To make the place you birth your place

 We all understand the necessity in preparing the cloths we wish to birth in, pads, wash bag, baby cloths etc. but I have noticed over the past few year’s mums don’t talk so much about what they will need to make the birthing environment more theirs. No matter where you birth whether at home or in a clinic or hospital this is in fact important.

  In my years working as a community midwife, I saw its influence on the birthing mum. When I entered a mum’s home my behavior changed as I was in her home, her space. When a mum comes into a clinic or hospital she is in an institution with its rules and protocols.  It can take a birthing mum awhile to readjust and relax enough to continue her journey.

I will only talk about birthing away from home. Mums planning a home-birth will be able to take some hints of course.

It is a huge advantage to visit the birthing area if possible, having no surprise about this environment is a way of preparing yourself to where you are going. Unfortunally not everywhere will offer this due to infection control. It costs nothing to ask.

 Smell is an important!

 It might seem weird but your own pillow with a pillow case which has been slept on. These smells are calming and reassuring. Plus, it’s not a plastic base, which is often the case with the hospital pillow.

Essential oils

There aren’t many that are safe for pregnant mum’s but there are useful ones for labour. Before we move on, please note that you may need to bring in your own plug in infuser. Candles will have a big possibly of exploding the hospital, just to be clear there is piped gases everywhere.

Lavender often has a relaxing effect.

Clary sage increases the frequency of the contractions and must always be used with caution. Little is good.


There will be a different environment for different situations. You might have come across the videos with labouring mum’s doing salsa.

So, my suggesting here is have a variety of music lists.

A list without singing, with singing, calming and relaxing.

Sharing headphones isn’t practical really but have a Bluetooth headset or speaker is possible. With the speaker take care of the volume as it is unusual you will be the only mother there birthing.

It is possible to download a list put together from another person.

If you have done a course in hypnobirthing don’t forget your vocal support


This will not be a moment for the Paris catwalk, so fashion statement well that can be up to you…

Loose in one word. Comfortable is beyond words.

In reality as your labour advances, you will probably find yourself with less cloth on. Been without clothing at the end isn’t unusual, I would say in fact it is more the norm.

By loose I mean one that is easy removed over your head. The arms short and also loose.  Not short in length, as you move around it’s not a bad idea you feel that you’re not showing the world parts that you prefer to keep covered.

Having a second gown isn’t a bad idea as it’s nice to change into a fresh one after.

A big towel is a must when you are in and out of the shower or birthing pool.

Then there is the cool water spray, face cloths, massage oil.

Future fathers

Having your own list is helpful, change of tee-shirt and under-ware, and some snacks.

Snacks are more important than you think. Any supporting partners who haven’t eaten over several hours are often the ones who go pale and then hit the floor, much to their embarrassment.

 Coins for the coffee machine, parking meter, toothbrush and paste, and of course water.

I usually suggest that this is the person responsible for those charging cables.

A Final Word

This is but a piece to get you thinking what would you bring to create an environment which helps in your labour. It’s worth the effort to think about it as you prepare.

 Wishing you the best ….