Your birth environment can affect your experience of labour and birth. The ideal labour environment is one where you feel safe, have access to pain relief, have privacy and feel secure and well supported.
Many private hospitals have:
- food menu options
- large air-conditioned birth suites, usually with ensuite and shower and sometimes baths
- birth balls, heat packs, electric oil burners and other equipment
- small kitchens.
Private maternity wards often have double, single or twin-share accommodation, with ensuites or shared bathrooms. You might be able to have a private room and/or double bed, depending on availability.
In the birthing suite, staying active and using upright positions might help your labour to progress and help you avoid interventions. Using mats, beanbags, cushions, water or birth balls can help. Talk with your obstetrician or midwife before the birth about how you’d like your birth environment to be.
You can bring things like:
- essential oils or aromatherapy
- a TENS machine
- blankets or rugs
- special food or drinks.
Many women prefer soft lighting during labour and birth. You might be able to use dimmer switches or lamps to adjust the lighting in the room. It’s OK to ask if you can close doors or draw curtains for privacy. Music might help you focus. Covering visible clocks might also help you to be ‘in the moment’.
You and your midwife can let your support people know how they can help you.