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 women who homebirth enjoy being in their own home – a familiar place with familiar people.
At home, you might move furniture around or put cushions and blankets where you think you’ll need them. For example, you might want to lean over a couch during contractions. You can use candles, dimmer switches, lights and lamps to create soft lighting. You can control the temperature to make sure that you stay warm and comfortable.
Family and friends can be there, along with your other children, if you want. You and your midwife can let support people know how they can help you.
Your midwife will bring:
- a small oxygen tank
- essential birth equipment
- some medical supplies.
If you’re interested in a water birth, your midwife might have a birth pool you can hire or let you know where you can hire one.
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. You’ll have lots of opportunities to talk with your midwife before the birth about how you’d like your birth environment to be.