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Episode 50: Setting the Vibe in Your hospital Birth Room

birth prep labor mindfulness Sep 22, 2022



Setting the Vibe in Your Birth Room : YouTube Video Link

Full Transcript:

[00:00:00] Have you ever given much thought to setting up your hospital room to birth in to make it a cozy and inviting space? This could be really important in setting the vibe of your birth room, but more importantly, making you feel safe and comfortable and allowing the helpful hormones of labor to lead the way as you birth your baby.

Plus, it's more pleasant to birth in a more comfortable space. So today in this video, we're going to talk through some easy, simple non-permanent things that you can do to set up your hospital room for an optimal birth experience. these are just things that I find myself doing when I step into the room. And first thing I do to change the tone and get the vibe going and bring about a beautiful birth, whatever that means for you. Like, and subscribe to my channel and I'll be back with a new video every Thursday. I'm Cara Lee Kiggins, I'm a birth doula, a childbirth educator, and a mother of two school-aged kids and today we're talking about setting up your hospital birth room.


One of the most impactful things that you can do in your birth space is to create a space that feels safe and cozy. So in the birth course, that I teach, my online birth class, I go into a lot of detail about the hormones of labor, both the hormones of labor that are present in your labor and birth experience and some of the environmental things that you can change to help influence the positive hormones of labor.

The environment is part of that. So we're not gonna go into the detail on that with this video, although I have some prior YouTube videos on the hormones of labor, so you can look back on those.

In this instance, we're just gonna talk about some of the simplest things that you can do to change the vibe. And the reason I was inspired to do this video is I was thinking about what do I do with every hospital birth when I show up. And these are the most basic things that you can do.

So the most basic thing you can do first off is wear your own clothes. So you could be [00:02:00] wearing just like a, a simple skirt or pair of shorts or something, or a dress and a top. You can be wearing like a sports bra and something simple on the bottom.

It doesn't have to be anything in particular, but if it's your own clothes, rather than hospital gown, it sends a completely different message to your brain and to the people in the room with you, your partner, your other parent, the other parent of your baby is going to see you in your own clothes rather than a hospital gown. And treat you perhaps differently.

Same with the medical care providers. If they're seeing you in your own clothes, and if you're feeling your own clothes against your skin, it feels really different than being in a hospital gown.. Another thing that you can do is keep the lights dim.

So first thing I do when I walk in a hospital room is I add a bunch of battery operated candles. So you can buy like a pack of 12 little voted candles, battery operated for 20 bucks or something, or less even 10 bucks. It just depends on what you get, but you can buy a pack of those and then just go around the room, put three or four in. bathroom put three or four next to the table you're [00:03:00] laboring on. And then the first thing I do is I turn all those on and then I turn off the overhead lights and it completely changes the vibe in the room.

Instead of there being a bunch of glaring, bright overhead fluorescent lights, that it's just a very calm and quiet space.

If you're going to labor on the toilet, they call it the dilation station for a reason. Toilet's a great place to labor. Having just a few candles in there rather than turning on the overhead lights can help you stay in this calm, quiet laboring mode.

And this is assuming your up and mobile during labor. If you choose to use epidural pain relief, so you're confined to the bed, you can still move around in the bed with the help. Your team. But you can't necessarily move around the room, but it's still helpful to keep those lights dim, to feel this sense of, of softness and soothing, cozy, quiet, dark space. It's still going to be helpful for you, regardless if you're having an unmedicated labor, or if you're using epidural pain medication.

Another thing that you can do to change the vibe in the room, you say this word vibe all the time. I don't usually, but this [00:04:00] is really what we're talking about. Changing the tone and the feeling in the room. Which can have a big impact on you.

So another thing you can do is music, a simple Bluetooth speaker. I'm talking just like the little, most basic Bluetooth speaker. A lot of people just bring their cell phone and just try to play the music on their cell phone. I would just do a step up with the speaker.

It helps over all the other sounds of the hospital. Just a little bit louder. It doesn't have to be super loud. And then bring two different playlists. One playlist that's meant to be soothing and relaxing. Uh, you could put on some meditation music and that kind of thing, just to kinda get yourself in the flow.

And then another playlist, that's a little more upbeat. if there's a time where we really need to get you up and moving around and moving hips around to help that baby find a more optimal position, sometimes it helps to change the music up.

But I have a little story about this. I was at a birth recently where the couple had put together a playlist ahead of time with a really special song that meant a lot to them in their marriage. And this baby was a rainbow baby, which [00:05:00] means it was a baby after they'd had a loss, a miscarriage. And so this song was also in reference to that. So the baby was born and skin to skin, and then that song came on and they both just started bawling. They both just started crying their eyes out. It meant so much to them.

Music has such power and it can really send a message.

Another way that I use music sometimes is not say you're laboring in the tub and the nurses are out chit chatting in the main room. Sometimes I'll move the speaker out into the main room while you're like laboring on the toilet or something, to kind of remind the staff to quiet down, cuz remember this is just like their third or fourth work day of the week. This is their workplace. But it's your birth space and they're not necessarily being disrespectful. They're just being human. And sometimes rather than having be like, "sh" I can just put this really, really like stereotypical meditation music, you know, like new age-y stuff on really loud, out in the main room.

And honestly, it's really soothing for all of us. And it reminds everyone to keep their voices lowered and it [00:06:00] changes the vibe. So a, a Bluetooth speaker can be really helpful.

Another thing that some people love is to bring a spray bottle with a scent they like. So some folks are really into essential oils. If that's you, by all means you can make a blend, makes it with water and put it in a spray bottle. You can also just buy your favorite scent from a store if you like it.

It can just be really nice and refreshing to be able to spray a scent. And then it doesn't smell like a hospital cuz hospital smells are, you know, they are what they are. So that can be a tip. Some people also will just take a candle. That means that they love that's burned down. You can't light an actual candle in a hospital for fire hazards, cuz there's oxygen and stuff.

So, but you can take a candle. That's been burned down, but you know how the base can still have that smell and you can just hold it to your face. And that can be soothing too.

So those are some of the most basic things that you can do, the candles and the music, I do at every birth. That makes a huge difference. And your own clothes. I encourage that for every birth,

the spray bottle that's optional. And then here are some things that are also can be optionally helpful. A visual.

[00:07:00] I was recently, um, helping someone prepare to birth and she came up with the idea in collaboration with the birth class on her online birth class.

She came up with this idea of a shower curtain. She loves to be in the woods and she just hated the idea of birthing in a hospital, but she didn't have, it was high risk pregnancy didn't have a choice, so she bought a shower curtain. It was like in the woods. And then he taped it up with like painters tape on the wall.

And she sent me pictures from her labor room of that shower curtain up on the wall. Is beautiful. And so she really tried to focus on going into that space and she worked through a really challenging labor experience, that wasn't her first choice, but it was what she had to do to bring her baby here.

So I loved that idea.

So a visual, you can also bring, I brought a painting to my first birth. Like a little one is a postcard framed five by seven postcard. And it was something that my spouse, before we were married, we were actually sweethearts junior high. And he bought me a postcard of a piece of art that we had seen.

And that meant so much to me. It still framed in our [00:08:00] home. So I brought that with me, uh, for my second birth. It was Christmas time and I love Christmas. So I brought a little Christmas tree like this tall from craft store and it had L E D battery operated.

And I had that little thing flickering. I would lay down for a period of time and my spouse Justin and brought a chair over and put the Christmas tree where I could see it while I was laying on my side with my leg over peanut ball. And it was just it's a really strong, powerful memory for me. And so that's sometimes that feels overwhelming to people to think of like a visual.

But for me, uh, is really powerful. For some people. It can be really powerful. So that's optional.

Another thing that you could bring is a sign for the door. For some folks who do hypno birthing, they tend to recommend that you put a sign on the door that says, you know, I'm try, I'm having a peaceful, calm birth, please keep your voice lowered when you're in the room or something like that., this is optional.

It's something that you can do if you'd like. But for some people it helps to set the tone right on the door. It's [00:09:00] just the piece of paper printed out and you can paint. Just take, take it to the door.

And then lastly, two really important things that aren't necessarily about setting the bite. But I always wanna mention is bring high, nutritious, highly nutritious with like fats and proteins.

So anything imagine you're going on like a backpacking trip where you're hiking to the top of a mountain, bring the kind of foods that you would eat while you're hiking. So you can grab a bite and it gives you instant energy. Same with hydration. Definitely have a lot of hydration available. Some people bring electrolyte packets to place in their water to increase the hydration element of the water that they're drinking, but you want a really good practice is to take a sip of water after every contraction, to ensure that you have the steady stream of hydration, which helps keep you hydrated and helps your labor progress. These are just two things to bring that just should be in your hospital room.

So this is a little bit off topic, but I always like to mention it. When you're setting up your hospital room, you really want to have snacks and maybe hydration.

So that is it on how to set up your hospital [00:10:00] room?

Uh, these are just things that I find myself doing when I step into the room. And first thing I do to change the tone and get the vibe going and bring about a beautiful birth, whatever that means for you. Thanks for listening, like, and subscribe to my channel and I'll be back with a new video every Thursday.

See you next week


Free Birth Plan Templates

While you can't 'plan' birth, creating a Birth Preferences document in collaboration with your OB or Midwife will help you get to know your care provider, learn your birth facility options, and practice being an active participant in your birth experience.

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Download "Birth Bag Packing List and Mini-Class"

This birth bag packing list pdf and mini-class video shows you what to pack for your birth and how to set the tone in your birth room.

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