Preparing for birth, labour and postpartum
Whether you are giving birth at home or in hospital, one thing you may want to consider is creating a birth space that is your own. What do I mean by “birth space”? It could be one or two rooms you hope to birth in at home, the birthing room at hospital or recovery room after a cesarean. These spaces can all accommodate small adjustments that lead to great benefits!
Visualising and then creating your ideal birth environment has many advantages. It can help a mother feel more comfortable, peaceful, safe and secure during labour and birth. Oxytocin, often referred to as the hormone of love, is naturally released to help labour progress. That oxytocin release is stimulated continuously when a mother labours in a space that creates those warm, loving feelings. Oxytocin is also important for postnatal infant-mother bonding and in supporting breastmilk production for those hoping to breastfeed. The objects, scents and sounds you surround yourself with can really assist in creating an empowering birth experience and help you bond with your new baby!
How Do You Create a Soothing Space?
What I suggest is trying to think of the things that you find soothing now. Is there an item, scent or sound that really relaxes you? Some people love candles, essential oils and their comfortable pillow. You can bring ALL of those to hospital! Sure, the candle may need to be LED flameless, but it can really create an atmosphere that feels more welcoming than bright hospital lights. Can you imagine taking a shower while in labour with no lights on but just a couple LED candles? That sounds brilliant to me, but maybe there is something else that helps you release tension. Try creating a few playlists for yourself- one that is relaxing, another that makes you motivated (get up and go type stuff!) and some other favourite hits. Many people bring pictures to hospital or display some for their homebirth. Any pictures that bring back good memories are an ideal option. Some mothers create a birth board containing pictures and/or positive affirmations on them. This can be displayed at home during the early stages of labour before going to hospital or for a home birth. The list of possible items is endless- flowers, baby clothes, a baby gift, pictures of your older children, an affirmation bunting, other items that hold a special meaning for you, etc.
What do all of these things have in common? They make YOU FEEL GOOD! They help you let go, trust your body and your instincts while in the moment. What a wonderful way to complete your journey into parenthood, no matter where or how you bring new life into the world!