One of the important tasks I do for my clients is to set up their hospital birth room for comfort, safety and efficiency. Here’s a list of what I take care of I go into a birth room. In my local hospital the birth rooms all have a small closet, mini-fridge, blanket-warmer, some empty shelves and an adjoining private washroom with a tub. If you’re DIYing then find out ahead of time what your local birth rooms are like and modify as needed.
This info is also available on my You Tube Channel as a Birth Room Set-up Video.
Number one: Wash your hands when you get into the room. You can use the sink in the washroom or the sink in the main room.
Number two: Deal with all the stuff that you brought.
- Jackets can hang on the hooks behind the door.
- There’s a closet in the corner where you can put some things.
- The best place to stash your stuff is under the sink in the bathroom if you don’t need it e.g. the bag for the mother baby unit. The counter-top in there is usually big enough to hold a small bag.
- If you have computers or little bags put those in the windowsill.
- Food in the fridge or on the shelf above the fridge.
- Make sure you keep a nice clear path in the middle of the room.
- Don’t put anything on the big carts. The narrow rolly table is for you to use.
- Avoid the potential “Splash Zone” – TMI LOL – don’t leave stuff facing the end of the bed
- Small things you need access to such as phones, TENS machine, hot-water bottle etc can go on window sill.
Number three: Set the environment in the room with things such as music and lighting.
- You can turn lights on and off, use a nightlight, use battery-candles. It’s nice to put the latter on the shelves facing the foot of the bed, where the linen goes.
- Get your phone chargers out because batteries can die pretty quick searching online connections.
- Arrange the chairs and your rolly-table to allow for ease of movement. Caution, those chairs are heavier than they look.
Number four: Linens.
Ensure the blanket warmer is full. If not grab a couple of the big flannel sheets (what we call blankets at RGH) on the shelf above the warmer and put them in the blanket warmer. If there aren’t a couple extras then you can ask the nurse for some. Every time I go to a birth room I have to fill up the blanket warmer. Keep an eye on that blanket warmer through the birth; keep it filled.
Hot tip: The blankets on the bottom are the warmest.
Number five: Comfort.
- Birth ball – is there one available and it is the right size?
- Squat-bar – is there one available?
- Run a bath (or ask nurse). Water temp can fluctuate; aim for the warm end of the green-zone.
- Moving the bed to a comfortable shape/position. You are allowed to use the buttons on the bed’s side-panel for that.
- If you brought a pillow / blankets / hot water bottle then keep those handy.
- You have to know where the lip balm and hair ties are! Also the sandals or flip-flops or slippers.
- Partner comfort is important too. Have an extra jacket or hoodie accessible as those rooms get cold overnight! Always lay a flannel sheet on the reclining chair before you sit or lay on it, so you don’t feel hot and clammy from the vinyl. (Ditto for when you use the bed in the Mother-Baby Unit.)
I currently offer online hospital tours, which means you can ask questions along the way and learn some great tips for your birth. You’ll see your path from front doors to the birth unit, then tour the unit and see a room, and then see the Mother-Baby unit and room.
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