Written by: Hayley Hubbard & Jessica Diamond, MPH, RDN
After our four births with the best doula and resource, Lori Bregman, we have officially figured out the high-yield items to pack to transform your birthing room into a peaceful and calming place.
No matter where you give birth, it’s important to customize your space in a way that will help you stay calm, relaxed, and inspired. For many, birth will be a beautiful and transformative experience, so you want to create an environment that will help you soak in those incredibly magical moments. Here’s our list of the best items to have on hand to transform your birthing or delivery room into a calming and supportive place. You can shop all of our birth essentials here.
- Music: Before the baby comes, create some playlists with songs that ground and inspire you. We recommend a few different playlists, one with calming and relaxing music, one with some more fun and upbeat songs, and one with really meaningful songs that can be played when baby is born.
- Lighting: Overhead or fluorescent lights are anything but calming, so we brought dimmed lighting to our births. Lori explained that dimmed or natural light is the most calming, so switching the lighting up can have a huge impact on the ambience. (There’s a reason restaurants dim the lights to set the mood!) We used:
- Himalayan salt lamp
- Flameless candles
- Mason jars with fairy lights
- Scents: All of our senses are heightened during birth, and it can be easy to forget about scent even though it can have an enormous impact on the birthing experience. For example, aromatherapy, in addition to smelling wonderful, can be used to help with labor symptoms. Lori suggests lemon for nausea, clary sage to help initiate contractions, eucalyptus to open your sinuses and improve your breathing, and lavender to relax. You can bring an essential oil diffuser with you or put a few drops on a washcloth and breathe the oils in. Here are our favorite essential oils and diffusers.
- Motivational and meaningful items: Mood boards and affirmation cards with motivating messages can help you stay focused and inspired during birth. For example, Tyler read affirmations aloud to Hayley during her birth such as “you are strong,” “you’re my soulmate,” and you’re a great friend to everyone.” They made her feel supported and motivated during contractions, and it was a special moment between just the two of them that she will never forget.
- Assemble an all-star birth team: Everyone in the room during birth has an important role to play, so put some thought into your birthing team. Nurses are really involved in labor and delivery, so make sure you feel comfortable with the nurses assigned to your team. If for some reason you don’t vibe with one of them, politely ask for the charge nurse and request a new nurse – feeling comfortable during birth is just too important not to.
This also goes for family members. There may be some family members that really want to be with you during birth, but if you’re not comfortable with that, you should limit who’s in the room during delivery. It’s important to set boundaries to keep your birth sacred. You can also bring in pictures of the people you love and hang those up in the room. That way, you can feel their presence without them physically being in the room.
If you’re looking to have a more positive birth experience, make sure to bring some of these items with you when you go into labor. You never know what will empower and inspire you as you work through one of the most challenging and rewarding things life will throw your way.