Homebirth - Setting an Environment - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 06-25-2010, 11:14 PM - Thread Starter
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My doula wants me to start thinking about what kind of environment I want for my homebirth. I don't know where to start! Music? Candles? Aromatherapy? Obviously, I want a zen, calming, relaxing environment. But I am not the best decorator and I can't get the ideas flowing.

Any ideas/suggestions?

Can you recommend any spa-like CDs?
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#2 of 10 Old 06-25-2010, 11:31 PM
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I have to start thinking about this too. I'm not the best decorator either, but I do hope to have one room or area that is cleared out of most of the "daily life" clutter and is calm and relaxing for the birth.

Based on my previous 2 labors (one hospital, one birth center), I think:
-dimmed lights (or as dark as it can get if it is during the day)
-silence (for me, personally....I don't have music that is especially meaningful to me and relaxing)
-birthing tub/water and therapy ball available for use as needed

I feel aromatherapy or even candles could be risky- what if the smell makes you sick/nauseous instead of relaxed? I'd LOVE to hear others' experiences in that area...

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#3 of 10 Old 06-26-2010, 08:58 AM
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I have some spa type music which I love, as it reminds me of my massage therapist's appts. As soon as I walk into her office and hear the music I begin to relax. So I got some similar music to play during my labour.

I also got a beeswax and a nicely scented large candle to have lit, depending what I want for scents at the time. I do have an unscented one as well just in case.

We have a dimmer switch in the room where I'll be labouring, so we can keep the candlelight as a main light source unless we need otherwise.

I do have a birthing ball and a birthing tub set up in there. I don't really consider that part of the atmosphere though I guess.
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#4 of 10 Old 06-26-2010, 08:30 PM
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I am going to try to do the zen thing too. I got unscented candles and I got a oil diffuser that has a very small bowl for the oil so if it bugs me I will get rid of it. I also have a few art pieces and sculptures that make me feel empowered like a small statue of a pregnant woman etc. My midwife told me to get some old towels and sheets for the birth, but I decided to buy some new pretty ones because I figured even if they all get thrown away this is a special event we all deserve nice things not my old ratty towels.
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#5 of 10 Old 06-26-2010, 10:51 PM
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I just wanted my husband to clear the stairs and make sure the dishes were done. Once I was in active labor and pushing I just needed to feel safe. I wouldn't have cared about candles, music, etc. But then, I'm not a decorator and one of the big benefits to co-sleeping for me was that I wouldn't need to worry about getting a nursery ready
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#6 of 10 Old 06-27-2010, 01:06 AM
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I haven't done this yet either, but there is a certain beauty just in the fact that you're at home. Hopefully the fact that it's home will bring a certain calmness as well. I mean, I hope to keep the room relatively clutter-free and clean, but I don't want to make anything look too different than it would normally. I want it to look like the same room I go to bed in each night.

I did use scented candles during my previous labors at birth centers. I wouldn't pick anything with a strong smell, but a nice clean scent or one that you find comforting seems like it would work. The nice part about the scents is that I associate them with the births now. So, my daughter's birth is pumpkin spice (November), and my son's is clean linen. For this one, since it's August, I'm thinking a beachy smell, but if thats too much I may revert back and use the linen or soapy scents again.
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#7 of 10 Old 06-27-2010, 03:16 PM
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I just want my bedroom de-cluttered, and I think I've done that 3x in the past week alone, but my DD comes in with dolls/books and there it goes!

We got a new bed and I'm excited to labor/birth/lounge in it. Big soft comforter, pillows and clean fresh sheets for the birth are important. I also have our lights installed with a dimmer, and the fan on because it's summer and I'm a sweaty beast - the fan makes the comfortable whirling sound and I love it.

I have a few candles - peach and lavender to light if I feel like it.

Clean space on the floor to labor, and my birth ball within reach.

And I hung up a sign that says "Just Breath"

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#8 of 10 Old 06-28-2010, 03:01 PM
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All music, candles, etc. were/are totally superfluous and annoying. I wanted even, medium lighting (lamps), silence, and space to move. And that was it.

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#9 of 10 Old 06-28-2010, 04:20 PM
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For my birth last year I declutted, brought up a lamp in case I labored through the night, and set up a playlist on our computer. I wouldn't go for spa music, or anything I wasn't farmiliar with. When I was laboring it helped me to have music that I was very farmiliar and in love with, mostly Radiohead but some other songs thrown in there. That was the only way I would be able to focus on the music. If it was something I didn't know really well it would have faded into the background and not helped me.
I also read Ina May Gaskins' Guide to Natural Childbirth, which really helped me, in a large part because it talked about the way many women labor comfortably, in our society, and in the cultures throughout history.
I ended up hanging a rope from the ceiling so I could use it as leverage to help me push (didn't end up needed it though).

Oh, and my nesting included painting most of the rooms in our house. I think that helped a lot, since at the time we were living with my FIL and I was not really comfortable in that house.
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#10 of 10 Old 06-28-2010, 06:04 PM
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It is nice to think about all of this, and I'm sure some people find that their choosen environment really helps them....but in all honesty I didn't care one bit about having music or special lighting or anything like that. I holed up in our bathtub for 12 hours and stared out the window.

You probably won't care too much about the decorating once you're in labor land.
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