Music to give birth to
June 2, 2009 6:27 PM   Subscribe

My wife and I are expecting our first baby any day now, she wants me to make some cd's for her to listen to during labor, she likes

popular music

top 40


popular country

any other relaxing (not just slow tempo) suggestions?

some specific artists are -
Sarah Mclaughlin
Colbie Callat
The Fray
Bob Dylan
Michael Buble
Rascal Flats
Matina Mcbride

Thanks for helping
posted by dstopps to Health & Fitness (17 answers total)
Um, I think you should make some cds for her, being sure to include the specific artists she likes. I imagine you know a lot of her favorite songs, too, so be sure to put some of those on there.

I guess I'm not sure what kind of help you want. What if I say Fleetwood Mac and the Dixie Chicks? I mean, a lot of people who like those people you list also like Fleetwood Mac and the Dixie Chicks. But, for all I know, your wife hates Fleetwood Mac and the Dixie Chicks.

If you wanted to find out about new indie rock, AskMe could give you some great answers. But when the question is 'songs for my wife,' it seems like you might be better prepared to answer this question than anyone. All in all, it sounds like you've got this thing pretty well in hand.
posted by box at 6:37 PM on June 2, 2009

Charlotte Martin
posted by contrariwise at 6:38 PM on June 2, 2009

My wife really liked listening the the songs from the album "African lullaby" when in labor
posted by bottlebrushtree at 6:47 PM on June 2, 2009

I would recommend Mastadon, especially "Blood Mountain." That way, she'll really squeeze the little guy (or girl) out and you'll have a metalhead for a kid.

Best of luck!
posted by elder18 at 7:05 PM on June 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Comfort is not hearing some new song you might like. Comfort is hearing what you already know. So you want nothing new. Nothing she hasn't heard before. The idea here is that you want to stimulate some pleasurable memory of the past to counteract the exhausting, painful present.

But ... we don't know what she knows; you do.

If you want to skim lists and pick out the ones you know she likes, one place to look would be historic Top 40 lists; there's an index here at Billboard. Maybe look for hits when she was college-age or so.

And finally: Survivor, Eye of the Tiger. Oh, she knows it. And don't pretend we don't all love it.

Actually, that does bring me to another point: labor, to me, felt like ... hard labor. Like an incredibly painful, never-ending athletic event, where I couldn't believe I was expected to go on. I would have preferred mid-tempo inspirational-type music (something you might run to) to Enya/Sarah Machlachlan relaxing stuff. But it's hard to know, going in, what she might want.

Happy pushing to her!
posted by palliser at 7:12 PM on June 2, 2009

Everyone is going to be different here, but here's my take.

I had a few CDs ready during labor because I knew there was no predicting what I'd want. I made 4-5 mixed CDs, each of a different Genre. I have to say that when I was in hard labor, any music with actual lyrics/words made me want to die. Really, there was something about hearing a voice singing that turned me into the angriest, scariest woman in labor that my doula had ever seen. I shoved the CD player on the ground with such force that it completely broke apart.

Lesson to be learned: Don't forget to make a soothing instrumental CD :-)
posted by Lullen at 7:12 PM on June 2, 2009 [2 favorites]

Just bring a variety of stuff she likes. Her mood, and what exactly she will want to listen to at that moment, you can't predict now.

My first child, I painstakingly selected a bunch of CDs my wife liked and packed them up in preparation. When the time came, she liked the first one I put on so much she wanted to listen to it again. Then again. I put it on "repeat disc" where it stayed playing for the next 9 hours until our daughter was born :)
posted by aguy at 7:13 PM on June 2, 2009

Agreed with the above posters. Bring a big selection (and then be prepared for your wife to not want to listen to any. I would have taken out someone's throat if they had put on music during the delivery of my daughter).
posted by gaspode at 4:00 AM on June 3, 2009

Midwives at our hospital said 99 out 100 women who bring music to labor never even get to hear it, and the one who does just screams SHUT THE FSCKING MUSIC OFF OR I'LL FSCKING KILL SOMEBODY!
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:41 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for all the great advice, especially the idea of some variety but sticking to what she knows. I guess its like a lot of things that we just need to be ready for everything then roll with what happens.
posted by dstopps at 6:12 AM on June 3, 2009

Variety, because her mood will swing drastically during different stages of labor. But for a specific suggestion, the Garden State soundtrack has a great selection of soothing, comforting music that is fairly mainstream.

Also, you may put all this work into the CD making only to have her decide that music annoys her during labor. Have her come up with some back up relaxation ideas just in case. Favorite lotion? Scent? Photos to focus on?

Best wishes to you both!
posted by agentwills at 6:27 AM on June 3, 2009

Anecdote: My wife and I spent a lot of time carefully crafting some playlists for her iPod for labor, going through all the songs she loved, picking them out, arranging them in a few different orders, etc.

Once she went into labor, she DID NOT WANT ANY SOUNDS AT ALL. She didn't throw the iPod across the room, but it was a close call. She decided in the moment she wanted silence to concentrate, and by golly that's what she got.

So yes: plan, but improvise. :-)
posted by griffey at 6:57 AM on June 3, 2009

We personally used a lot of more tranquil songs. Lots of Yo La Tengo, especially And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out. Set to a low volume, it's very warm and comforting (at least to our ears). Congratulations and good luck!
posted by Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific at 8:21 AM on June 3, 2009

I would also advise that you might not be able to listen to the selected music again without a massive dose of total recall
posted by FidelDonson at 8:21 AM on June 3, 2009

I don't know who those bands or people are except for The Beatles, Dylan and McLaughlin, but Paul Simon fits in there- or Simon and Garfunkle.

And thank you for not saying "we're pregnant".
posted by Zambrano at 8:29 AM on June 3, 2009


Just from my personal experience - I was in labour all day, and all night, and there was only one point when I wished that I had some music to listen to. Yes, that's right, Nitrous oxide! Everything went all Jefferson Airplane there for about two hours. (Lucky me).

So I recommend preparing at least one playlist of My Carefree Party Years music. Just in case.

Also, at many stages, I was extraordinarily tetchy (not myself at all), and although I love Easy Listening Songs About Sailing as much as the next girl, there were points when, if someone had deliberately played soothing music at me, I would have committed picturesque acts of violence unto them.

So if I were you I would focus on music that your wife truly enjoys listening to, familiar stuff with a variety of tempo and mood. And prepare for the possibility that all your hard work will be a) never used, b) thrown at you in a fit of sudden rage.

Ah, childbirth is a beautiful and meaningful experience.
Or not.
posted by Catch at 6:08 PM on June 3, 2009

Also: update once you have something to report. I loves me some baby news.
posted by palliser at 8:13 PM on June 4, 2009

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