, emotions, and how we deal with fear and pain,” Dr Moritz explained. “It makes sense that women would turn to music during childbirth as a source of comfort and strength. In addition, hospitals, particularly delivery rooms, can be noisy and disconcerting – a good playlist helps distract mothers from these sounds and better manage fear and pain, leading to a more positive delivery experience.”
He told TODAY that iPhones and portable speakers have brought music to the delivery room.
Ever wanted to know what it is like to be pregnant? Watch this:
“It used to be that once in a while, someone would bring in a boombox with a cassette player, but that didn’t take off too much,” Dr. Moritz said. “Definitely the big boom came with wireless speakers.”
If you are dead keen on making your own then Dr Moritz recommends the following tips:
- Comforting and Familiar: Music listened to while giving birth should be comforting and familiar (not to be confused with relaxing) in order to put expectant mothers at ease. The delivery room is not the place to experiment with a new musician or genre, but a place to return to old and familiar favourites. Dr Moritz in particular recommends women select favourite songs from their adolescence .
- Strong Instrumentals: Songs for labour and pushing should emphasise instrumentals, which the mind intuitively processes. Music with lyrics, on the other hand, can be distracting. If you absolutely want songs with lyrics, selecting ones with lyrics in a language you don’t understand can have the same effect as listening to an instrumental.
Listen to the full episode of OutLoud here:
- Length and Variety: While labour time varies, expectant mothers should create long playlists with a wide variety of artists. Dr. Moritz recommends at minimum five hours of music, with ten hours ideal especially for first time mothers.
- Beautiful: Last but certainly not least, songs for the delivery playlist should be beautiful and make a woman feel beautiful. The moment a child is born is highly emotional and memorable and the music you recall from that day should maintain that sense of beauty and emotion. Research has also shown that songs the foetus hears in the womb can be remembered, so make those memories beautiful too.
Dr Moritz’s full playlist is available via Spotify.