Creating the ideal environment for birth
Where should you give birth?
Quite frankly, wherever the bloody hell you want to give birth is the short answer!
The key thing is to feel safe, secure and unobserved – if you feel safest in hospital and that feels like the right thing for you, then that’s where you should give birth. If however, you feel like being at home is the best option for you and it’s where you’ll feel most comfortable, then guess what… despite what Aunty Mildred says, that’s where you should give birth!
We go into more detail on the birth preparation course but here are some general things you may want to consider when thinking about your environment:
As well as feeling less observed a dimly lit room will also help with relaxation. Bright lights tend to stimulate the front part of our brain, which hopefully through your research (if not let’s talk) you’ll have discovered, we’re trying to avoid. Obviously it is easier to influence this at home, however I have heard lots of birth stories where people have turned off lights, brought lamps from home etc so it can be done at hospital or in the birth centre.
Knowing your surroundings is also good for keeping you nice and relaxed so do take the hospital or birth centre tour if your hospital do one, you’re naturally going to be more comfortable if you know where you’re going and you’ve been there before. Taking things from home can also help with relaxation – things like a pillow, towel, flannel etc. Obviously if you’re at home you don’t really have to think about this one so much but it’s definitely worth thinking about where you’re going to give birth at home and then creating yourself a nice comfortable area.
The people around you
People coming and going and lots of hustle and bustle isn’t going to help at all. Staying at home as long as possible before transferring in to hospital or the birth centre, or leaving it a while before calling the midwife can help to keep things moving along nicely. We need to feel safe and unobserved for labour to progress smoothly, if you go into hospital too soon you may find that things start to slow down. Being aware of this can make a big difference and having a birth partner and/or a Doula can make a big difference in terms of protecting your space and helping you to stay in the zone.
There are obviously loads of ways to make your environment more relaxing for you but as we’re all different, it’s going to be very much down to you how you tailor your environment depending on where you are. The bottom line is this – know that you can, this is your experience and you can call the shots and create the right environment for you.
I hope that this helps. If you’ve got any questions please do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.