Tips and ideas for setting up your birth space by Sydney doula, Danae.
Where are you going to be giving birth? How is your support team setting up your space to ensure a beautiful tone is set?
Once you know your place of birth, how can your support team then transform your birth space to support the hormones of birth, once you arrive?
I took this gorgeous image while supporting a VBAC birth at Royal North Shore Public Hospital Maternity Building, where every room has a birth pool and all the midwives support water immersion for labouring and water birth (unless medical contraindication).
Setting up your birth space.
The first thing I do when I arrive with a woman in her chosen place of birth is set the room. While she is meeting her Midwife and being supported by her partner I:
- Turn off all the lights
- Turn on battery candles
- Turn on her music / birth affirmations track
- Hang up string lights around the birth pool / main space / bathroom
- Put up her birth affirmations, in the main room and bathroom birth
- Get out the swiss ball – hospital should have one in each room, I always bring a pump as they can be too soft
- Get out the mattress and bean bag, cover with a sheet and make a floor nest – the hospital should have these
- Move the bed to the corner of the room (if possible), so that it’s not the focus of the room
- Set up a birth rope if there is a closing door (tie a knot to one end of a hospital sheet, throw the knot over the top of a door, spread out the sheet, shut the door). Now she has something to swing from while moving with her contractions
- Rub some oils, clay sage or whatever she likes around the room if the labouring mother is enjoying scent stimulation
- Collect extra towels and sheets
- Get jugs of ice for her eat. Make yummy drinks.
- Dip face cloths in and place over her eyes and forehead.
- TENS machine electro pads paper ready. When we take the sticky electro pads off and she transfers them into water, looking after the pads will ensure that they maintain their stick.
Now we are ready! You can feel the energy, tone and intention, the softness and the Oxytocin!
Supporting the hormones of labour is crucial!
There are many hormones involved in mammalian birth, and our understanding of their complex orchestration is limited
The hormones of love (Oxytocin), pleasure and transcendence (Beta – Edorphin), excitement (Catecholamines), and tender mothering (Prolactin), form the major components of an ecstatic cocktail of hormones that nature prescribes to aid birthing mothers of all mammalian species.
The benefits of hormonal orchestration.
An optimal hormonal orchestration provides ease, pleasure, and safety during this time for mother and baby. Conversely, interference with this process will disrupt this delicate hormonal orchestration, making birth more difficult and painful, and potentially less safe.
All of these hormones are produced primarily in the middle or mammalian brain, also called the limbic system or emotional brain. For birth to proceed optimally, this more primitive part of the brain needs to take precedence over our neocortex – our ‘new’ or higher brain – which is the seat of our rational mind. This shift in consciousness, which some have called ‘going to another planet’, is aided by (and also aids) the release of birthing hormones.
These amazing hormones are inhibited by circumstances / environments that increase alertness, such as; bright lighting, conversation, expectations of rationality, decision making, disturbance, lack of experienced loving support.
Good for your baby.
Mother Nature’s pragmatic and efficient principles dictate that these hormones should also help the baby at birth, and this is being increasingly confirmed by scientific research. This hormonal interdependence underlines the mutual dependency of mother and baby, as they begin their physical separation.
If you have any questions about your pregnancy and labour journey, birth preparation and labour, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly – Danae.