Here are my 5 steps to make your hospital room feel more like home

Here are my 5 steps to make your hospital room feel more like home

“the best environment to have your baby is the same environment where you could make a baby– or at least have a good time trying”

Dr Sarah Buckley

Whether you’re birthing in a hospital or birth centre, it’s important your space makes you feel:

1. Private
2. Safe
3. Unobserved

In “Ten Moons”, Jane Hardwicke Collings gives the example of a cat, “Everyone knows that cats need to give birth undisturbed in a dark, secluded place- perhaps preparing a softly lined box in the darkest corner of the furthest room underneath the bed. And everyone who knows about cats understands that you must never disturb a cat in labour or a newly delivered cat and her litter of kittens, otherwise the cat’s labour will stop or she may reject her kittens. Everyone who knows cats knows this.”

As a mammal, you’re no different to the mama cat. When you feel private, safe and unobserved, your body releases endorphins, the hormone that provides natural pain relief and an efficient labour and birth. If you’ve been labouring at home and you arrive at the hospital where your room is bright, unfamiliar medical staff are speaking loudly and you’re made to put on a hospital gown, your labour may stall or slow down. However, if your room makes you feel “at home”, your labour will continue to progress.

Five Steps to Make Your Hospital Room Feel More Like Home


Lighting: You feel more comfortable and uninhabited when the lights are dim when you make love right? It’s the same for labour and birth. Draw the curtains or blinds, turn off the fluorescents or dim the lights. Or switch on a lamp or turn the bathroom light on and leave the door ajar. Or you could take your own fairy lights to add a touch of romance. Or use some LED tea lights and scatter them around the room.

Decorate: Bring photos from home of other children, pets, loved ones or your favourite place and stick them on the wall so you can feel their presence and support.

People: Only have people in your birthing room that you trust and get a good vibe from to help your labour to progress. This could be your partner, family members or a doula. If you’re not comfortable with medical students in your room, say so. You could also add this to your Birth Wishes.

Equipment: throw a sarong or sheet over any unsightly medical equipment or clocks that might throw you off your game.


Clothing: Instead or wearing a scratchy hospital gown that gapes at the back, change into your own labouring clothes. Perhaps one of your husband’s over- sized t- shirts that smells like him and your home or anything you feel comfortable in.

Robe: At times during your labour you may feel hot or cold so take a robe from home (after your baby is born you can open your robe and put your baby onto your chest but stay warm).

Sheets: put a sheet or over the plastic floor mats and bean bags so they feel softer against your skin.


Hospitals can be noisy so block out distracting sounds.

Music: Research shows that the effective use of music during labor lowers anxiety and pain perception as well as increases emotional and physical comfort.” Make playlists of your favourite songs. Choose a variety of songs that makes you feel energetic and motivated or calm and relaxed. Playing music may also make your feel more confident using sound during labour and birth.

Listening to the same music when you’re pregnant can be calming and reassuring to both you and your baby during labour.

Either play on the hospital’s bluetooth speakers if they have them or take your own or wear bluetooth headphones if you want to go deep within.

Ear Plugs: If you want to block out the noise around you, use ear plugs.

Chatter: Write in your birth wishes that you’d like any visitors in your room to speak to each other and to you calmly and quietly.

Phones: Write in your birth wishes (and remind your birthing partner) to turn their phones onto silent so as not to distract you.


Let’s face it, hospitals smell nasty! Research shows that smell triggers memories and emotions. So mask the hospital smells with essential oils. Using these same essential oils during pregnancy at times you’re calm and relaxed can evoke these same feelings in labour. Essential oils smell nice and they provide emotional support. Lavender is calming and relaxing whilst wild orange and peppermint are uplifting and energising.

Diffuser: Use a diffuser like this which also helps to humidify and purify the air. Just add water and 3-5 drops of your chosen essential oil. If you’re unable to use an electric diffuser in your birth room you can make a spritz and pack it in your hospital bag.

Spritz: Add 25 drops of essential oil to a 4oz spray bottle and top with distilled or purified water. Use as a room, linen spray or face spritz.

Apply Topically: Add a teaspoon of fractionated coconut oil into the palm of your hand and a drop or 2 of essential oil and rub onto your pulse points.

Inhale: Holding your hand like a funnel over the opening of the essential oil bottle, take a few deep breaths in breathing in all that essential oil goodness.

Pillow: take your own pillow which smells like home.

Your Partner: Cuddling up to your partner and smelling him can help you to relax.


Eat homemade snacks like bliss balls, cut up fruit and veggies, dip, a smoothie or soup to give your energy and stamina. Eating good quality snacks from home will make you feel like a strong, confident birthing woman rather than a sickly hospital patient.

From the list above, plan what you’ll need and then delegate the job of creating an environment that is private, safe and unobserved to your birth partner or doula and ask them to manage this throughout your labour and birth.

To ensure your labour continues to progress when you arrive at the hospital or birth centre, stay at home as long as safely possible, ideally with support from your midwife or doula.

Are you a tired, pregnant mama? Get your free 20 minute Guided Deep Relaxation (Yoga Nidra) to take you from exhausted to energised. Fill in your details HERE and I’ll send it to your inbox for you to download.

I’d love to hear your comments and questions in the COMMENTS below.

Must Ask Questions On Your Hospital Tour

Must Ask Questions On Your Hospital Tour

If you’ve decided to birth in a hospital or a birth centre, take a tour to become familiar with the space and to help you decide what you will or won’t need to pack in your hospital bag. Being familiar with the space and knowing what labour props they have helps to eliminate fear of the unknown when it’s time to go to hospital and helps you to clearly visualise your birth.

Stay at home as long as safely possible, ideally with support from your midwife or doula. Transferring to hospital too early can slow down or stall your labour.


  • When should I come in?
  • What’s the phone number I call to let you know that I am in labour?
  • Where should we park?
  • Where should we check- in and what documents do I need to have with me?
  • After I check- in, what are the next steps?
  • Who do I give a copy of my birth wishes to?


  • Can I see a room that is similar to the one I will labour and birth in?
  • Are the lights dimmable? Are there lamps? Can I bring LED candles?
  • Can I use diffuse essential oils in my electronic diffuser?
  • Is there a bath or a birthing pool that I can use?
  • What labour props do you have? For eg. birth balls, peanut balls, padded floor or yoga mats, bean bags, birth stool or squatting bar.
  • Do you have bluetooth speakers? If not, can I bring my own?
  • Do you have WIFI and can I use it? (If not, check your network is accessible in the labour ward/ birth centre).
  • Can I take photos/ videos?


  • I’d like to get my placenta encapsulated. Can I take my placenta home? If so, can you store it in your fridge?
  • Do you have a lactation consultant on staff to help me learn to breastfeed? When is she available and how often?
  • Is there a microwave that I can use to heat up home- cooked meals? And a fridge where I can store food?
  • How long will I stay in hospital after birth?
  • Once I’m discharged, what postnatal support is available?


  • What’s your Visitor Policy?
  • Can my partner stay overnight? If so, will they sleep in a cot, couch, recliner, etc? Is there an extra cost?

This is your birth, your body and your baby. It’s your birthright to ask for what you want during labour, birth and the postnatal period. Becoming an empowered mama starts from the moment you conceive. Practise asking for what you want now during pregnancy so it becomes second nature during labour, birth and beyond.

Are you a tired, pregnant mama? Get your free 20 minute Guided Deep Relaxation (Yoga Nidra) to take you from exhausted to energised. Fill in your details HERE and I’ll send it to your inbox for you to download.

I’d love to hear your comments and questions in the COMMENTS below.