How to Set Up a Peaceful Birth Environment

Creating a Peaceful Birth Environment


We know that the vast majority of expectant families will birth in a hospital maternity ward whether by choice or necessity. So how can you make a hospital room feel peaceful and comfortable? Here are some great ideas I’ve seen over the years. These tips can also be used to make your home or birth center birth more comfortable and enjoyable as well.


1. Bring your own pillow(s). Hospital pillows are useless. They are flat and because they need to not absorb fluids they are plastic-like. Most people have much nicer pillows of their own. Always use something other than a white pillowcase so that it doesn’t get mixed in with the hospital pillows and I’d recommend keeping them out of the below the waist area so that they are less likely to get body fluids on them.


2. Pictures of family. Especially loved ones who are not longer with us. I’ve had several clients who have lost their parents and they bring pictures of them to put up in the room. Ultrasound pictures of their baby are another thing that clients like to put up in the room.


3. Battery operated candles can really add to the ambiance of the room without the risk of an open flame. Most of the hospital staff are great about leaving the lights low in the room and candlelight adds to the intimacy of the room.


4. A comfortable nightgown or other garment of your own. Hospital gowns are one size fits all, they aren’t comfortable and your butt usually hangs out of them. For many birthing people feel much more comfortable wearing their own clothing or a nice birthing gown or nightgown. Pretty Pushers sells really cute birthing gowns.

5. Music is really soothing to a lot of people. What’s relaxing to you may not be relaxing to me. So I highly recommend you make your own playlist or find a Pandora or Spotify Channel that you really love. If you make a playlist early enough in your pregnancy you can be listening to that as you go to sleep or if you’re lying down to rest and your body gets used to that music and you’ll be able to relax to it during the birthing time better. You can use ear buds if you prefer to be able to shut out the background noise or a Bluetooth speaker if you prefer your music playing outloud.


6. Many people like to use essential oils for aromatherapy. I highly recommend that if you’re using them your ensuring the safety of what you’re using and also don’t recommend using a diffuser. You may decide at 7 centimeters that the scent you’re been diffusing since you were 3 centimeters isn’t appealing any longer and it’s very hard to clear the air when things have been diffusing. I recommend using cotton balls that are easily disposed of.


7. If you plan to use water immersion during your birthing time it can feel really good to use your own robe and/or fluffy towels when you get out of the water.


8. If the birthing person is watching the clock you can cover the clock and you can also throw a towel over any bright computer monitors. A towel can be draped over the tops of doors as well if they are prone to shutting loudly.



I hope some of these ideas feel helpful for setting up your birth room to maximize your comfort and sense of peace!

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We are a team of birth and postpartum doulas, serving the greater Pittsburgh area and neighboring communities. We offer personalized support and education during your pregnancy, birthing time, and beyond.  We have a wide range of services for families of all backgrounds, faiths, and lifestyles.  Not sure you're in our service area? Just ask!

During the COVID-19 crisis know that we are available for virtual support if you're place of birth isn't allowing more than one support person.
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