Did you know you can create your very own birthing environment in hospital and diminish that sterile look?

Do you want to know how you can create a birthing environment that will help you feel safe, secure and enjoy the birthing process?

You maybe asking how you can create a calm birthing environment in a hospital setting. Working in one myself I see your point, they are cold, sterile and often when we think of hospitals we are filled with unhappy thoughts rather than good ones. The day your baby is born should be the happiest day of your life though, so it is important you are in an environment where you feel safe, secure and warm.

Women can often get a rush of adrenaline when arriving at the hospital to birth their baby, which is a very normal response. If you are not a fan of hospitals or feel cold and unsafe this can trigger your fight or flight response. During this response oxygen is restricted to your uterus as it is not a vital organ needed for survival. As a result labour can become more painful or your labour may stall/slow down.

When you are safe, relaxed and warm your body will release all those wonderful hormones required for birthing, making labour more enjoyable and potentially eliminating pain as well as speeding up the process.

Sounds great doesn’t it?

So how can you create the perfect birthing environment for you? Here are my top tips, remember to apply what makes you feel calm, relaxed, warm and most importantly safe for your birth.

Picture this birth suite, what changes would you make to ensure you feel safe, warm and relaxed?

· Use familiar smells – this could be anything you like but it needs to be familiar. Use aromatherapy if you wish. Ensure that it relaxes you and does not trigger unwanted thoughts.

· When you arrive at the hospital, allow time to create your space with no one around. Ask for privacy and spend a good 10-15 minutes setting yourself up. It is important to allow yourselves time to really settle into the birthing suite.

· Ask for any equipment you want to use – birth balls, stools, mats etc. If you want to use the bath, ask earlier rather than later so there is no delay to use it. Move the bed around (if allowed) really create your birthing space.

· Go for a tour of the birthing suites and know your entry and exits during and after hours in the lead up to birth, this will ensure no panic on the day if you know exactly where to go.

· Dim the lights, use LED candles, fairy lights, pull the blinds down, don’t sit in bright lights. Aim to relax your mind as much as possible.

· Familiar/homely items – this could be a blanket, pillow, dressing gown, pictures and affirmations. Pop them around the room or up on the walls, really create your space.

· Put a sign on the door that reminds people to be quiet and calm when entering your room. Ask for minimal chatter/noise from staff when they enter/remain in the room.

· Play music, this can be of any genre you like.

Really take the time to plan your ideal birthing environment. Gather all the items you want to have with you and pack them into your hospital or birthing bag earlier rather than later. You may require an extra bag but trust me you will be thankful afterwards.

Remember birth is all about you, not the hospital. It is important to be in a space where you feel safe and relaxed. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for what you want.

I hope these tips help.

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