A common misconception is that if you’re birthing in the hospital, you can’t have a calm birth space, which is not the case. Your hospital may have some regulations around flames or some essential oils – from a safety perspective, but aside from those exceptions, you can make your birth space your birth space.
What feelings come to mind when you think of your ideal birth space? What are you trying to convey? Calm, safe, and intimate come to mind for me. When you know what comes to mind, you can think about the things that help you feel that way and bring those things into your birth environment.
Here are a few ideas to get you going:
1: Lighting – It’s all about the mood, baby, and dim lighting really helps to set the mood. If you’re birthing during the day, you may want to close the curtains and use fairy lights, candles (flameless if needed) or a dim lamp. Warm yellow lights give off a calmer vibe, which can help keep you relaxed and allow you to really focus on your labour. Consider also bringing an eye mask to help when the lights need to be on.
2: Affirmations – Affirmations in your space can help keep you grounded and focused on your desired outcome. They can remind you of what is important to you and keep you strong when you’re starting to forget you are.
3: Sound – Either a great birth playlist, relaxing spa music, a soothing hypnobirthing track or even just straight silence to keep you focused. We recommend having a mixture on hand, allowing you to switch it out if you don’t like what you thought you would. Bonus tip – use wireless headphones to really close yourself off from outside distractions.
4: Photos – Oxytocin is the hormone that is required to keep your contractions coming; it’s also called the love hormone. When you think of love and being loved, what comes to mind? Wedding photos? Photos of your kids? Ultrasound photos? Whatever it is, you can stick them up or hang them on your fairy lights to keep the love flowing or remind yourself of what’s to come.
5: Make Yourself at Home – Consider bringing your own pillow or blanket if these items are of any comfort to you or even something that smells like and reminds you of home or a loved one.
6: Aromatherapy – There are so many great essential oils that can be used in labour, like clary sage – use a diffuser to fill the room with this oxytocin-boosting oil, or mix it with a carrier oil and have your birth partner massage your shoulders with it.
7: Privacy – If you’re birthing in a hospital, you can put a sign on the door asking people to knock before entering or to use calm, quiet voices to ensure your space isn’t unnecessarily disturbed.
8: Birth Supports & Tools – Did you know that at most hospitals, you can hire your own birth pool to bring with you? Discuss this with your hospital if you want a water birth and they don’t have the required facilities. Peanut balls, birth balls and CUBs are also handy; check with your hospital which of these they have, and consider bringing your own if needed.
Just remember, your birth space is all about how you’re going to feel. You know yourself the best, so you do you and don’t worry about what those around you say or think – mindset is about 90% of the work in labour & birth, so get yourself in the best possible mindset for the most memorable day of your life.
If this helped, let us know below which one you’ll be implementing at your birth, or if we missed something, let us know below! 😊