Music, ahhhh. What an underrated resource!
Did you know music can physically change your hormones?
It can make or break a moment, a breath, a birthspace. Music can excite you, empower you, push you over a goal, bring you peace and serenity, center you. It can move you in so many ways. In your body, in your mind, and in your soul.
I would love to hear how music touched you in your birth space or motherhood- send me a message on instagram or Facebook! I am going to share a list of recommendations from other mamas and birth workers here soon!
I have been wanting to share this list for a long time. I am a nut about making playlists. I have one for editing, one for driving when its rainy, ones for driving to and home from a birth space. I even have one dedicated to driving to the beach. I create playlists to capture a vibe, a feeling, a memory. There is something magic about a coordinated playlist that relates to life.
Here are a few of my favorite songs to bring into the birth space.
1- Green Mountain State by Trevor Hall
I am a bit of a Trevor hall nerd. His music touches my soul. This song is the first on several of my playlists. I can dance to it, vibe to it, chill to it, move to it, or let it council me. It is excellent for all kinds of labor moments. Its inspiring, and just sounds so good. Plus it reminds me of the place I call home here in North Carolina. (also consider "Put down what you are carrying", "Everything I need", and "walk quietly" by Trevor hall)
2. Beat of Your Own (delicate Version) by Katie Herzig
This song is the main thing I listen to on the way to births. There is an enchanting quality to her voice. It centers me, reminds me where I am from and where I am headed. It is affirming, and the enchanting repetitive verse at the end 1...2...3...4 it helps me focus my creative energy, and helps me envision the energy I need to bring into the birth space. Just beautiful.
3. Heavy by Birdtalker
What a great mantra song. Especially during labor. Leave what's heavy behind. A beautiful reminder to let go of any extra baggage, worry, fear, or other weights that may impede your labor process. Surrender is the most beautiful and necessary part of any birth.
4. I Am Woman by Helen Reddy
This song holds a special place in my heart. A dear friend and my first mentor showed it to me. She resembled Helen Reddy a bit. She was the first free spirited woman I had met, and the first to inspire me towards the hippy dippy open person I am today. I miss her dearly. I will always remember watching her belt out this song- with a fire in her eyes for life. An excellent affirmation that you are strong, you are beautiful, you are woman and you can do this. You were created for magic.
5. A Mother Like You by JJ Heller
This song could be a great addition to someone who needs the presence of their own mother in their birth space. If you had a positive relationship with your mother, and you long for her, or want to honor her in your space, this is the song. If you don't have a mother to learn from, or don't have good lessons from the one you do have- this song could be a beautiful goal setting song, a way to deeply emotionally connect with your baby over the beautiful relationship you hope to foster with them.
6. It's My House by Diana Ross
This song is great for home birth. I use it for editing and jamming anytime. Its a great song to move to, swing your hips, find your rhythm and own the space you're in. You could even use this song symbolically in a birth outside of your house, to claim the space as your own. Open yourself to love and get that oxytocin flowing with this song.
7. Put Your Records On by Corinne Bailey Rae
A pure vibes song. This one just makes me feel GOOD. Everyone loves this song. Put it on, and let your hair down, and dance that baby down. Soak it up.
8. Sea of Love by Cat Power
This song is mellow, beautiful, and tranquil. Its full of love, but its simple and easy to listen to. A good addition to a mellow birth playlist. I really recommend having two playlists during birth, one for these mellow soft songs, and one for upbeat dancing songs. Switch back and forth as needed.
9. The Best Is Yet to Come by Holly Grace
This one is another mellow but inspiring song. A good symbol of hope, with a touch of divinity. A message to give you a little more strength. The best is yet to come. Keep going.
10. Wise Woman by Jason Mraz
I am definitely going to have to make another post here soon because I have sooo many more suggestions and I can't believe I am already at ten!
I'll end with this song, by one of my favorite artists because it is truly empowering and uplifting. A mellow song you could dance to or rest in affirmation with. This is the first song I pull out while I am editing, because when I pull up those labor and birth photos- I am FILLED to the brim with pride and awe- these mothers I serve are remarkable. This song reminds me of their spirit, of my spirit, and of the spirit that binds us all together. Another great song to move your hips to. It's a bit groovy, a bit hippy, and I just love it. This one is great for the midwives, doulas, and every woman in the room.
Have another suggestion? Send it my way!
Music holds so much space for me. When I was a child, during recess or when walking to the park- I always had headphones in. I imagined that the songs playing were a soundtrack for the moments I was in, it gave me hope in bleak moments. That feeling is one I love to look back on, and recreate with these songs and playlists.
Another great memory I have is of a friend who was autistic, who had a near photographic memory- but it was auditory not visual. They could call back any moment in their life based on the sounds or the songs that were playing. It was amazing.
Music is so powerful. It is such a good tool during pregnancy, birth, and labor. Music brings love, hope, solidarity, power, and color to a world that desperatly needs it. I wouldn't want to live in a world without music.
The best song for your playlist, is one that speaks to you. If you love it, if you can sing it and move to it, if it brings you memory or emotion or if it just feels like home- use that. Maybe a song will help you move baby down, motion is a great tool during labor and dance is our most natural way of moving our bodies safely. It can help you loosen up, help you bond with baby, or even just bond with the spirit inside yourself. Let the music move you, relax you, fill your space with the energy you need most.
If you need more suggestions, send me a message, or stay tuned for a sequel to this list. <3
-Your Wildwood Birthkeeper and North Carolina Birth Photographer Leann Allen