Many of the women I come across think a hospital room is the place where people are supposed to birth. In reality a woman will give birth anywhere if it is time. So why do we hear of so many really long labours in western cultures. Lets see. As a doula I am privy to many kinds of birth in many different settings and what I have observed is that those who feel safe and have created some sort of familiar comfort around them are better able to "let" birth happen. And in general, its doesnt take that long. Maybe 3 or 4 hours of active labour ( the kind you have to concentrate for).
For many women, home is the obvious choice . Especially if they are fearful in hospitals. Her home is her territory so she can easily relax there. Plus there there are no hourly protocols to attend to and no "stranger" will come in her room and interrupt. She calls the shots. She can pee, eat, drink whenever she feels like it.
But if homebirth is not within her belief system she might feel scared and birth might stall. She would be better off in a more clinical setting that conveys to her feeling of safety. This would allow her to "let go".
So what does the birthing room have to do with this?
We have learned a lot about the roles of hormones in birth in the past few years. We know that hormones are directly influenced by women's emotions ie: how safe a mom feels and how she is treated or disturbed in birth will add or subtract time to labour. So what would the ideal birthing room look like.
Weather at home or at the hospital, this room has ample place to move about. There is a tub and /or shower available, as well as a large bed (in the corner) that can fit mom and dad (and doula). Soft mats on the floor; a birth ball, pillows; a heater, a rebozo attached to the ceiling for vertical support. A toilet close by. Only trusted and chosen people are allowed inand they are quiet. Everyone follows mom's lead. Snacks and water are readily available. They are left mostly undisturbed. Low lights, music if they wish. Hand held doppler. etc Privacy.
Basically a room designed with mom's wellbeing at the core. Protocols that protect the natural secretion of the birth hormones. (Oxytocin) where mom's rational brain is left undisturbed and where her reptilian brain is free to take over.
What would your perfect birthing room look like?
Please share with us.
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