Music is a great way to distract yourself in the throes of labour, so we’ve compiled the ultimate labour playlist for you.
They say laughter is the best medicine, but a little bit of music can go a long way do. As Spotify proved with its recent birthing playlist, some songs are said to even scientifically designed to help alleviate anxiety for women in labour, thanks to their BPM (beats per minute). With this in mind, we’ve curated the ultimate labour playlist, based on popular songs to give birth to.
New research from Supplement Place collated a list of over 16,000 songs using playlists created by users and by Spotify that had a reference to childbirth in their titles, revealing the ultimate birthing beats.
Across the original 16,000 songs, the average BPM was 118, which is around the same speed as Alicia Key’s, If I Ain’t Got You, Mae Robinson’s What a Wonderful World and Patricia by Florence and The Machine. Looking at just the top 10, the average BPM is slightly lower at 110 BPM which matches the track Better Together by Jack Johnson, so this may well be the key to its success.
The Best Songs to Add to Your Labour Playlist
- Better Together by Jack Johnson – 110 BPM
- I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz – 137 BPM
- Make You Feel My Love by Adele – 65 BPM
- Only Love by Ben Howard – 80 BPM
- Ho Hey by The Lumineers – 80 BPM
- Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran – 79 BPM
- Come Away With Me by Norah Jones – 80 BPM
- Let It Go by James Bay – 147 BPM
- Here Comes The Sun – Remastered 2009 by The Beatles – 129 BPM
- Heartbeats by José Gonsalez – 88 BPM
- Your Song by Elton John – 128 BPM
- All Of Me by John Legend – 120 BPM
- Follow The Sun by Javier Rudd – 124 BPM
- A Thousand Years by Christina Perri – 139 BPM
- Holocene by Bon Iver – 148 BPM
- Perfect by Ed Sheeran – 95 BPM
- Stay With Me by Sam Smith – 85 BPM
- Higher Love by James Vincent McMorrow – 128 BPM
- Dreams – 2004 Remaster by Fleetwood Mac – 120 BPM
Top 5 Artists to Add to Your Childbirth Playlist
- Ed Sheeran
- The Beatles
- Taylor Swift
- Fleetwood Mac
More Songs to Add to Your Labour Playlist
If You Leave Me Now – Chicago
The perfect song for mothers who are reluctant to share their baby with the rest of the world and would like things to remain between the two of them for a little while longer. Although singing “Oooh oh no, baby please don’t go” at the top of your lungs may give your midwife cause for concern.
Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? – Culture Club
Pleading with your baby so early on may give them the upper hand later in life, but in labour you may be willing to take that risk just on the off-chance that they’ll go easy on you.
Under Pressure – Queen & David Bowie
Ahem. Not only does this pay homage to the passing earlier this year of one of music’s greatest artists and arguably one of British pop music’s greatest collaborations of all time, you have to admit, the lyrics are pretty spot on, too.
It Started With A Kiss – Hot Chocolate
Reminisce about how the humble beginnings of you and your partner’s love affair has led to this moment. A word of warning, though: you’re probably best off playing this early on. As labour progresses, you’ll probably want to drag him across the bed and throttle him.
Push It – Salt-n-Pepa
For when you need that extra bit of encouragement in the second stage of labour – it may well raise a smile ever so fleetingly before the next contraction knocks it right off your face.
Comfortably Numb – Pink Floyd
Ah. This blissful state is how we all dream of entering motherhood, lifted into it on a cushion of pain-free calm, be it in the form of hypnobirthing or a hefty epidural. The line ‘there is no pain, you are receding’ could almost be a maternity mantra.
Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Neptune’s Daughter (original film score)
Show a little empathy for those babies that are hesitant to leave the warmth of mummy, ‘cause quite frankly, who can blame them?
Can You Feel It? – Jackson Five
True story: this came on the radio by chance when one of our friends had their first baby and the midwives were somewhat taken aback when she screamed, “Yes, I very well can!” Or slightly less-polite words to that effect.
I’m Coming Out – Diana Ross
Let baby’s entry to the world be all singing and all dancing with this epic disco tune that will have everyone in the birthing room singing along. No room for shy babies here.
The First Day of My Life – Bright Eyes
Slow things down and reflect on the momentousness of the occasion with this sweet song that opens with the line ‘This is the first day of my life’, which will serve as a reminder that you will soon meet your baby.
Mr Blue Sky – Electric Light Orchestra
We’ve included this uplifting ditty purely for the fact it contains the lyrics, ‘Hey, you with the pretty face, welcome to the human race’, as we think your baby deserves a sunny welcome.
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face – Roberta Flack
For the sentimentalist in you. If there’s a better song that sums up the instant love you feel for your baby when you first hold them in your arms then we don’t know it. It makes us tingle just thinking about it.
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