Music can be a very influential medium when it comes to birthing baby. Whether vaginal, or caesarian, there’s always that one song that makes you smile, brings a tear to your eye, or brings you back to a moment in time.

When I was pregnant with my first son, I spent hours collecting songs that brought both humor, and nostalgia. However, at 37 weeks we found out my he was breech, and after trying ALL the things, ended with a caesarean at 39 weeks. My surgeon didn’t feel comfortable blaring music, so I doubled down on having it with my second son.

Music can pull you in many different directions. In labor, this can be a very powerful force. One of my greatest contractions came with the song, “Steal Your Heart” by Augustana. This is the song I remember being an anthem while falling in love with my husband.

Biologically, labor is classified as a positive feedback loop in the body. This means that in order for your body to maintain homeostasis, it must repeat the loop until peace is resumed in your body. Here’s what that looks like:

You’ll notice that at the bottom your brain releases oxytocin, which causes the uterus to contract, which pushes baby against the cervix, which sends nerve impulses to the brain, etc..

The reason music can be so effective, and was in my labor (prior to my beloved uterine rupture) is because oxytocin! Oxytocin is known as the “love hormone,” because it is released when people snuggle up or bond socially. Listening to music stimulates oxytocin, and thus reinforces what’s already at work during labor. So cool, right!?

This weekend I asked for everyone’s favorite songs from labor and compiled the write in’s here.

Here is the playlist I provide to my own clients to get them through labor.

And here is my personal playlist I used for labor. Mainly Augustana, and pump-up-make-you-laugh jams involving the work “baby.”

With Warmth,

Macy, the doula

c/o MotherLift—A sister trio: Designer, Doula, and Therapist.