One of the most common concerns that we hear is about how women feel like patients at the hospital,when thy are there for fetal monitoring, non-stress tests in late term pregnancy, or at their previous birth experience.
The hospital gown
Often hear that it hinders a peaceful and calm birth experience, so we thought we would compile a few tips to help you feel more of a person and less of a patient at the hospital during your birth.
Ditch the gown!
Wearing your own clothing (and something you don't mind getting ruined by bodily fluids) can give a great deal of comfort and control at the hospital. A sundress, sports bra, maxi skirt, pajamas. Anything that allows for intermittent fetal and maternal monitoring, that you can move freely in and you feel comfortable in.
Lower the lights
Bright lights instantly make a hospital room feel clinical. Turning off all unnecessary lighting is something that we have found to nurses are more than happy to accommodate, and it's an easy way to lower the intensity of the room.
Bring some music or you favourite movie
Load up your iPad with to playlists: one high energy list and one chill and relaxing list. Include music that you love to dance you, that makes you happy. You know the kind; those jams that get you dancing in your kitchen or singing in the car. To save on you data, download the playlists for offline use.
If you need a movie break or a visual distraction from labour, make your smartphone a mobile hotspot and access Netflix on you iPad or tablet. Pick an old favourite, something that gets you laughing (or crying! Emotional releases bring out the oxytocin, which gets labour moving!) or just something with a really great storyline that makes you focus on the details. I personally recommend Sex and The City; it was amazing to laugh to through the late stage transitions with my doula Jena and nurse Ney!
Ultimately, there is noting about having a baby that makes you a patient. You are still a human, and you can absolutely have a more peaceful and calm experience at the hospital by taking a bit of control and honouring yourself during your birth.