Creating your birth cave

The Pregnancy Podcast: Episode 49 – Labour Room Environment

I have a confession to make. This was not the post I was planning to write. I know, shocking right??! The post I had planned to put here today was about the hormones of childbearing.

It doesn’t sound glamorous but actually, it’s both fascinating and essential information. Somehow, though, I just got stuck part way through. Lost my mojo a bit.

So, I will be bringing that one to you at some point, I promise, but for today I’m going to tell you about a wonderful episode from The Pregnancy Podcast about creating your own calm, safe space in which to birth your baby

The Podcast
I covered the ins and outs of this fantastic podcast a few posts back so I won’t repeat myself here. The short and sweet is that this podcast gives you well researched, evidenced-based information about pretty much anything you can think of related to pregnancy and birth and does it in a very relaxed way that is so easy to listen to. For a full run down feel free to click here.

The Episode
In this episode, Vanessa breaks down all the ways you can make sure that your birth environment feels calm and safe. If you are planning a homebirth this will be pretty straightforward but there are so many ways you can make your hospital room inviting too.

Who should listen to this episode?
Everyone. I know, I’ve said that before, but it’s true. Being comfortable and feeling safe during your labour and birth is huge and as this episode is only fourteen minutes long it’s a no brainer.

The environment you birth your baby in should be similar to the environment you make your baby in.
I started this post by saying that I was planning on writing on a whole different subject; hormones. Whilst it may not seem like it at first glance they are actually strongly related. Making your labour room your own is not a nice added extra, it is essential.

The flow of hormones that is so necessary for a smooth birth can only flow if you feel safe and comfortable in your environment.

Oxytocin, known as the hormone of love, needs to flow freely if your labour is to progress smoothly. Oxytocin is also known to be a shy hormone. If we are stressed, afraid or sense a threat adrenalin will kick in and oxytocin will run and hide.

In the animal kingdom, labour will stall if the mother senses a threat. It will only resume when she has found a safe place to birth her infant. We are no different. Our need for a safe, dark, quiet place to give birth in is exactly the same. Luckily for us, these days that doesn’t mean we have to give birth in a cave!

Adjust it, remove it or turn it off
This episode has so many great ideas and, as I said, is really short so I don’t want to give away too much here. Here are just a few of Vanessa’s tips to get you thinking:

Lighting: Dimming or turning off lights. Candles (battery operated).

Sound: Create your own playlist or download an app playing ocean waves. Volume down or off on monitors.

People: Only have those present that you truly want. Quiet voices. No-one enters without knocking.

Smell: Take something that smells of home. Bringing cotton balls splashed with essential oils rather than diffusing them into the air lets you change scents more easily.

To wrap up

Feeling relaxed, comfortable and safe are really key components for a great birth. I encourage you to go and listen to this episode for more ideas and I hope that you find some great inspiration so that you can birth your baby in a place that feels calm and safe.

If you have any tips for creating a comfortable birthing space I’d love for you to share them.

More episodes on this topic
The Birth Hour: Episode 68 – Creating a Sacred Space


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By emilywills

Emily Wills is a doula based in Stockholm. She believes that birth can be a beautiful and empowering experience and started this blog as a way of sharing some really great podcasts. She is also a mother of three and an enthusiastic runner.

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