Should you have a push playlist?

The benefits of adding your favourite tunes to your birth plan

Parenting Commentator / July 17 2018

When I wrote my birthing plan – memorable only because it bore no resemblance to reality – I stated in big capital letters: NO ENYA.

I knew that horrible wailing would send me over the edge if I wasn’t there already. Indeed, I wasn’t interested in any music, especially anything by a man – because what comfort could they offer having landed us in the labour ward in the first place?!

But apparently, I am in the minority, as 80 per cent of mums find music helpful in labour, even if 61 per cent can’t recall which song their baby was born to. The Duchess of Cambridge apparently made a birthing playlist that included Calvin Harris and Bruno Mars, while Mariah Carey marked the arrival of twins Moroccan and Monroe with her hit We Belong Together.

These days, Spotify has thousands of ‘push playlists’ with songs such as Katy Perry’s Roar and You’re Beautiful by James Blunt among the popular tracks.

Obstetrician Dr Jacques Moritz claims to have designed the ‘perfect push playlist’, starting soft and slow, with tracks such as Pearl Jam’s Just Breathe and James Bay’s Let It Go, followed by stronger beats. Other top tracks include Fruits Of My Labour by Lucinda Williams, Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie, Try by Pink and Norah Jones' Sunrise.

As he says: "The moment a child is born is highly emotional and memorable, and the music you recall from that day should maintain that sense of beauty and emotion."

He suggests playing a wide variety of music, including familiar songs and instrumentals, lasting five to 10 hours... Which is all very well if your labour doesn’t last for 26 hours, like mine. While Beyonce on repeat will make me feel murderous, it’s worth having a something on hand – if only to cover up the sound of your groaning!

I grew up in New Zealand, moved to London in my early 20s to work on British newspapers then moved to Australia when I was pregnant with my first child. I write a newspaper column, celebrity interviews and a parenting page. I also do TV and radio commentary, podcasting and host corporate events. I’ve also published a book on parenting, The Smallest Things. However, my greatest role ­­– and the one I’m most proud of – is parenting my daughters, Eliza and Lilibelle, who are 17 and 14.