Susan, over at Life, Love & Labradors, wrote a post today about music for Labor & Delivery. She’s pregnant with twins and packing her hospital bag, and looking for suggestions for music.

I was totally going to do this back when I was pregnant. I was sure I’d come up with great playlists and have my iPod with me in the hospital. It never happened. Didn’t even occur to me to bring my iPod in my hospital bag, though in retrospect, it probably would have been a good choice instead of just sitting there in pain.

Anyways, I was going to write a comment on Susan’s post. And then it got way too long, so I decided to make a post of my own. Following are some tunes I’d recommend, depending on the mood and energy you’re looking for. If you have suggestions of your own, head over to Susan’s blog and let her know!

For peace, calm, and quiet, when you want to slow your nerves and get some rest:

  • The Bach Cello Suites, Yo-Yo Ma. There are six suites, each with six movements. But if you only get one suite, get the first. And if you only get one track, get the first movement of the first suite. Even if you don’t know much about classical music, it will probably sound familiar to you. This is my go-to whenever I want to be quiet and calm.
  • Voice of the Violin, Joshua Bell. Bell takes a number of famous vocal pieces and performs them on the violin. Just plain lovely and lyrical. What my mom and I sometimes call “Sunday Morning Music.”
  • Now That I’ve Found You, Allison Kraus. She’s a little country (and I’m a little rock & roll, apparently?), but I really enjoy this album and find her very soothing.
  • Unplugged, Eric Clapton. You can only rock so hard when you have acoustic guitars. This is great for familiar songs in a mellow way.
  • Finding Neverland, Motion Picture Soundtrack, Jan Kaczmarek. Even if you haven’t seen this movie (oh my lord did I cry…), the music is just wonderful. All instrumental.

For passing the time, maybe post-epidural while you’re waiting for things to get going, I’d be in favor of things that are longer and tell a story, instead of a bunch of 3-minute songs:

  • Rent, Wicked, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Cast Recordings. Musicals that have very little dialougue interludes are good (aka operettas), because the songs basically take you through the whole show. Gilbert & Sullivan would probably work too, if you’re into that. Or West Side Story. Whatever you’re familiar with and enjoy.
  • If you enjoy classical music, complete symphonies are also good. Some of my favorites: Dvorak Symphony No. 9 (“From the New World”), Beethoven Symphonies No. 6 and 7.

For getting pumped up, I like something good and loud, or even some of my guilty pleasures:

  • 1812 Overture, Tchaikovsky. Yes, you know this one. The Boston Pops plays it every year for the 4th of July. It’s nice and long, sometimes as much as 18 or so minutes. If at all possible, get a recording with the actual cannons at the end, it always gets me going.
  • Symphony No. 5, 4. Allegro non Troppo, Shostakovich. The fourth movement of Shostakovich’s 5th symphony is just crazy. And it sounds like movie music. That and Dvorak’s 9th Symphony, and you’ll know where John Williams got his inspiration for most of Steven Spielberg’s movies.
  • Ah, guilty pop pleasures. These are some of the ones on my playlist of “can’t not move” songs, or ones that otherwise just make me plain happy. A random selection of some of my iTunes favorites. I have elected not to explain or make excuses for any of them, thankyouverymuch.
    • Toxic, Britney Spears
    • Boom Shak-a-lak, Apache Indian
    • Mambo No. 5, Lou Bega
    • Hella Good and Hey Baby, No Doubt
    • Gone Daddy Gone, Gnarls Barkley
    • Come on Over, Christina Aguilera
    • Let’s Go Crazy, Prince
    • Come on Eileen, Dexy’s Midnight Runners
    • Pump It, Black Eyed Peas
    • Mamma Mia, ABBA
    • Groove is in the Heart, Dee-Lite
    • Rockafeller Skank, Fatboy Slim
    • When I’m Up (I Can’t Get Down), Great Big Sea
    • Stitched Up, Herbie Hancock feat. John Mayer
    • Geek in the Pink, Jason Mraz
    • Are You Gonna Be My Girl, Jet
    • Shake Your Tail Feather, Ray Charles feat. the Blues Brothers
    • Oye Como Va, Santana
  • Other than that, it’s all about your favorites.  Whatever you know the best and makes you happy.  I didn’t mention them individually, but my iPod is always fully stocked with my entire BNL collection, no surprise.

So, dear readers, what are some of your favorites?  Songs you’d love to have with you in Labor & Delivery, or any other stressful situation? Pass them along here, pass them along on Susan’s blog…



Filed under Music, Your turn!

8 responses to “Playlists

  1. I too had high aspirations for a “L&D Mix” that never came to be. However, Alaina’s delivery did have a soundtrack…I started pushing at 2:30 am and asked Brian to turn the TV on to help me calm down between pushes. (She was 33 weeks and there was no NICU so things were tense). The only thing on the hospital TV at that hour was infomercials. So I listened to snippets – not even full songs – off of an R&B compilation being advertised. It was supposed to be “smooth” but it really amounted to “gettin’ it on” music. Everyone in the room (hubby, OB, 2 nurses, pediatrician and the entire transport team) commented on it and it did really lighten the mood. So much so that we didn’t change the channel when it started over from the beginning again. Music definitely helps!

  2. Oh, I totally have some “guilty pleasure” songs on my iPod! Well, I have a shuffle without 40 songs on it that I use when I work out, if that counts.
    You should download the songs from the Josie and the Pussycats soundtrack – the ones by the female singers are AWESOME for “can’t not move” playlists, and the lyrics make you want to just belt out and start singing along. Totally guilty pleasure category.
    🙂 Becky

  3. nozimmer

    Get outta my iPod! LOL 🙂

  4. I had a “Romantic” classical tape and tape player that repeated endlessly. I loved it. Very emotional stuff. Even the staff liked it. I’ll have to go dig it out to remember what was on it. I think it really helped my mood and focus tremendously.

  5. awiley

    i love your guilty pleasure list… TOXIC makes me think of when I was an advisor at Ind. U. sorority recruitment — they did SERIOUS skits (way more intense then we ever did) and did a full-on, dance team style dance to Toxic while 100+ active members & another 50 PNMs watched… and I probably saw the damn thing 20+ times between rehearsals & parties.
    Totally random tangent, but thought you could appreciate it from your former recruiting chair in a not-that-kind-of-sorority.

  6. Dee-Lite’s “Groove is in the Heart” is one of my top five of all time. LERV LERV LERV that song.
    Still will do arms in the air dance to it at stoplights. (KNEW I loved you! 😉 ) When I saw “Gone Daddy Gone” I was assuming the Femmes version, but Gnarls is ok, too!

    For our L&D soundtrack, we were cycling CDs of the Rat Pack and Louis Prima. Babies were born while Dean Martin was singing (Darren came out to “You’re Nobody ’til Somebody Loves You”…it was perfect. The post-first baby out frenzy and the dry-heaves that brought Sarah to us (nice! 😉 ) eclipse my memory of what tune was playing for her arrival…wonder if I could pinpoint which of our Dean CDs it was….count seven minutes from the one cut…. 😉

    (Man, I SO hope to see you all in August!)

  7. What, no Metallica?

  8. Love all of these suggestions!! thank you

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