Have you thought about your birth playlist yet?
In a recent poll we ran on Instagram, 70% of you told us that you’ve started thinking about your birthing playlist ideas. With scientific evidence that music in childbirth has a whole heap of health benefits, we think a birthing playlist should be a must for all mums-to-be.
There’s a mountain of evidence that the psychological and physiological changes women undergo during labour increase stress levels, which can have a negative effect on you and your baby.
Scientists now know that music in labour can decrease stress hormones, pain and the need for pain relief, as well as stabilise vital signs.
As with other parts of the big day your birthing playlist is best to plan early, so you can take time perfecting it.
You don’t want to leave it to the last minute and rush through your choices, or worse still your little bundle of joy decides to come early and you’re left with no music at all!
Most hospitals and birth centres do have speakers available for use, or radios/TV if you would prefer that as some background noise. If you’re planning to prep a birth playlist for the big day we recommend you check out the hospital equipment before you’re baby’s due.
Alternatively you may prefer to pack some headphones to keep your music private and personal – either way, make sure these bits are ready in your ‘go-bag’ with all the other birth-day essentials (or set up a music station ready to go at home if you’re planning on a home delivery).
Birthing Playlist Ideas
We’ve put together a few birthing playlist ideas to help you get started. Putting the playlist together can be a great bonding experience for you and the father/your birthing partner, so why not take time out to listen to old favourites and put together a playlist that’s meaningful to both of you.
It can even be an amazing surprise if they add in a few songs they’ve picked just for you.
You probably already know how much specific tracks can relax you after a long day, improve your mood when you’re feeling down, bring back amazing memories with friends, or give you that last burst of motivation you need at the gym, so it makes a lot of sense to choose specific music for your labour.
Music has been shown to influence our central nervous system’s limbic system (which deals with memories and emotions) so the right birth playlist won’t just have the health benefits we mention earlier, it will also empower you, lift your mood and distract you as you push through the pain.
Your birth playlist could be organised in many different ways, depending what suits you. However, it’s generally recommended that you choose songs that are familiar, with strong instrumentals and a steady beat. And variation is key!
As for the order of your birthing playlist there are a few options.
One would be to pace the playlist to suit the different stages of labour; the latent phase and contractions before established labour begins and finally when it is time to give birth.
So, for example your playlist may start with familiar and relaxing tunes, to help you stay calm, before transitioning into more energising and motivational songs to power you through and keep the energy in the room high.
It may also be worth considering a final section of the birth playlist for after delivery, so you can hold your new baby in your arms and enjoy special music together, that will hold the memory forever.
Other birthing playlist ideas suggest choosing a mixture of music that falls under different categories; funny songs to keep the mood up and force you to crack a smile even when the going gets tough, peaceful songs to quench any fears or anxiety, happy songs to fill the room with love and joy, and of course your absolute favourites from past and present.
It could be easy to just throw together the songs that you’re listening to the most right now, but we really recommend digging through the music you used to love so you can find those forgotten gems that will provide comfort and spark real joy on the day.
Our birthing playlist ideas are just some of the most popular and obvious choices to get the ideas flowing.
We hope they help you create a personal playlist of your own, but if you need further inspiration there are loads of streaming platforms offering their own birthing playlists.
- Spotify even has one entitled 'Birthing Playlist' by Spotify USA that was made in collaboration with experts! Lots of users have created their own birthing playlists on Spotify so perhaps you can find someone with similar music taste to your own to help begin the process.
- Tital features an album of peaceful pregnancy music made by Pregnancy and Birthing Specialists.
- Apple Music has a ‘Push It Playlist’ specially made for labour.
If in doubt for your birthing playlist ideas go back to your old iPod or rifle through your old CDs.
Or, if you have a workout playlist check through that - you could even ask your parents or childhood friends what songs remind them of times you've had together. You never know they could make suggestions you had totally forgotten about.
Here are some of our best birthing playlist ideas to start you off:
- Easy Like Sunday Morning – Lionel Richie
- Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
- You are the Sunshine of My Life – Stevie Wonder
- Sunrise – Norah Jones
- We Belong Together – Mariah Carey
- Let it Go – James Bay
- Albatross – Fleetwood Mac
- Halo – Beyonce
- You’re Beautiful – James Blunt
- Could you Be Loved – Bob Marley & The Wailers
- Happy – Marina
- Thinkin Bout You – Frank Ocean
- Slow Down – Mac Ayres
- Kiss Me – Ed Sheeran
- Morning Matters – Yazmin Lacey
(a Tip for the most relaxing songs is that if they’re 60 BPM this causes your brainwaves and heart rate to synchronise with the rhythm – meaning they’re the most relaxing!)
- Don’t Worry Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin
- Happy – Pharrell Williams
- Don’t Stop Believing – Journey
- Juice - Lizzo
- Better Together – Jack Johnson
- Walkin On Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves
- Dancing Queen – ABBA
- Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys
- (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life – Bill Medley
- Girls Just Want to Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
- Think About Things – Dadi Freyr
- Loving is Easy – Rex Orange County
- I’m a Believer – The Monkees
- Love on Top – Beyonce
- Good as Hell – Lizzo
- Survivor – Destiny’s Child
- Stronger – Kanye West
- Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (ft. Ray Dalton)
- Power – Little Mix (ft. Stormzy)
- Roar – Katy Perry
- Harder Better Faster Stronger – Daft Punk
- Run the World (Girls) – Beyonce
- I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
- Hung Up – Madonna
- Stronger – (What doesn’t kill you) – Kelly Clarkson
- Get Ready for This – 2 Unlimited
- Eye of The Tiger – Survivor
- Fighter – Christina Aguilera
- Pump it – Black Eyed Peas
- Born This Way – Lady Gaga
There is loads more inspo out there, the Sun wrote this article listing the top 20 birthing songs from a study with mothers in the UK, News 24 put together this list of their best 30 song ideas, whilst the Guardian made these suggestions.
We hope these songs make you smile and kick start your birthing playlist ideas, just remember to get your playlist together sooner rather than later so your special day has the perfect soundtrack!
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