Having a home birth is a beautiful experience: fresh air and natural lighting, the scent of candles, relaxing music, and loved ones nearby. Nothing beats being in an atmosphere that makes you feel safe and cozy, let alone while giving birth!
Home births are great, but not everyone feels comfortable doing so at home and I never want to make a person feel bad for her choices. Instead, I try and support women in any way I can to help them have the most beautiful birth experience possible, wherever and however that my be.
Let's face it: the typical hospital room can be a pretty sterile environment, but there are things you can do to change the whole vibe and energy of the place. It's important that you feel good in your birth space where ever that is. When I go into the birth room with a client, the first thing I do is create a sacred space of peace and calm; this space holds the energy for everyone in the room .
Here are a few things you can do to make the hospital birth space more peaceful:
1. Soften the lighting.
Turn off the lights and use the natural daylight. If it's nighttime, light up the room with flameless candles (you can buy some on Amazon.com) or bring a colored scarf and throw it over the lamp shade. One of my clients had me hang Christmas lights over the windowsill, and this definitely made the room more cheerful.
2. Make a playlist.
When preparing my clients for birth, I have them do is to make a birthing playlist of songs that have meaning, songs they love, or ones they find calming for the baby to enter the world. I've found that playing healing, spa-like music during the first part of labor to be really helpful.
3. Make an altar.
Bring things that inspire, calm, and give you strength. People have brought photos of loved ones (both living and deceased), a baby’s ultrasound picture, photos of their dogs, a stuffed animal, or a piece of clothing for the baby. Other ideas: crystals, deities of goddesses, or a picture of their guru. Bring whoever or whatever inspires you or whoever's energy you want to be there with you.
4. Electrical aromatherapy diffuser and essential oils.
During the first part of labor, use lavender (to calm and relax) and clary sage aromatherapy oils (muscle relaxant, fights stress, and helps ease pain). When labor becomes more active, you can switch to a mix of orange (uplifts the spirit ) and yang/ylang (for second chakra and to relieve anxiety).
Because hospitals won’t allow anything with flames, bring an electrical aromatherapy diffuser and burn oils throughout the whole birthing process. (You can also find them online on Amazon.com.) I massage the head with sandlewood oil to calm the mind and massage the feet with oils of pine or cedar to help ground energy.
5. Brighten the room with some gorgeous flowers.
If you have time to stop, grab some flowers! There are always gift shops in hospitals that sell flowers. Or when someone comes to visit, have them bring some for you. Nothing brightens up a room more then fresh flowers!
6. Bring your own pillow.
I'm sorry, but hospital pillows are the worst! If you want to be super cozy, bring your own and a blanket as well as a pregnancy pillow.
7. Be picky with whom you allow in the room.
Everyone holds a certain energy. Do you know people around whom you don't feel so good whereas when you're around others you feel great? Allow the people around whom you feel great and supported in the room. Everyone's presence in the room is contributing to the energy of scared birth space, so be selective with who you invite.