Need Some Input and Ideas Please - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 01-25-2008, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I am a student Interior Designer. I am in my last semester of school and we are designing a free standing birthing center for our main project. I would like for you all to give me some input on what you would like in a birthing center.

My inspiration (not theme - 2 different things) right now is spring. It is a time of birth and growth. Blooming flowers signify the body opening to allow the baby to be born.

I would like input on everything from the lighting, mood, art and decor, things you think should be included in a birthing room or center. Anything you can think of. I had both of my babies in a hospital (however my experience w/ ds2 was different because he was born naturally and I had a midwife - who was wonderful) so I do not have experience in a birth center but I have some ideas on things that would be beneficial to the birthing mother. TIA
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#2 of 10 Old 01-25-2008, 07:10 PM
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These are the things that I envision the perfect birthing room to be like. However, I've never given birth so take it with a grain of salt. (I am a doula though, so I see what women wish they had in the moment)

-BIG, firm (but comfortable) bed; like a full size. Preggo women HATE those tiny hospital beds. Make sure it is equipped with a squat bar (and a co-sleeper if it is a postpartum room too).
-Soothing, zen-like mood: pale blue, pale green, pale lavender, pale yellow, soft grey walls; any art should be relaxing and simple--an exquisite flower painted in soft colors, ocean, mountain/forest-- nature'y type stuff.
-A rocking chair/glider with cushions and footstool.
-ALL medical apparatus concealed in a pretty cabinet or behind a curtain.
-An easy chair that pulls out into an extra bed for husband or partner.
-Jacuzzi tub large enough for 2 people, with jets and temp control (so it won't get too hot)
-Nice big shower with a hand held nozzle thingy (you can either have it hanging on the wall or hold it if you prefer) with a comfortable chair/stool of some sort in it. I've seen round plastic donut bases that sit on the bottom of the shower and you put the birth ball on it so mom can bounce or sit on the birth ball in the shower but doesn't have to worry about sliding or rolling over.
-A built in cd player/ipod dock so mom can bring her own music but doesn't have to tote a cd player.
-Lighting: All lights should be on a dimmer and should look nice if possible. A pretty lamp on a sidetable in between the bed and rocker would be nice.
-Flooring: wood flooring would be beautiful and cozy, but is expensive and somewhat impractical; maybe faux wood? You should have 1-2 soft, pretty rugs (at least large enough for a woman to get on hands & knees) with quality non-slip rubber strips on the bottom.
-Have some yoga mats, birth ball, and a birthstool available in a closet or cabinet.
-Each labor/birth room should have a window for natural light, if possible, and make sure you have thick sheers (to let in light but screen what is in the room from the outside) underneath really thick drapes (to block out all outside light). Some women like the sunlight, others like complete darkness.

That's all I can think of right now--hope it gives you some ideas! That is so exciting that you get to decorate a birthing center! I'm excited for you--good luck.

Proud wife to my handsome husband  Malachi David (2010) and Jeremiah Daniel (2012) joined our family via two lovely homebirths...planning another homebirth for the new belly baby, due April 16, 2015!  Doula for 8 years and apprentice midwife for almost 3!    
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#3 of 10 Old 01-26-2008, 02:47 AM
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Wooden floors - warm and nice, but hygenic too.

A cupboard for the mother's stuff so it doesn't look like a hotel room
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#4 of 10 Old 01-26-2008, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the ideas. They are all wonderful!! I have to draw floor plans and furniture plans and reflected ceiling plans too. I didn't think of the larger bed, I guess because I thought you had to have those crappy little ones.

I will be specifying a laminate wood flooring for commercial spaces so that it has the look of a wood floor but is also much more durable and scratch and water resistant .
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#5 of 10 Old 01-26-2008, 04:08 PM
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Maybe consider cork for the floor instead. It is a natural insulator, so it will be warmer underfoot than laminate. It is also a resilient surface so it is naturally soft and minimizes fatigue when standing on it for long periods(like the midwives might have to)
There are products on the market that have the edges treated with a silicone to increase water resistance and it is as easy to clean and maintain as laminate.
(can you tell I work in the industry)
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#6 of 10 Old 01-26-2008, 05:52 PM
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The beds should also be fairly low--comfortable chair height--so they're easy to get on and off and the moms can easily get up and change position or easily sit/lay down for a rest.
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#7 of 10 Old 01-26-2008, 07:28 PM
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How about a door the mama can lock to ensure she gets privacy when she needs it. You've gotten a lot of good other suggestions too. Sounds like a great project!
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#8 of 10 Old 01-27-2008, 07:21 PM
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I visited a birthing center near me. One room was used more often by laboring moms and the other wasn't. I don't remember the color of the one room, but less people choose the room that was blue though.

Kara, single mom of 4 girls (5, 8, 16 and 19) crochetsmilie.gif
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#9 of 10 Old 01-27-2008, 09:37 PM
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Lights on dimmers, and also task lighting....

SO that if there's a need for someone in the room to have more light, its in the corner, out of the way, and doesn't require turning up the lights in the whole room.

Jacuzzi tub is key. 100% key. If they make them with temperature gauges that will help maintain a steady nice temp, that would be peachy.

Beautiful views would be nice, if possible.

Some kind of table for food, drink etc.

Floor really needs to be washable/sanitizable. As much as I like the cork idea for warmth and softness, I'm not sure it could stand up to the scrubbing that cleaning blood off the floor requires for health department purposes.

savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

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#10 of 10 Old 01-29-2008, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by wannabe View Post
Wooden floors - warm and nice, but hygenic too.

A cupboard for the mother's stuff so it doesn't look like a hotel room
i dont know about this. i know that my amniotic fluid did a great job of taking the finish off of mine.

earth.gif trottin', pole dancing, Norway and Sweden lovin' , hippie.gif,WOHM Kiddos born waterbirth.jpg 12/11/06 and 08/09/08 
belly.gif with #3 puke.gif EDD:01/2013 yikes2.gif So in love loveeyes.gif with my sweet Swede 2twins.gif and my bonus-son 10/25/98 carrot.gif


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