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Music during labour, how realistic?

(26 Posts)
pinguina16 Mon 01-Jun-15 19:54:41

All hospital bag lists I read mention taking music, books or magazines to help pass time.
How realistic is this? Did you listen to music whilst in labour? With an epidural? Only early stages?
I really fail to see how it is possible during active labour but then I may be wrong so I'm asking.

Fattycow Mon 01-Jun-15 21:02:38

I have put a book into my labour basket. Nothing complicated, just nice easy reading. The first stages can take forever and I think it is nice to have something to distract me.
With music, you might not be listening specifically to it, but it might still be nice to have something on.

Tequilashotfor1 Mon 01-Jun-15 21:04:35

Take what you can carry! Honestly you could be in there for days!

Epidurals are great.

JassyRadlett Mon 01-Jun-15 21:09:58

All hospital bag lists I read mention taking music, books or magazines to help pass time.

I always think these hospitals must be much nicer or less busy than mine (or only apply to peoe being induced). Mine will send you home until you are (a) absolutely no longer coping ('stay at home an extra hour and see if she's still not coping.' DH: 'she has already waited the extra hour. We're coming in.') and (b) pretty much crowning.

I had 3.5 hours between being admitted and DS1 being born, out of a 28 hour labour.

TheBookofRuth Mon 01-Jun-15 21:11:05

I listened to music throughout my labour, except for right at the end when I needed to concentrate on pushing. I had two playlists - an upbeat one and a chilled out one. The midwife commented on my "eclectic" tastes - and we all had a good laugh when "Darling reach out, reach out for me" played just as she started an internal grin

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Mon 01-Jun-15 21:16:13

Honestly, in most busy hospitals you won't be admitted until you are in fairly established labour. You definitely could do with those things if induced, but in a non-induced labour definitely put the magazine in the 'after' bag. You won't be needing to pass time if you are far enough along to get on the ward.

That said, a magazine in the after bag might be nice. I was only in 12 hours, but there were periods where I couldn't sleep (daytime, noisy ward) but DD was, so something to read might have been nice.

Music is nicest at home, in early labour. you might still notice it by the time you go in, but I'd say 9/10 people are past caring.

TakesTwoToTango Mon 01-Jun-15 21:18:23

Mine suggested music too and I dutifully took it. When I eventually ended up in theatre my DH took the cd along and they put it on to play. Great in theory but totally overlooking the fact that I was extremely distressed and experiencing total overload with everything that was happening to me. I was yelling at them to turn it off as I just couldn't take any more assaults on my senses (25hrs into active labour, 7 hrs into the second stage...). So I'm inclined to agree with you that it's for early stages/straight forward, short, 'easy' deliveries or those with effective pain relief only. I imagine though that like everything, different women have different preference. Maybe take it along so you have it just in case it takes your fancy?

Silverturnip Mon 01-Jun-15 21:19:59

I took music along and love hearing the songs as it reminds me if DS birth.

lauren222 Wed 03-Jun-15 10:52:49

At the beginning of established labour i found it relaxing to listen to tropical thunder storm (renewing vibrations).It sounds like you are in a rainforest during a storm.

Mrs81 Wed 03-Jun-15 19:17:27

I had music at home when I was in the bath for c5hrs of contractions. That was lovely.

Contractions picked up a fair wack and waters went so we hot-footed to hospital, leaving the music at home. I ended up being monitored constantly for the next 9hrs. I wish we'd remembered to pack the ipod because the sound of the monitor and the sense of having to really comply to the need to get a constant reading made the rest of labour feel more medicalised than I'd hoped for. For me, music would have been a good distraction from all that.

I'd never have read a magazine though, contractions allowed no time for that!

I'd say pack what, within reason, you think will be reassuring for you in labour. It's no biggy if you don't use it. It's easy to get hold of a book/trashy mag afterwards if you want one. Good luck!

Electroswing Thu 04-Jun-15 10:24:23

I didn't take music but I did listen to a podcast, one that I've listened to regularly for years. The familiarity of the voices and the subject matter helped soothe me when I was in early labour.

I only managed about twenty minutes of it, though.

Honestly, for me, I was past caring most of the time I was in hospital. I was totally focused inwards on the labour. I remember the midwife trying to do aromatherapy on me when I was well dilated (in the middle of an as-yet-undiagnosed back-to-back labour) - getting a jasmine-infused paper strip glued to my bra wasn't doing much, I can tell you smile

There are a lot of nice ideas in birth manuals etc, but for me when it came to the crunch I didn't have any spare brain space for reading or listening. And yes, our hospital would have certainly sent me home if I'd been in a frame of mind for reading!

But if you end up having an epidural or staying in for ages afterwards, books/mags would be great. I stayed in for a couple of days and I did read then.

NickyEds Thu 04-Jun-15 12:57:44

I took music along and love hearing the songs as it reminds me if DS birth.

I told dp to turn the music off as I'd chosen all of my favourite stuff and didn't want the bloody god awfulness of my labour to spoil them. There are still a couple of songs I can't listen to because they remind me of it. I can't eat Percy Pigs any more for the same reasonsad.
Maybe if you have an epidural or need to be induced music would be nice but if you're on a drip with a back to back baby after 28 hours of labour even David Bowie isn't going to help!!!

HoggleHoggle Thu 04-Jun-15 13:03:53

I had a long and pretty hellish active labour but still listened to the radio in hospital. It was Christmas so it was full on Christmas songs. It was very weird labouring to Slade (Apart from the actual delivery, when ds came out to bloody 'single ladies')

Magazines/books - not a bloody chance, in my experience!

Hope all goes well.

CurlsLDN Thu 04-Jun-15 13:08:41

My hospital had ipod/phone docks in all the delivery rooms, so I had music playing throughout. I found it really helped me with contractions as I focused on singing along (in my head) until the contraction passed.
I told dh to stick anything on, and he picked the first adele album on my playsuit. The midwife then put the epidural equipment in front of the iPhone dock so it was on repeat the whole time. I didn't notice but it drove dh mad!

SpamAnderson Thu 04-Jun-15 17:38:16

I had music on during my labour with my 2nd. Music is like an anti depressant to me so I was so much happier and relaxed with my tunes to sing along to smile

newtothenet Sat 06-Jun-15 05:29:07

I was in labour for a long time and listened to the same CD over and over and over. I desperately needed something to focus on and don't know what I would have done without it.

flipflump Sat 06-Jun-15 06:05:16

I was induced, it wasn't the most pleasant experience, music definitely eased things and gave me something to focus on. I ended up in theatre where they had the radio playing and again, it was lovely to focus on that rather than what the doc was up to.

On the post natal ward DS slept the whole time, I was too wired (or being kept awake by noisy patients) so magazines were a godsend.

Ems1812 Sat 06-Jun-15 06:25:41

Most labour wards have radios etc, just ask if you feel it's something you would like. I was induced & didn't have an epidural & the midwives asked if I would like a radio on whilst in labour to soothe me. It really did help.

My son was born as Fairytale of New York was playing smile (it was a couple of days before Christmas!) & I still feel happy & weepy when I hear that song now.

NotCitrus Sat 06-Jun-15 07:35:47

If you're the sort of person who carries their mp3 player everywhere and likes music, then take it with you and plan a playlist. And take a charger.

Personally I only listen to music when I can concentrate on it, but have fond memories of 8 hours of head massage during labour in the MLU. The first 20 hours of labour was wonderful actually (and 6 hours with dc2). The next 20 hours (12 with dc2) weretedious and thank goodness for epidurals, and I honestly couldn't tell you if there was music. Actually the radio was on some cheerful station while I was in theatre but no idea what.

Psipssina Sat 06-Jun-15 07:52:54

I've had three and honestly don't think I'd have given a flying fig if there had been music on or not. Well actually it probably would have really pissed me off, if it wasn't good music, and I'd not have wanted it on if it was good music as you just can't concentrate on anything except your body.

I think it would have ruined the music for me.

Totality22 Sat 06-Jun-15 10:03:49

Wouldn't have worked for me either time (15h and 80 minutes) as with the long one I was far too tired / pissed off / out of it to have listened to anything and short one was so quick!

HappyIdiot Sun 07-Jun-15 13:18:27

I had a very long active phase of labour, listened to music at home, went to hospital at 6am, was 5cm. Bounced around on my birthing ball for hours listening to 80's music because it kept me upbeat and cheerful and really helped to pass the time.

as things wore on and I got tired, I swapped to my hypnobirthing music and it really helped with my breathing and keeping me calm. it stayed on until I was carted off to theatre for an emcs at 11pm.

it can't hurt to take it with you, even if you never use it.

SaulGood Sun 07-Jun-15 13:29:25

I spent ages making a CD (I'm old okay, you're lucky it wasn't a tap) of all my favourite tracks. DH put it on when I was in labour with dc1 and I couldn't stand it. It was jarring and made me feel physically uncomfortable. I needed complete silence.

In surgery for my first emcs (like the previous poster, 31hrs into labour, 8hrs into my second stage), I couldn't bear noise of any sort. I was in quite a bad place and needed to not be touched or spoken to.

Oddly enough, I was in a much better place during my 2nd emcs even though it was a much longer labour than the first. I hadn't got any music as I'd thought I'd not want it. So they put the radio on instead and DS was born to Bruno Mars. As he was pulled out, I was muttering about misogynistic lyrics and covering the baby's ears. grin

avocadotoast Thu 11-Jun-15 09:26:52

I took a little Bluetooth speaker and did listen to music throughout (until my phone died anyway!). I found it comforting to have something familiar going on, even though I was out of it on gas and air so probably not paying full attention!

Twistedheartache Thu 11-Jun-15 09:34:21

I watched Eastenders, Only Connect and the pilot episode of a weird drama on beeb 2 & read Jilly Cooper while I was in delivery suite. TV was novelty value as they had refurbed since DD1 was born.
Can totally understand having music playing - although I only listen to the radio anyway.
I was induced though and under constant monitoring

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