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Birth environment what helps you giving birth

No matter where you give birth, there is a lot you can do to create an environment where your hormonal orchestra can do its work.

Depending on where you’re planning to give birth, consider some of the following for your birth plan. Also remember - your favourite things may irritate you in labour, so be flexible to make changes whenever you like.

A comfortable space
You can make a small nest area where you move furniture, pillows, birth balls and mats around to make a space where you can lean forward or rock your hips during a labour wave but rest in between them. If seeing medical equipment makes you anxious, ask hospital staff or your midwife to cover them with a sheet.

Shut the doors and windows and draw any curtains or blinds on windows. You need to be able to feel like nobody is watching or listening to you. Think about playing music to distract you from the sounds of the hospital, birth centre or your family at home in order to help you feel like you are alone. Also consider covering or moving any clocks in the room - labour and birth take as long as they take, and having clocks in the room encourages you to look at them which is never helpful. During labour you should have no sense of time, nor should you worry about what time it is.

Warm and dark
Turn up the heat or wrap yourself in a blanket as needed to make yourself feel comfortably warm. If you are at home or at a birth centre you might also be able to use a space heater. In a hospital setting make sure you have extra socks or warm pants to wear. Adjust the lights so that the room has some light but is mostly dark. Some hospitals or birth centres may have dimmer switches or you can turn out the ceiling lights and use a small torch or lamp for light. In a hospital you can also turn on the angled ceiling lamp, lower to a minimum and angle it towards an opposite wall or corner. Any angled light source can be turned towards a wall to create soft lighting.

The people who are with you should be quiet and speak in whispers, and all mobile devices should be on silent. Music can help dampen noises that cannot be quieted.

Familiar smells can help you feel safe and protected - your favourite essential oils or a pillow from home you can rest your head on can be very helpful to create this feeling.