Updated: Dec 14, 2019
We are all (too?) familiar with the Danish concept of Hygge right?? Something positive, cosy, safe and known, referring to a psychological state which promotes wellbeing. This is all well and good for eating those cinnamon buns but doesn’t this sound bloody perfect for your birth environment too?
If you’re planning a homebirth, here are a few tips on how you can create this feeling in your own home and let the Hygge flow...
In stark contrast to the bright, sterile lighting often found in hospitals, being in control of your homebirth environment means you can create whatever lighting atmosphere you like. Much of labour often takes places at night or in the early hours of the morning when it is still dark outside (a throwback to our evolutionary roots and our animal instinct to give birth at night, unobserved and out of the sight of predators in daylight).
If you have dimmer switches make the most of these and dim those overhead lights. Alternatively dispense entirely with the main lights and create lots of gentle, warm light with the use of lamps around the room. Aside from a corner for the midwife to be able to see her notes, there is in fact no reason why you can’t have the room as dark as you like. Salt lamps, lighting projectors, optic fibres and lava lamps are just some of the ways women choose to get creative with their lighting.
And let’s not forget of course the magic of the candle. While IKEA/ Amazon do a great selection of battery operated tea lights that I recommend women birthing in hospital pack in their bags, one of the many beauties of staying at home is that you can of course have real candle light flickering in your own home. And as many of them as you like (anyone else imagining a scene from Meat Loaf’s Anything For Love music video?!)
Sticking to the candle theme for a moment, there are some wonderful scented candles on the market, and it is worth spending some time selecting a scent that works for you. Scent is SUCH a personal choice and never more so than when you’re pregnant and have a heightened sense of smell. Personally I love the HYP range of candles which are all-natural pregnancy candles, made with organic essential oils. The Calm one in particular was designed to be used in conjunction with Hypnobirthing practice and is blended with oils known to support deep relaxation throughout pregnancy, helping to soothe tension, relieve anxiety and calm the mind. Room sprays are another way of inducing calm in your environment, and I am a particular fan of Neal’s Yard Organic Aromatherapy Room Spray Calming which contains rose and geranium oils. Lavender oil is an ever popular choice, and a few drops on a cold flannel placed on your forehead is magic.
A huge influence on your environment is of course your choice of playlist. At home you can hook up your speakers in whatever room you fancy and play your choice of music at whatever volume you wish! I always suggest creating around 8 hours worth of music on a playlist (there's nothing worse to remind you of the passage of time than the same 10 songs on loop) and to mix it up with your Hypnobirthing tracks and positive affirmations.
Do not underestimate the beauty of having the contents of your own fridge to hand. Cool drink? Check. Ice lollies? Check. Cinnamon bun? Knock yourself out.
Your own pillows… towels… and bed.
One of the many advantages of giving birth at home is the fact that you are surrounded by your home comforts. You will of course need a heap of towels and can get comfortable with as many pillows and cushions as you like. But ultimately nothing beats having that first shower in your own bathroom and getting into your own bed with your new baby.
Have you got any tips for creating your very own homebirth hygge? Please do share them.