Now that I’m in my third trimester, I’ve heard three questions that my mother was most definitely never asked during any of her pregnancies:
1. “Will you bring a medicine ball or yoga mat to the delivery room?”
2. “Does your hospital allow candles or scent diffusers?”
3. “Have you made a labor and delivery playlist yet?”
Maybe, collectively-speaking, we’ve become high maintenance pregnant poodles compared to our mothers and grandmothers, and certainly those badass great-grandmothers, who likely gritted their teeth through primitive home births with more poise and strength than I muster plucking a hangnail.
However, generational judgment aside, music seems like a good idea. Music heals, distracts, and calms. Music accompanies many of our most monumental life moments. Music is powerful. I love music.
With that in mind, I began to explore what music may be most effective for my personal Labor Day, and quickly discovered I haven’t a clue. What’s best? Something soothing? Something upbeat? Something with apropos lyrics? Something I listened to on the bus before a major high school softball tournament? I think it’s all in how you approach the delivery — how you frame the experience. Is giving birth something natural and beautiful, a transcendental experience to be embraced with quiet poise and grace? Or maybe giving birth is more like an athletic feat, to be conquered with strength and determination?
Almighty Google serves up many articles with suggested labor and delivery playlists, but the selections mostly feature the same cheesy, cliched songs, seemingly selected because they happen to include “baby” or “push” in the refrain (yep, you guessed it, Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It” is a biggie). “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross is also a recurring one, as is Michelle Branch’s “Breeeaaathe, just breeeaaathe.” Somehow I just KNOW I do NOT want these songs on repeat that day. Or Enya. Or The Ramone’s “I Wanna Be Sedated.” I mean, come on….
To complicate things further, I imagine I’ll find some solace in slow, mellow tunes in the early hours and possibly post-delivery, but may rely on fast-paced music for motivation during the more trying stretches — as I do while working out, mulching the yard, and frenzy-cleaning during those manic moments just before guests arrive.
So, here it is, my labor and delivery playlist, divided into two different lists to suit the stage of labor I’m in:
1. “Get Fly” by Atmosphere
2. “These Days” by Foo Fighters
3. “Blame It On Me” by George Ezra
4. “I Think I Like It” by Mary Jane Fonda
5. “Like This” by Kelly Roland
6. “Yummy” by Gwen Stefani
7. “If I Can’t” by 50 Cent
8. “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence + The Machine
9. “Countdown” by Beyonce
10. “Worn Me Down” by Rachael Yamagata
1. “Beautiful Boy” by John Lennon
2. “The Blower’s Daughter” by Damien Rice
3. “I Can’t Lie” by Maroon 5
4. “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley
5. “Pink Rabbits” by The National
6. “Waiting for My Ruca” by Sublime
7. “Hold You In My Arms” by Ray LaMontagne
8. “Amber” by 311
9. “This Land Is Mine” by Dido
10. “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds