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Spotify just launched a ‘birthing playlist’ for expectant mothers, but we have an alternative

What makes the perfect playlist for bringing a baby into the world?


Selena Larson


Posted on Mar 3, 2016   Updated on May 27, 2021, 3:33 am CDT

Babies around the country are entering the world to the melodic beats of Spotify playlists. 

According to Dr. Jacques Moritz, a New York-based OBGYN, 70 percent of his patients prepare playlists before going into labor. In an effort to help moms prep for the delivery room tunes, Spotify teamed up with Mortiz to create the ultimate “Birthing Playlist.” 

The 30-song playlist is supposed to “mirror the birthing experience,” with songs that go along with different phases of labor. It starts out chill and soft with Pearl Jam’s Just Breathe, transitioning to stronger beats for the painful process of pushing (John Legend – All of Me – Tiesto Birthday Remix), and it ends with Yo-Yo Ma’s rendition of Bach’s ‘Unaccompanied Cello Suite #1’. 

“There were 70+ terms Spotify searched accounting for several different languages (English, Spanish, Portugese, French, Malay, Turkish, Norwegian, etc.). English terms included Giving Birth, Having a Baby, Delivery Room, Labor,” a Spotify spokesperson told the Daily Dot in a statement. 

There are 90,000 playlists on Spotify that the company considers “push playlists.” But why are women everywhere bringing music into their delivery rooms? Moritz explains: 

Music strongly influences our central nervous system’s limbic system which manages our memories, emotions, and how we deal with fear and pain. It makes sense that women would turn to music during childbirth as a source of comfort and strength. In addition, hospitals, particularly delivery rooms, can be noisy and disconcerting – a good playlist helps distract mothers from these sounds and better manage fear and pain, leading to a more positive delivery experience.

Spotify’s list is a solid attempt at making a birthing playlist, but it’s certainly not for everyone. The company’s list is just over two hours long—the average labor time for a first-time mom is anywhere between six and 12 hours. In a statement, Moritz did advise new moms that 10 hours is the ideal length of time for a playlist.

Coincidentally, the tech team at the Daily Dot has spent a lot of time thinking about birthing playlists recently. Our reporter Jam Kotenko, who has written about the apps and technology she’s used throughout her pregnancy, is expecting her first child any day now. 

One of the services she’s using is Spotify, and she’s prepared to go into labor with her favorite music available to relax her as much as possible during the process. Kotenko’s playlist is (in our humble opinion) a much better overall selection, with more energy and a broader mix of artists including everything from hairbands to Missy Elliot, from Eminem to Seal. A few of the selected artists overlap with Spotify’s suggestions, including Pink, Muse, and U2.

After seeing Spotify’s list, Kotenko was inspired to add one more to her five-hour long set.

Jam Kotenko

Mortiz has some advice for moms who want to make their own playlist (though of course you can just stream Spotify’s official playlist or steal tunes from Kotenko’s), including keeping the music comforting and familiar, make mom feel beautiful, and have a variety of artists.

Photo via Jonathan Grado/Flickr (CC by 2.0) | Remix by Max Fleishman

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*First Published: Mar 3, 2016, 1:59 pm CST