What was on your labour playlist? I remember one of my favourite parts of labour prep was putting mine together. I listened to it most nights in the weeks leading up to my baby’s arrival, in between relaxation audios. I chose mostly chilled relaxed music, songs that evoked happy memories, songs from movies that made my cry (Love Actually soundtrack anyone?) and the obligatory bit of Ed Sheeran (the video for ‘Photograph’ still makes me tear up).
Music in labour has been recommended for a long time, and with good reason. Listening to music is known to promote relaxation, reduce anxiety and therefore decrease the likelihood of a mother experiencing stress and producing adrenalin (which is not especially useful in labour!) It is also thought to stimulate the pituitary gland to release endorphins, our natural pain relieving hormone. Research has also shown us that music can make a difference to perception of pain too – for example the 2018 Cochrane review looked at three randomised trials where some mothers had listened to music during labour and some had not. In two of the three studies it was found that those listening to music reported a lower intensity of pain in early labour in comparison to those that didn’t.
When it comes to choosing music for your playlist, my advice is keep it personal. There are studies into what music ‘works best’ for relaxation, but what is most important is that it means something to you. Music that is familiar, that you enjoy listening to, that gives you that funny buzzy feeling in your stomach (the Jurassic Park theme tune in my case) or evokes memories of romantic evenings, ‘your’ song, all of that good stuff is what you need. Music that will make you smile, get the oxytocin flowing and help you drift off into your wonderful relaxation bubble.
Comment below what you listened to when in labour. Anyone else choose the Jurassic Park theme?! I would love to know!!