Feeling a little apprehensive as your due date approaches? Totally understandable — childbirth is a bit daunting. (But man, is it worth it.) Let us clue you in on a little trick: Prepping a few songs for labor and delivery can help you relax and power through the tough parts.
“This celebration of delivery with music is a great trend,” says Jamie Lipeles, MD, an ob-gyn with the Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center in Marina del Rey, California. “With music, there’s a different feel in the air—it makes for a festive experience. Playing music in the room calms everyone, especially the soon-to-be mom.”
During one memorable delivery for Lipeles, “Under the Boardwalk” by The Drifters came on. “My nurse and I starting singing, and the patient joined in,” he says. “It was 3 a.m. and an uplifting experience that only music could have created.”
Nikki Shaheed, a certified birth doula and birth educator at Birthing From Within in San Antonio, Texas, agrees that playing some jams can be super-helpful—both mentally and physically. “Music is particularly useful in labor because it can help slow down brain waves and get you into that mental space where you’re better able to cope with and get through labor,” she says. “When you’re listening to music during labor in a place that isn’t home, familiar songs can make you feel more relaxed and help get the oxytocin (a hormone that makes your uterus contract) flowing better.”
So what makes for great labor music? It of course depends on what you’re into, but we have a few solid ideas. Read on for some perfect songs for labor and delivery, and what other moms have found motivating.
Best Songs for Labor and Delivery
When it comes to creating a kick-ass labor and delivery playlist, Shaheed recommends having a few different types of music on hand. “Have some slow music, some upbeat music and some meditative music cued up, so if you’re needing that shift during labor, that’s something you can adjust,” she says.
And of course, which labor songs you choose is entirely up to you and your musical tastes. Lipeles says some of his patients find tranquility from listening to hard rock, some prefer singers like Enya, and others listen to mariachi bands. His own twin daughters were born to Zac Brown Band’s “Sweet Annie.”
To help get you started, we’ve rounded up some awesome labor songs, whether you’re looking for relaxing music, motivational labor music or just some funny baby delivery songs.
Upbeat Labor Songs
- “Run the World (Girls)” by Beyoncé
- “Fighter” by Christina Aguilera
- “Got to Get You Into My Life” by The Beatles
- “Happy” by Pharrell Williams
- “Push” by Madonna
- “Let’s Get It Started in Here” by Black Eyed Peas
- “The Power” by Snap!
Relaxing Labor Songs
- “My Girl” by The Temptations
- “Orinoco Flow” by Enya