#107 | Trisha Mini: The Best Place To Give Birth

June 21, 2021

Hello friends! Trisha here, talking about the best place to give birth. You may be surprised to learn that you have the answer more than we do, but we can tell you how to determine whether you're on the right track. Take a listen to today's mini-side and reach us on Instagram @DownToBirthShow with any feedback or on our website at www.DownToBirthShow.come. Thanks for listening and we'll see you Wednesday!

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Between episodes, connect with us on Instagram @DownToBirthShow to see behind-the-scenes production clips and join the conversation by responding to our questions and polls related to pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood. You can reach us at Contact@DownToBirthShow.com or call (802) 438-3696 (802-GET-DOWN). We are always happy to hear from our listeners and appreciate questions for our monthly Q&A episodes. To join our monthly newsletter, text "downtobirth" to 22828.

You can sign up for Cynthia's HypnoBirthing classes as well as online breastfeeding classes and weekly postpartum support groups run by Cynthia & Trisha at HypnoBirthing of Connecticut

Please remember we don’t provide medical advice, and to speak with your licensed medical provider related to all your healthcare matters. Tha

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View Episode Transcript

Hi friends, it's Trisha here on a minisode Monday to talk to you today about creating the perfect birth environment for you. So we know that there are many options, well, not many, a few options of where women can give birth, the hospital, the home, or a birth center. For the most part, those are the three choices we have. And for many women, it's difficult for them to decide where they want to give birth. And they may not know this before pregnancy, and they may not know this until early pregnancy, and they may not even know this until late pregnancy, or they may decide to change at some point in pregnancy. So we're going to talk for a few minutes today or I'm going to talk for a few minutes today about how to decide where the best place for you is to give birth and how to create the perfect birth environment for you. So to begin the first question, the first thing you need to think about when thinking about how to create the best birth environment for you is not where do I think I should give birth? Where do I think giving birth is safe, but where do I feel the safest? Your best birth is going to happen in in the environment where you feel safest. While humans have evolved greatly beyond many other species, we are still mammals. And because we are mammals, we are still responsive to the environment, we are still sensitive to the hormonal matrix that either promotes birth or hinders birth. So you if you look at any animal in nature, when they are ready to give birth, they're going to go and find a safe, quiet space where they can feel at peace and protected and undisturbed. affective labor for humans is very dependent on a precise interplay of hormones in our body, namely oxytocin, and the opposing hormones, adrenaline, the catecholamines, the stress, hormones, cortisol, all of those hormones can inhibit the flow of oxytocin, which can disturb our birth, it can even slow down stall or stop our birth if our fear is heightened to such an extent that it blocks our oxytocin. So what can we do to help ensure that this doesn't happen to us? The first thing is to answer that question, Where am I going to feel safest to give birth if your choice is home, then that's great, you're going to be able to pretty easily create an environment in the home where you can support that nesting instinct and you can create a quiet, safe, cozy, protected space to have your baby. If homebirth isn't an option for you or isn't where you're going to feel the safest, you may consider a birth center situation. In a birth center, you are going to have a similar environment to the home where there will be less distractions, fewer people, you'll have the ability to dim the lights, bring some of your own things from home be surrounded by midwives, and music, water. Basically very similar to what you could create at home. Unfortunately, as wonderful as birth center birth are those options are few and far between for women. So if home birth is not an option, and a birth center is not an option and you are feeling like hospital is your only option or for you the hospital birth environment feels like the safest birth environment, then we need to create a space in the hospital that is protective of our nest. So how do we do that? The first and most important thing I can suggest for creating a hospital environment that will feel more like home and will feel more safe is to protect to comes into your space. only allow those that you feel safe and comfortable with come into your birthing space. Keep it small. This can just be your partner, your doula, your nurse and your provider. You can truly say no to everyone else. In some hospital environments, you're going to have a lot of different people coming through you may even have the request of students or residents or multiple nurse changes. You can say no to additional people in the room. So protect your space by limiting the number of people I strongly recommend turning off the lights in the hospital room. Those fluorescent overhead lights have a litany of negative impacts on our body. They increase stress they increase anxiety, they can cause blurred vision. They can cause headaches, nausea, vertigo, and impact our sleep. I have no idea why these are the lights that they choose for hospital rooms but they are absolutely horrible for the birthing environment. Maybe you can bring your own lamp or a small light or just turn them off. Another thing I strongly recommend is that you bring some of your own bedding from home. It's amazing how much just having a blanket of yours or a pillow of your your own. with you in the hospital can make things feel more comfortable. Bring a bathrobe from home, bring some slippers from home, anything that will remind you of your safe cozy resting nesting space from home. Along the same lines, wear your own clothes in the hospital, you do not have to put on the hospital gown. You can wear a T shirt, a dress shorts, a bathing suit, whatever feels comfortable to you. But it absolutely does not need to be the hospital gown. Another great tip is to bring something that mimics water or is water the sound of water will be very helpful to you and labor the sound of water actually, just hearing water bubbling or listening to the sounds of water on some type of recording will increase your levels of oxytocin. Remember, everything that we're doing here to create the perfect birth environment is about supporting oxytocin and lowering cortisol and adrenaline and the stress hormones. And unfortunately, modern birth environments, particularly the hospital are not at all designed to support our oxytocin. In fact, they're sort of designed to the opposite. They're designed to take care of sick patients, they're designed with bright lights, they're designed with uncomfortable seating in the room, they're designed for the provider to have more convenient access to you. They're designed with a lot of ABS, machines, and sounds and noises that can be very disruptive to birth. So regardless of where you decide to give birth, whether it's home hospital or birth center, one of the best things you can do is to think before your birth about ways that you can minimize intervention. And when I'm referring to intervention, I'm not just talking about major interventions like a vaginal exam, or forceps delivery, I'm talking about small things, I'm talking about every little disturbance, everything that takes the birthing mother out of her birthing space, in her mind and in her body. That can be as simple as somebody walking in the door, somebody coming in to check your blood pressure, the noise of the electronic fetal monitor system. Every time a woman is disturbed in her birth process, her hormonal balance is shifted, her potential fear response is triggered. So we have to take steps to reduce interventions, obviously, there's going to be some obviously people are going to talk to you throughout labor, whether you're at home in a birth center at the hospital doesn't matter, there's going to be disruptions. But if we can think in advance about the ways in which we can minimize those, and we can bring things into our birth space to help it feel more like the safe, cozy nesting space of home, we're going to then increase our chances of having a physiologic undisturbed birth. Failure to progress is the number one reason that women have seryan birth today. And failure to progress is really failure to be patient. But it's diagnosed because labor is slowed, stalled or stopped. And as we started off this conversation, talking about how fear and cortisol and the catecholamines and stress hormones are the thing that block our oxytocin that can interfere with our natural mammalian instinct to give birth in a safe, quiet, undisturbed space. So when in doubt, think about what you can do to support your oxytocin. Even at home, creating the perfect birth environment can be challenging. We know there's going to be disruptions we know there's going to be some interventions at some point throughout our labor. But our job is to continue to come back to ways to support our oxytocin. Remember that oxytocin is the hormone of love. It's the hormone of labor. It's the hormone of bonding and it's the hormone of touch and love. So when you need to increase that oxytocin, bring your partner closer, have loving touch, get cozy, kiss, snuggle wrap yourself up in a warm blanket, whatever it is. As you need to do to feel safe, loved and protected, close the curtains, turn off the lights. Turn up some watery bubbling sounds or play your favorite relaxing music. kick people out of the room. Say No. And let that deep down nesting mammalian instinct. kick in and keep your birth space, the protected space it needs to be. And most importantly, remember, your safest and best birth is going to happen, not in the location that you think is safest for birth, but in the place where you feel safest.

If you enjoyed this podcast episode of the Down To Birth Show, please share with your pregnant and postpartum friends.

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Between episodes, connect with us on Instagram @DownToBirthShow to see behind-the-scenes production clips and join the conversation by responding to our questions and polls related to pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood.

You can reach us at Contact@DownToBirthShow.com or call (802) 438-3696 (802-GET-DOWN). 

To join our monthly newsletter, text “downtobirth” to 22828.

About Cynthia Overgard

Cynthia is a published writer, advocate, childbirth educator and postpartum support specialist in prenatal/postpartum healthcare and has served thousands of clients since 2007. 

About Trisha Ludwig

Trisha is a Yale-educated Certified Nurse Midwife and International Board Certified Lactation Counselor. She has worked in women's health for more than 15 years.

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