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I've been getting mixed recommendations on music for during labor. One friend told me relaxing yoga type music helped her stay relaxed. My other friend who went natural said she just made a playlist on her iPod of music she really really likes. She said it gave her something to take her mind off the pain because she was surrounded by music she really likes jamming to.
I think it depends how music affects you. Music alters my mood- so I chose music that would help me set the mood for a good and easy labor. I also get kind of aggravated by high pitched sounds, so I chose music that is just lower in range.
I'm sure it depend on your individual personality, but I second Que; I chose relaxing, yoga type music to keep me calm and focused. I go very inward while in labor, and anything with a strong melody or lyrics was distracting to me. On the other hand if you're very expressive, you might like to sing along! I say have both available, and chose what works for you in the moment. In early labor you might like something more distracting to help the time go by, and later on, need something quieter so you can focus.
I'm making a couple of different playlists - an instrumental one for exactly the yoga-type relaxation others mentioned, and one of favorite songs with good lyrics that I can listen to if it helps distract me. I've never done this before and know that it can go either way.
When we've practiced relaxation (DH & I), the instrumental has worked really nicely to get me in the zone. But I like having lyrics to think along to when I work out, and I've been told labor can feel a lot like an intense interval workout for some people, so I figured I wanted to be prepared.
Plus, I've been meaning to sort through my music and clean up my playlists anyway, so it's a two-birds-one-stone thing for me.
I listen to what I like. For my firstborn, it was Megadeth. I didn't put on music for my second's birth, but wish I had. This time, I'm going to put a variety of old-school metal and rock for my upcoming birth.