How to Feel at Home at Your Hospital Birth
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Did you know that it’s not uncommon that when women get to the hospital in labor that they experience their contractions slowing down? As someone who has attended a lot of births, I will tell you that I’ve seen this happen on multiple occasions. Our bodies respond better in labor when we are somewhere familiar. A place we trust, a place that’s dark, and has continuous hands on support. It’s only natural for our bodies to freak out and stall when we go to a place that is unfamiliar.
Our minds know better, but our bodies physiologically respond differently. The trick to keep things going is to make your hospital room and your experience feel more like home. The sights, smells, and feel. The more comfortable you are in the hospital the more your body will respond and will be able to relax, open, and allow things to progress. Here are some things to help you feel more at home at your hospital birth which in turn can help you have a more positive birth experience.
1. Labor Gown
As soon as you get into a triage room or your own labor and delivery room, the hospital will give you a hospital gown to wear during the labor and birth of your child. Their hospital gown allows your care providers to have easy access to reposition your external monitors, check your blood pressure, perform cervical exams, administer medications, and other interventions. The thing is, even though these gowns are convenient for everything necessary during birth, unfortunately, these gowns are very thin, are not soft whatsoever, and are overall plain ugly. Nothing about them is comfortable. And a lot of people associate these gowns to sick people lying in hospital beds. If only there was something that was just as function, but also cute and comfortable. Oh wait, there is!
Whether you are being induced, spontaneously go into labor, or are having a scheduled or emergency c-section, you should feel comfortable and confident during your baby’s birth, and that starts with what you are wearing. This is why I love Kindred Bravely’s Bravely Labor and Delivery Gown. It’s a gown for every woman and for every birth.
Their gown combines the comfort of a soft, favorite t-shirt feel and the functionality of a hospital gown. It features a Velcro front, allowing you to have skin-to-skin with your newborn without removing your gown, as well as easy access for your medical team to adjust your external baby monitors, do ultrasounds, get an epidural, and have C-section incision inspections.
The labor gown also features easy to use snaps along both shoulders. These snaps allow you to have convenient access for breastfeeding and make the IV transition go smoothly. You don’t want to be all tangled up with your gown hanging around your IV tubes.
This pregnancy hospital gown also includes two large pockets. Who doesn’t love having pockets?! This way you can have your phone with you, chapstick, or other essentials. Super convenient!
What I also really like about this gown is that you can walk the hospital halls without the worry of showing your backside. Since this delivery gown doesn’t have snaps on the back, you will be comfortable while lying in bed, and you won’t experience “drafts” or unexpected flashings. It really is the updated, much needed gown we’ve all been waiting for. Be sure to order one of these and add this to your hospital bag. Use discount code BC-HOSPITAL20 for 20% off your gown! Active until July 31st!
Another thing that the hospital gives you once you arrive is nonskid socks. The reason is they don’t want you to slip and fall while walking around the hospital or in your room and potentially hurt yourself or your baby. The socks that they give you are usually some awkward color, scratchy feeling, and an awkward way-too-big size. This is why I needed to find a new alternative. These are the perfect ones. 🙂
These Labor and Delivery Socks from Kindred Bravely are extremely soft, will keep your feet warm and cozy before and after giving birth, and will keep you safe. No slipping and falling for you! These are ankle socks made with terry knit and are such a great gift to bring a mother-to-be. Make a statement with your labor socks and check these out! Use discount code BC-HOSPITAL20 for 20% off your Bravely Socks! Active until July 31st!
To feel good during labor and birth think of all of your senses that you can influence — smell, sight, touch, taste and sound. We covered touch with the Kindred Bravely Labor and Delivery Gown and Non Skid Brave Socks. Now we are on to sound. Playing music or positive affirmations during your labor that you’ve been listening to during your pregnancy can help you in labor. It can help you get into a groove and will set the tone–especially if you have the music playing out loud. It’s been proven that listening to music can help promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, and lift your mood and energy.
4. Focal Point
Some women find having a focal point in labor very helpful. If you’re wondering what a focal point is, it’s merely something to look at while in labor. It could be something as small as a button on your partner’s shirt, or a crack on the wall, or even staring into one of your support person’s eyes. What I’ve seen and love is bringing an ultrasound picture of your baby. It may sound strange, but sometimes women forget why they are going through all of their contractions. They forget that each wave is bringing them closer to a baby. Looking at that ultrasound image with each passing wave can give you the strength and the oxytocin to keep things going.
Something else that all women should bring with them to make their hospital room feel more like home is their pillow. (Dads should do the same thing too!) The pillows at the hospital are very thin and aren’t comfortable. They also don’t have very many so you will get two usually. Trust me, it’s not enough because of how thin they are. I suggest bringing your own since the smells and comfort of your pillow will help you relax. *Pro tip: Be sure to have your pillow in a different color pillow case than white. White is what they have at the hospital so they might take yours thinking it’s theirs.
6. Birth Ball
Some hospitals have birth balls there for you to use! Others don’t so you should bring your own. Even if it’s not something that you’ve used at home, you will appreciate having one during labor. At the hospital all you have is the hospital bed and a chair. So your options for position changes are limited. Not to mention, sitting on a hospital bed can get boring, uncomfortable, and prolong your labor. A birth ball helps your baby get into a good position, helps speed up labor, is great for your lower back, great for your perineum, and more. Seriously, have one.
I don’t know about you but wearing a comfy robe with cozy socks makes me feel way more comfortable. Like I’m at home. I particularly love this Emmaline Maternity & Nursing robe because, 1) it’s lightweight so you will stay warm but not get overheated. 2) It has deep pockets so you can grab and bring all the things that you need for a nursing session. 3) it ties in two places so nothing is going to come undone and reveal anything you don’t want to show. This robe is a perfect option for expecting and nursing moms. ?
8. Essential Oils
There are several essential oils that can help you during labor. The ones that I recommend are peppermint (this can help with nausea, headaches, and helps you keep focused). Lavender (helps with relaxing your mind and body). Clary sage (can help strengthen your contractions and keep them coming). Frankincense (great to apply on your skin and perineum after delivery). Also, Panaway (helps relieve pain). The more you use these oils at home and then use at the hospital, the more your body will quickly adjust and positively respond to labor.
With all of these helpful products you will be feeling more at home as you welcome your child into the world. Congratulations to you!