When you're dreaming about your birth, there are many key players:
How - learning about your body, and how this all works
Why - learning why things happen the way they do, and why your body does what it does in labour
Who - who you are in birth, your values, your coping techniques, and who do you want supporting you emotionally and medically
What - what your choices are for your birth
Where - where do you feel safest, most grounded and relaxed
Today we are focusing on the important of the "where"
The choice between hospital or home or birth centre is yours to make. Your care provider choice can dictate your options so be sure to ask questions to your OB, midwife, or family doctor about venue choices.
1: You want to birth where you feel safest. This is different for each individual. If lights, strangers, curtains, hospital smells and sounds give you anxiety; home may be worth considering. If being at home scares you due to the unknown, distance, or lack of emergency health support then hospital is probably the better choice.
2: You want to birth where you can have the support you want. Do you want your kids there? Your mom? Your doula??? In recent times the hospital can be more controlling over who is in your room or not. Maybe you want a photographer? Be sure to see what kind of rules your hospital, or birth centre have before you commit to a certain plan.
3. Control the sounds - turn down the beeping, and even the heart sounds. Turn on playlists that you have made that bring you joy, peace, laughter or relaxation! Make a few options! If you're at home the options are endless!
4. Smell -use peppermint for nausea, and any other essential oils or candles to make it feel homey, and smell happy. Little things like this help bump up your oxytocin (and if you don't understand oxytocin's importance in birth you probably need to sign up for one of our courses)
5. Lighting - at the hospital, ask the nurses or your midwife to dim the overhead lights, or even shut them off if its day time. Bring battery operated candles and twinkle lights for the room and bathroom!
6. Intimacy matters - what gets the baby in, gets the baby out. The more intimate, sensual, and cozy the birth environment the better. Make a birth cave. Bring things from home to make you feel grounded and relaxed in the hospital. Make the hospital bed your own. You are not a patient, you are a client. You are not sick. Let your partner get on the bed. Figure out the controls so you have autonomy over the bed. It is your room to birth our baby in and you have a lot of control and rights!
BONUS: Staying at home as long as possible is super important when it comes to choosing a hospital birth. Make sure to continue the environment from home, to the car, to the hospital as best you can! Use noice cancelling headphones, eye masks, and do what works!
Want to learn more? Sign up for our "preparing for a positive birth" class HERE!