The best birthing space is one that makes you feel calm, safe and supported. We naturally have these feelings when we are in the comfort of our own home, but how can you recreate that warm homey feeling in a hospital?? Most people aren’t crazy about hospitals but having a home birth isn’t a good option for everybody either. Creating a relaxing birth space is important no matter where you decide to have your baby, but in a hospital setting you have to put more planning and effort into achieving the right mood to keep labor progressing.
Take birth classes!
Taking birth classes is one of the most important things you can do to prepare for your new baby. It’s very cliche, but knowledge really does equal power. Participating in birthing classes will help you better know what to expect and you will start to be able to envision how you will want your birth space to be. Learning what to expect and how to cope with childbirth will build your confidence and make it easier to relax when the time comes. Educating yourself as much as possible will also help you make informed decisions throughout your journey.
Lighting for the mood
Most women in labor are most relaxed in dim or no lighting but hospitals are bright, even at nighttime. Luckily most hospitals have dimmers on the lights so you can control the amount of light you want while in labor. Another nice touch are some simple battery-operated candles or opt for some that change color! These candles from Amazon are lovely.
Rhythm and familiarity are important factors in your birth room. Your favorite music can help reset your mindframe and keep you focused on something other than labor pains. Music is also key in blocking out some of the annoying and potentially stressful sounds in the hospital setting. Start building a playlist of songs you will enjoy while in labor! (I recommend choosing a nice variety of music since it can be hard to predict what you will want to listen to)
If you consider yourself an “oily” person then aromatherapy is an obvious go-to for pregnancy and labor. But even if you don’t use essential oils on a regular basis I highly suggest you consider buying a small diffuser and bringing a few oils to use in the hospital. There are many different smells around the hospital and some can be triggers to some not-so-good memories. Try to find some oils that make you feel happy or remind you of a cherished memory to cover these unpleasant scents. Another bonus here is you can choose oils to help combat anxiety, stress, pain, nausea and boost mood, energy and motivation!
Bring home to you
Think about all the things that remind you of being warm and cozy at home and bring those items with you! This includes your favorite pillows, blankets, and socks or slippers. You can bring some of your favorite photos or artwork to brighten up the room and serve as inspiration and a focal point during labor. Flowers and other plants are also wonderful to liven up your birth space and connect you with nature.
Some women want to be surrounded by lots of family and friends during their labor and that’s ok! But often times too many people in the room can slow things down and that is not the goal here! Privacy is a huge factor in relaxing and helping release oxytocin. The less people coming in and out, the better. This is particularly true of people you are not close to or may have conflict with.
Hire a Doula
Ok, being a doula myself, this is slightly bias. But seriously, having a doula at your birth will guarantee you have an amazing space to give birth in and with little to no effort on your part! There’s nobody better suited for the job than a trained childbirth professional who is passionate about all aspects of this process. Fixing up your birth space is one of the first things your doula will do for you when they arrive and they will likely think of things that you may not have!
One last thing, don’t forget to bring your birth plan with you. This will help make sure your birth team is on the same page and that things go the way you want them to (as much as possible). If you have any questions about what a doula does and how they can help you have a better birth, head over to my website and we can discuss it! https://tennesseevalleydoulas.com