Push It: Music for labour and delivery

A couple of days ago now I asked my facebook community a question. I do this regularly and it usually yields fascinating information (or at the very least some good laughs). I’m often surprised by how much people know (or appear to know) about the most obscure topics and how widely opinions can diverge among my friends.

A month or so ago, for example, I asked my facebook friends the following question: “To circumcise or not to circumcise – that is the question. Thoughts?”

I wasn’t at all sure anyone would touch this topic with a ten-foot pole so I was floored when this status update was the recipient of not just a couple, but several dozen comments. These ranged from the laconic and wildly funny, “At his age, I’d say Mike shouldn’t bother”, to more than one diatribe that basically equated circumcision with crimes against humanity. There were also a variety of stories about botched circumcisions or infections in the teen and adult years that were the result of not being circumcised as an infant. Some of these stories were so graphic and horrifying they belonged in book entitled True Life Stories of Controversial Medical Procedures.

Unfortunately I accidentally deleted the entire discussion thread when I was trying to remove some nude spam video from my profile. I took this as a sign that my next book should not be True Life Stories of Controversial Medical Procedures.

This week’s baby-related status question was this: “Thinking about music for a labour-playlist. Did you play music during labour and birth? Any good suggestions?”

Well over half of my own interactions on facebook trend towards flippant or sarcastic, so I’m not exactly sure why I expected people to take me seriously and flood me with advice regarding soothing cello concertos and celestial orchestral pieces. Perhaps because when you’re the one who’s staring down the line at this aforementioned “labour and birth” experience in less than two months it doesn’t look much like a laughing matter. Whatever the reason, I was honestly surprised at the recommendations I did receive. When I could actually bring myself to read them, however, I did laugh. Sort of. A little.

In no particular order, here are ten of the most outstanding (or egregious) recommendations I received for a labour playlist:

  1. Push It (Salt n Pepa)
  2. Gotta Get Out of This Place (by Barry Mann and Cynthis Weil)
  3. Hold the Fort (by Billy Bragg)
  4. The First Cut Is The Deepest (by Cat Stevens)
  5. Hurts So Good (by John Mellencamp)
  6. Bleeding Love (by Leona Lewis)
  7. Only Women Bleed (by Alice Cooper)
  8. Give Me Novocain (by Green Day)
  9. Take Away My Pain (by John Petrucci)
  10. This Party Sucks (by The Slicky Boys)

Thank you, facebook friends.

Now, for everyone who may actually be looking for something along those cello or orchestral lines I recommend the following:

  1. Suite No 1 in G Major for Solo Cello BMV 1007 (The Essential Yo Yo Ma)
  2. Thais: Meditation (The Essential Yo Yo Ma)
  3. The Lady Caliph – Dinner (Yo Yo Ma plays Ennio Morricone)
  4. Amazing Grace (Duane Funderbunk)
  5. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 14 in C Sharp Minor (Classical Chill Disc 2)
  6. Pachabel: Canon (Classical Chill 1)
  7. Haydn: String Quartet in C Major Op.76 No. 3 (Classical Chill 1)
  8. Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.2 in C Minor Op.18 (Classical Chill 2)
  9. Grieg: Piano Concerto in A Minor Op.16 (Grieg: Greatest Hits)
  10. On Earth As It Is In Heaven (Ennio Morricone, The Mission)

What about you? Did you play music during labour and delivery? What? Got any recommendations to add to either one of these lists?

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14 responses to “Push It: Music for labour and delivery

  1. Hi, Lisa — I’m in the process of moving and can’t get at anything for the moment. But, in the healing sessions that I give, I use a lot of Stephen Halpern’s music. It’s specifically designed for healing and relaxation. He incorporates the crystal singing bowls. Can’t say enough good about the healing quality of his music and highly recommend it for the birthing room.

  2. I listened to the “Sleep Sound In Jesus” lullaby album by Michael Card while practicing relaxation before labor, and then during labor, and to soothe my babies later, too. Loved it.

  3. I had a James Taylor CD in my bag, but left it there because music was the last thing I thought about during these hours. And I had quite an easy birth. So this time I won’t even bother to take music.

  4. With Analise, the TV was on some VH1 video when I came into the labor and delivery room. The video had a boyfriend and girlfriend arguing. I was so annoyed by it that I made them turn it off and didn’t want anything else the rest of the time.
    With Joshua, well, lets just say he came so fast that there wasn’t time to think about music.
    I agree with Corrie that, for me, really music was the last thing on my mind. 🙂

  5. I did mention Heavenly Day by Patty Griffin and the beatles, when I had thomas. But with Will, I labored in the middle of the night while Patrick slept and I didn’t want to wake him. So I played a highly addicting and dumb game Luxor on our brand new Ipad….it was an amazing pain distracting technique! Who knew, game apps = total brain desensitizing…..oh wait, they have mentioned that before haven’t they?

    • Interesting… maybe I should think about borrowing my grandparent’s iPad. Isn’t it weird that they’re the only ones in the family with one? Mum got them one for CHristmas and my grandad loves it. Looks up all sorts of things on google earth.

  6. Hi Lisa
    I had good intentions to play relaxing and motivating music at the relevant points (!) during labour but when it came to the event, I was too tuned into my own body and focusing on staying in charge of relaxing, breathing etc to want the distraction of music. Sorry!
    A friend had a relaxation CD that she claimed worked too well – I’m not really sure if that’s possible though!

    • Yeah, they say no warm baths too early otherwise it can slow, or even stop, labour. I hadn’t though music might be that powerful though – you’d have to be pretty good at focusing on it. And, yeah, with how fast your bub’s tended to come I can imagine that the process itself was all encompassing. Hope you guys are well by the way. I think of you often over there and hope you’re soaking up the London summer.

  7. Hah. Don’t you just love how opinionated everyone is about anything related to babies and parenting? I was totally floored by discussions like the circumcision one, and wrote about those many decisions I was coming across before the baby was born here:
    http://papuagirlindallas.blogspot.com/2010/10/circumcision-flu-shots-and-birthing.html

    and here: http://papuagirlindallas.blogspot.com/2010/10/circumcision-flu-shots-and-birthing_27.html

    • Loved it! I had read some other post in which you referred to the circumcision debate, but not these two. They were great. I gulped for a minute when I thought you were going to go in a different direction on the immunization question as that’s also one I have strong opinions about and I’m still working on genuinely believing other people have the right to hold different opinions. So far that whole quest isn’t working for me though. I still just think those other people are just plain (and dangerously) wrong.

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