Have you always dreamed of having a home birth but, for whatever reason, are not able to?
Pregnant people in Calgary who want a home birth may unable to access a home birth to a lack of funding for midwifery care or because their pregnancy has become high risk. They may also choose to give birth in the hospital because their family is more comfortable with hospital birth, or because giving birth in the hospital makes them feel safer.
If this sounds like you, good news! While we can’t pretend a hospital will resemble your living room, we can give you some tips on how to make the hospital environment much more like home.
Bring some battery-powered candles
Hospital policies won’t allow the real flame candles, but battery-powered ones can provide you with beautiful, dim lighting to make your environment a little more relaxing. Plus you don’t have to worry about that pesky fire hazard while in the throes of labour!
Bring your own labour tools from home
A birthing (yoga) ball, rice sock as a hot pack, rolling pin for massage—pack them with you for your trip to the hospital and bring some of the tools from home with you.
Make a playlist
Music during birth is powerful. It can not only provide you with relaxation and take you to your “zone,” it can often remind you of wonderful memories you’ve made to bring on that oxytocin—a helpful hormone for progressing labour.
Bring your own snacks
Instead of eating hospital vending machine snacks, you could choose to prepare a little snack bag ahead of time, with all the things you like to eat and drink. This could be simple as packaged granola bars or as fancy as homemade electrolyte drinks. Hospital food is notorious for being lackluster, so pack your own instead!
Hire a doula
Doulas can be a tremendous support, regardless if you give birth at home or in a hospital. Particularly in the hospital, however, having that extra support can make your birth feel more unique and empower you and your partner to make the choices that are right for you.
Prepare a birth plan
Your doula can talk with you about all of the birth options available that are similar in a home birth setting. Think things like delayed cord clamping to immediate skin to skin, as well as any medications you’d like to try or avoid. You can even request things like who you’d like in the room, or how you want your lighting to be. Making small adjustments can have a big impact.
Bring your own blankets and pillows
While you may not want to get your own blanket and pillows soiled during the delivery itself, they definitely can provide an extra comfort for the postpartum period. There’s nothing quite like our own bed, so bringing a piece of that with us makes it feel just a little bit like home.
Chinook City Doulas has supported all types of births and can assist you whether you’re giving birth at home, at the Arbour Birth Center or in a Calgary hospital. Contact us today to learn how we can support you!