Caring for Yourself During Labor
We know that most of us took lots of time to pick the right provider, decorate the perfect nursery, and read all about birth and breastfeeding. But, did you think about how you to care for yourself during your birth?
Often times, we are so focused on all that surrounds how our baby is coming into the world, that we forget a big part of that is how we feel during the birth of our child. You are in control of your environment and what can happen to make you feel supported, loved, and in charge! As your doula, we encourage you to think about all your options and make the choices that feel right to you.
Do you want to wear your own clothes during birth? The hospital gown is not a requirement, and as long as the nurses and doctor can do their job, you can bring your own hospital gown, or decide all you really need is a sports bra. Being comfortable is important and is definitely something that can help you feel more like yourself during labor.
Do the lights, smells, and sounds of the hospital cause your blood pressure to rise? You're not alone. Think about bringing essential oils to brighten the smell of the room. The lights can be as dim as you would like, or even off during a lot of your labor to help you to feel calm and take your mind to a more relaxed location. Music or a white noise machine may help you relax as well by drowning out beeping machines and providing some normalcy in a not so familiar place.
Does the idea of your own pillow or blanket instantly create a sense of security and calmness for you? While you may not want to expose your favorite blanket to your hospital bed, finding a blanket and pillow that gives you the same sense of comfort and warmth (that you would be fine with parting with later) may be an awesome comfort measure for you. There is definitely something to be said about the positive impact the texture or soothing color of your own comfort items can have on you.
As your doula, we will always provide emotional support and physical comfort measures (and maybe even paint your toenails!). We encourage you to think about the ways to care for yourself during this unforgettable time and to always remember you are in control!