Optimising Your Birthing Environmentkaren

During HypnoBirthing classes you will learn about the powerful hormones at work during labour and birth – Oxytocin (the hormone of love), Endorphins (your body’s natural pain killers), Catecholamines (your survival hormones, activated when you perceive you are in danger), and finally Prolactin (the hormone of tender mothering and responsible for breastmilk synthesis). HypnoBirthing utilises what is scientifically known about the hormones of labour and birth. We know that for the birthing hormones to work optimally a birthing Mum needs to feel private, safe and unobserved. Your birthing companion will learn specific techniques to support your natural birthing instincts.

An understanding of these important hormones is essential. Being educated about them will allow you to make informed decisions during labour. You will gain the tools to know how to increase your oxytocin and endorphin level so that you may experience your birth from a place of calm. You will learn about the adverse effects of fear in labour, and you will see how having this understanding combined with the many and varied tools and techniques will empower you.

Dr Sarah Buckley (home birth mother of four), writes in her paper ‘Ecstatic Birth: Nature’s Hormonal Blueprint for Labour’: “Giving birth in ecstasy: This is our birthright and our body’s intent. Mother Nature, in her wisdom, providing birthing hormones that take us outside (‘ec”) our usual state (‘statis’), so that we can be transformed on every level as we enter motherhood. This exquisite hormonal orchestration unfolds optimally when birth is undisturbed, enhancing safety for both mother and baby.”

Setting up your birthing environment is important to help create a space that will allow the exquisite hormonal cocktail to unfold as it was intended. When we think of the birthing environment couples tend to think of the place of birth as the only environment. However, hopefully you will labour at home for as long as possible – this is another environment to consider. If you are birthing at a hospital or birth centre you will also need to think about the environment in the car as you travel to your destination.

Here are some practical suggestions to create an environment that allows your natural birthing hormones to unfold as nature intended:

At Home

  • Blinds down/Dim lighting
  • Candles
  • Warm temperature
  • Well prepared in advance
  • Concentrate on breathing
  • Set up for success
  • Hugs
  • Usual routine
  • Breathe together
  • Light Touch Massage
  • Birth companion doing shoulder anchor
  • Hospital bag ready to go
  • Dim lighting
  • Do breathing exercises where you practised at home
  • Have a calming room
  • Turn phone off/silent
  • Birth companion get things for relaxation

Massage oil (Perfect potion sells a ‘Labour Oil’ with Clary Sage as one of the ingredients. We know that Clary Sage is an essential oil that can assist surges to be as effective as possible

In the Car / On the Way to the Hospital

  • Quite or soothing music
  • Concentrate on breathing
  • Drive smoothly and calmly
  • Positive talk in the car ride
  • Bring blanket to keep warm
  • Close eyes and focus
  • Eye mask
  • Trust driver
  • Know way to hospital ahead of time
  • Have enough petrol

At Hospital / Birthing Center

  • Soothing music
  • Dim lights
  • Create a sense of your own space, bring familiar items/smells – pillow from home, wearing your own comfy clothes
  • Bring your own perfume for Birth Companion to spray in the room
  • Ear phones (make sure MP3/Ipod charged) .. bring own CD player if u want to play CDs
  • Eye mask – check out our ZenBands Eye mask/headband/earphones in our shop
  • Limited questions/intrusions from outsiders
  • Be familiar with the hospital in advance
  • Familiarity with staff
    Low volume talking/whispering
  • HypnoBirthing sign on the door
    Light Touch Massage
  • Birth companion doing shoulder anchor
  • Give copy of Birth Preferences to staff – have plenty of copies/change over staff
    Communicate via Birth Companion
  • Comfortable position
  • Doing what feels comfortable and good rather than forced
  • Massage oil


Now that you have some concrete ideas of how to create a beautiful birthing environment, contact your nearest HypnoBirthing Educator to learn the skill of how to create the ideal birthing environment in your mind. Your state of mind is of utmost importance. During classes we cover relaxation, breathing and ultra-deepening techniques. These techniques help a birthing Mum to go within her birthing body and enter an almost amnesiac state.

We wish for you, a Happy and Positive Birthing Day!


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