Sterile. Stiff. Bright. Harsh. Stressed. Cold. Loud.
Intimate. Soft. Glowing. Gentle. Calm. Comfortable. Quiet. Aromatic (in the most pleasant sense of the word).
Which list do you choose? The second? Me too.
Wouldn’t the characteristics of that second list make for a deeply nurturing birth environment?
Not surprisingly, a nurturing birth environment often equals a more gentle and comfortable birth.
Whether you’re having a home or hospital birth, these tips will help you manifest the birthing oasis of your (sometimes strange) pregnancy dreams:
- Low Lighting. Harsh overhead lighting sucks the positive energy out of a space. Opt for a few well placed lamps giving off subtle glows.
- Essential Oils. Choose your favorite essential oil/s and dab it on your pulse points, in your birthing tub, or essential oil diffuser. The diffuser is my favorite option as it gently disperses the scent throughout the room providing the calming, or stimulating, effect to everyone in the space. My favorites are lavender (calm) and peppermint (energizing- best for the last phase of labor.)
- Comfortable Temperatures. Adjust the thermostat as needed, or have a space heater and fan on hand to regulate your temperature, that will likely be in constant flux.
- Soft Materials. Ensure the materials on your birthing bed and body are soft and nurturing. You do not have to succumb to the one-size-fits-all hospital gowns (as lovely as they are.)
- Soft Voices. Place a ‘Quiet Please’ sign on your birthing room door and have your birthing companion remind your other supporters to speak in soft, calm, and positive tones.
- Favorite Colors. If you end up being an “eyes open” birth-er, you’ll want positive images and colors to use as your focal points. Paint your toes in your favorite color, ask your birth companions to wear this color, and bring in one or two peaceful images or items to set in your view line.
- Soothing Melodies. The murmurs of others, or the (sometimes traumatic) bustle of a hospital can be distracting. Have a portable speaker playing calming music or birthing specific relaxation recordings- or pop on your headphones to completely cancel out unwanted noise.
- Nom Noms. Have light, delicious, and nutritious snacks on hand for yourself and others. And water. Drink so much water. Water. Water. Water.
- A Higher Power. Invite a higher power (whatever that means to you) to enter the space and spiritually guide and support you through all phases of birth.
- What Makes You Feel Good? Meditate on that question and fill your birthing oasis with the answers.
The Gist- Make sure all six of your senses are positively supported in your birthing space.