During our prenatal visits, one of the things Rainbow and I ask our clients is if they are planning to bring music to the hospital. Sometimes the couple had already thought of it and was working on a playlist. However, a lot of the time it’s not something they’d thought of before. They’re intrigued but insure of how it would work for them. Would the music become annoying? Would it distract the hospital staff? What type of music would they want?
Really, it all comes down to what makes you the most comfortable and brings you joy. If you love listening to music, then of course you’d want it to be a part of your birth experience!
If you’re not a runner, then you might not be aware of what I’m going to share with you. But, forget circumcision, bed-sharing, or vaccines, if you want to get a heated conversation started, ask a group of runners about listening to music while running. You will not believe the passion in the responses! There is a strong mindset that listening to music will interfere with your ability to listen to your body and therefore should never be used. Others will say that it isn’t as “pure” a way to experience a run.
Well, I listen to music while I’m running. I love music and listen to it whenever I can. Sometimes the only thing that motivates me to get out for a run is a new playlist. This spring, I ran The Maple Run Half Marathon in Canton. I had done all the proper training and felt confident about completing the course. I’ve run many half marathons (and even a few full ones) before, so I wasn’t worried about the distance. Yet, when I began the race, I just wasn’t into it. My pace was dragging and I was just going through the motions. Then a song started that completely brightened my mood! (Would you laugh if I told you it was “Believe” by Cher?) I felt a surge of energy and picked up my pace! I was in a much better mood for the rest of the race.
During birth, you want to make your environment as comfortable as possible. For some people, music can make a big difference in adding comfort to a hospital setting. I’ve been to births where the couple brought music and ones where they did not. Both can be amazing and beautiful. I was at a birth where both parents were musicians and the playlist was amazing. I don’t know how much it helped the laboring woman, but it certainly put me in a positive mood! Some couples bring their own speaker or even just use the speaker on their phone. Your doula might even be able to bring a wireless speaker if you think about it ahead of time. (At New Day Doula, we can!)
For your birth, you should think about what makes you happy and calm. If you like silence when you’re stressed, then maybe music isn’t the right choice for you. But the wonderful thing about using music as an intervention is that if it doesn’t feel right at the time, you can simply turn it off. How many things can you say that about?
New Day Doula
Rainbow and Mary share thoughts on pregnancy, birth, and the parenting journey.