The delivery room playlist

What do you listen to while you're having a baby?

June 20, 2012

I’m not sure when exactly this became a thing, but nowadays pregnant women are encouraged to think about what kind of music they’d like to listen to in the delivery room at the hospital. My informal history of this goes back to ER when Sherry Stringfield’s crazy sister was adamant about listening to the Beatles' “Blackbird” as she delivered her baby, and if I remember, they couldn’t get the tape to play or something so everyone sang to her as she had her baby.

If you read this blog regularly you know I’m a fan of putting together playlists, especially for working out, dancing and parties. I used to also make mix tapes for road trips and falling asleep and romance and cheering up friends. I even made one to play in the salon on my wedding day for when I got my hair and makeup done. (ABBA’s “I Do, I Do, I Do” was part of it.) But I’m stymied as to what the hell kind of playlist I’d want to listen to while I’m having a baby.

The websites all suggest soothing music, but after several hours (my inclination is to write “eight” here, but I don’t want to jinx myself nor kid myself, so I’ll go with “several”) I think I’d get bored to tears by calm, soothing music. Sure, I like a massage every now and then but it’s not my idea of a good time to hang out in a massage therapy room for several hours. The darkness and the weird chiming music and the soft voices would irritate me after awhile. Plus, while I’d like the labor to be as calm as possible, I think I’d be kidding myself if I really thought it could be a relaxing experience from start to finish.

So, part of me, then, is tempted to go for inspiring workout music. What could be more “Eye of the Tiger”-y than getting a baby out of your body? If workout music helps me run, maybe it’ll help me withstand contractions and pushing. However, I’m planning, if possible, to check out when it comes to the pain. Yes, I’m getting an epidural because the alternative does not sound great to me. I’ve heard that you can actually sleep some while you’re in labor if you get an epidural, so I don’t really need kickin’ beats if I am trying to grab a nap, plus, it might seem weird if it seems like I’m trying to turn the hospital room into a dance club.

I wonder if many women have played standup comedy albums in the delivery room? I thought of this idea as a joke, but seriously am starting to think it’s not the worst plan in the world. Comedy albums can be ambient noise, can give you something to concentrate on and, if effective, could maybe actually take your mind off any potential pain or fear. Plus, I think as a comedian, it would be a high compliment for someone to tell you “Your one joke about the pickle juice made me laugh so hard a human came out of my vagina!”

I’m curious to hear from women who planned their labor room listening carefully and how that went. Does having your own soundtrack in the delivery room help or is it just a silly, pointless modern contrivance?

I haven’t even gotten around to thinking what DVDs we’re going to bring with us yet. . . .