WNYC’s Soundcheck Explores the Role Music Plays in the Delivery Room

Stevie Wonder? Aretha Franklyn? Pink Floyd? Metallica? In Thursday’s episode of the WNYC radio show Soundcheck, host John Schaefer and Tina Cassidy author of Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born, respond to rumors that Beyonce gave birth to baby Blue while soothed and stimulated by a meticulously curated R&B soundtrack. The two explore the role music plays in the modern delivery room as experts chime in insisting that the advent of the iPod facilitating a more personalized musical experience helps (both in natural and facilitated birthing scenarios), while moms write/call in to testify that labor gradually generates a kind of piercing white noise in the head that drowns out the melodies in the background, making them irrelevant. And the lone male caller gives credence to the stereotype that men just don’t have a clue what women need during birthing. Forget birthing dulas. How about a birthing dj? Suggests Cassidy half-joking as she offers a Spotify playlist for expecting moms containing over 4 hours of music selection intended to speed along delivery. But, she notes, after it’s all said and done, silence is what is most important, helping mom and baby bond postpartum without distractions. What was on your birthing playlist?

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