Medical City Healthcare - March 28, 2016

How to Build a Birthing Playlist that Will Rock Your Pain Away

You've probably seen the video of the fussy baby strapped in a car seat who immediately changes her tune when the first notes of her song start playing. She may be hungry, tired, wet or bored, but it's all forgotten. She's got her groove on and life is good.

Who can resist belting out their favorite song? When my jam comes on, I don't care who's watching. And let's face it, with the exception of the shower, there's nowhere your voice sounds better!

Rocking out during drive time is one thing, but can music really help ease the daunting task of labor and delivery? You've probably already guessed that the answer is a resounding YES. Studies show music can have stimulant or sedative effects; alter heart rate, breathing and mood; significantly lower pain and anxiety during childbirth; relax and engage labor and delivery staff; and decrease postpartum pain, anxiety and even early postpartum depression.

As a first-time mom-to-be, nerves set in as I was being wheeled into the operating room for my C-section. My senses were on overload. The room was so bright it almost glowed and the voice of the anesthesiologist was sharp, cutting through the buzz of activity. My only distraction was the overwhelming excitement of being moments away from meeting my precious baby boy. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and that's when I heard music. Dusty Springfield's "Son of a Preacher Man" echoed in the background. It may sound strange, but at that moment I relaxed and found myself bobbing my head (because that's the only thing I could move) and singing along.

The key to a positive birth experience is finding a hospital to deliver your baby that supports choices such as music and other options you wish to incorporate into your birthing experience. The hospitals of Medical City Healthcare offer a wide selection of birthing amenities and will expertly guide you in designing a birth plan that's just right for you. Music may be just the thing you need to rock your pain away. And creating the perfect delivery playlist can be just as easy. To discover the best songs for your birthing playlist, take our quiz at WeDeliverDreams.

In her article, "Secrets for Easing Labor Pain," musician mom of three Ginger Garner calls music the magic pain soother and her secret for pain management during labor. Several months before her boys were born, she began creating their birth soundtracks, designing each one to have a specific effect at a specific time. Her choices were based on music therapy and the knowledge that certain instruments and genres of music are better suited to relaxation and positive feelings.

To make your childbirth playlist, Garner suggests creating a minimum of eight hours of music and choosing relaxing as well as motivating tunes. You can sequence your songs to match the stages of labor or create separate playlists for each—whatever makes it easier to transition from one genre to another according to your needs. You may also opt to have quiet, soothing music playing the entire time.

Garner's playlists became increasingly complex with each child, and by the third one she had four: Baby Breathing, for inspiration and meditation in early labor; Baby Labor, for motivation and more intense meditation; Baby Thanks, for postpartum bliss; and Baby Dance, to express her joy at giving birth. She played Baby Thanks her entire postpartum stay in the hospital, and she was told by staff they made special visits to her room just to hang out and chill to the cool tunes.

Amber CradduckAbout Amber

Amber Cradduck is a mother of two, professional storyteller and part-time CrossFitter. She enjoys podcasts and murder mysteries. An aspiring DIY'er and fixer upper, Amber is a straight shooter trying to find the funny in this crazy journey called parenting.

YouTube®, Adorable Baby Stops Crying When She Hears Katy Perry Dark Horse
Effects of music therapy on labour pain and anxiety in Taiwanese first-time mothers. 2010
Effect of music therapy during vaginal delivery on postpartum pain relief and mental health. 2014
Ginger Garner, Secrets for Easing Labor Pain

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