Updated: Mar 6, 2020
Christmas is always my favorite time of the year. I sit in my house and look at the Christmas tree that was decorated with the help of my 3-year-old and 18-month-old. The lighted garland runs all the way up our banister and you can find little trinkets of Santa and snowmen sprinkled throughout our home. There is something about sitting in a cozy chair with a cup of tea in this homey atmosphere. Can you feel what I feel?
When you think of the word “home” what feelings does it bring up for you? Do you feel respected, loved, known, cared for, important, valuable, and safe? Or do you feel the opposite?
Home is more than a place you live - it’s a feeling. The feelings you get when you come home are powerful. They have a big effect on the human body. If being home is associated with positive feelings, your body will start to relax its muscles, your mind will calm down, racing thoughts will cease and you will feel at ease to be open, and most importantly, to be yourself.
Have you ever gone somewhere that is totally outside of your comfort zone? You see strangers rushing around you. You may just feel out of place. You’re not sure if you’re safe or not, so you’re trying to take in all the information, process and come to the conclusion that you’re okay. You keep telling yourself that you’re fine, you are safe, but you’re not sure if you believe it and your neocortex (thinking brain) is in overdrive. You’re releasing hormones of epinephrine and norepinephrine which causes you to go into fight or flight. Now, at that moment, in that setting - try to birth a baby.
There is a reason why women are so passionate when talking about birthing at home. It’s where they feel most comfortable, and that should be respected and celebrated. They desire to have a baby where they feel safe and secure. There are low lights, low voices and an environment that is familiar. There is no asking if it's "ok to do a cervical check." or "they are going to check blood pressure." They are able to stay in a primitive state where their mind slows down and their body takes over. They are home.
I have also met women who are stressed at the thought of being in their home to birth a baby but that doesn’t mean that feeling of home cannot come with you to the hospital. If you create a feeling of home, your primal brain can take over and facilitate a blissful birth.
Here are some practical ways to bring home to the hospital:
Bring comfort item- What items in your house make you feel cozy? It might be your own pillow, a soft blanket, your favorite water bottle or a bathrobe or gown.
Atmosphere- Set up your hospital room to bring peace. Bring affirmations that you can place in areas you can see. Electric candles or an essential oil diffuser can bring a calm sense to your room. Bringing pictures of your family or your child at home can remind you that all is well and help you relax into each sensation you’re feeling.
Doula- We pride ourselves on bringing the feeling of home to you. We get to know you during pregnancy. We form a trusting relationship. We know your dreams for your birth, your fears, and how you’ve been feeling. We have had prenatal appointments and have given you continuous support throughout your pregnancy. When you have a doula, you have a guide who has been there before. We are a familiar face in a foreign place.
Food- Bring food that you’re used to eating. Some hospital food can remind you of eating lunches in your middle school cafeteria - and let’s face it, not many people want to go back there! Eat a good meal before you go to the hospital, and during labor have snacks that are light on your stomach but fill you with the energy you need to labor and birth a baby.
Your area should be protected from overstimulation and fear that increases the fight or flight hormones. Cling to the feeling of home. Create an environment that is safe for you to release your baby into. Your body knows what to do and birthing in an environment that your brain recognizes as safe will only enhance your birth experience!
Check out this free online course - The Top 5 Things Every Pregnancy Women Needs to Know - for more information on how to have an empowered and blissful birth!
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