Aligned Birth

Ep 163: Birthing Bliss: Nurturing Your Ideal Labor Environment

July 10, 2024 Dr. Shannon and Doula Rachael Episode 163
Ep 163: Birthing Bliss: Nurturing Your Ideal Labor Environment
Aligned Birth
More Info
Aligned Birth
Ep 163: Birthing Bliss: Nurturing Your Ideal Labor Environment
Jul 10, 2024 Episode 163
Dr. Shannon and Doula Rachael

During labor, a beautiful dance occurs between oxytocin, endorphins, adrenaline, and cortisol. The body's innate wisdom craves calmness, peace, safety, and security, which helps labor progress more smoothly and allows hormones to work efficiently. However, the sights, sounds, and smells of hospitals can sometimes disrupt this flow, making it harder to enter the optimal "labor land" mindset where you feel safe, comfortable, and private. Whether planning a home or hospital birth, there are many ways to create a peaceful and secure birthing environment that encourages the natural flow of labor. In this episode, Dr. Shannon and Doula Rachael share several strategies to support the hormones of labor. Grab a pen and take notes!

Resources mentioned:

Episode 35: Essential oils for pregnancy, labor, and birth 

Support the Show.

Want to show your support? Want to help us continue doing this important and impactful work: Support the Show (we greatly appreciate it!)

Don't miss new episodes: Join the Aligned Birth Community

Instagram: Aligned Birth

Email: alignedbirthpodcast@gmail.com

Find us online:
Sunrise Chiropractic and Wellness
North Atlanta Birth Services

Editing: Godfrey Sound
Music: "Freedom” by Roa

Disclaimer: The information shared, obtained, and discussed in this podcast is not intended as medical advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional consultation with a qualified healthcare provider familiar with your individual medical needs. By listening to this podcast you agree not to use this podcast as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or others. Consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having. This disclaimer includes all guests or contributors to the podcast.

Aligned Birth Listener Support
Help us continue doing this important and impactful work.
Starting at $3/month
Support
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

During labor, a beautiful dance occurs between oxytocin, endorphins, adrenaline, and cortisol. The body's innate wisdom craves calmness, peace, safety, and security, which helps labor progress more smoothly and allows hormones to work efficiently. However, the sights, sounds, and smells of hospitals can sometimes disrupt this flow, making it harder to enter the optimal "labor land" mindset where you feel safe, comfortable, and private. Whether planning a home or hospital birth, there are many ways to create a peaceful and secure birthing environment that encourages the natural flow of labor. In this episode, Dr. Shannon and Doula Rachael share several strategies to support the hormones of labor. Grab a pen and take notes!

Resources mentioned:

Episode 35: Essential oils for pregnancy, labor, and birth 

Support the Show.

Want to show your support? Want to help us continue doing this important and impactful work: Support the Show (we greatly appreciate it!)

Don't miss new episodes: Join the Aligned Birth Community

Instagram: Aligned Birth

Email: alignedbirthpodcast@gmail.com

Find us online:
Sunrise Chiropractic and Wellness
North Atlanta Birth Services

Editing: Godfrey Sound
Music: "Freedom” by Roa

Disclaimer: The information shared, obtained, and discussed in this podcast is not intended as medical advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional consultation with a qualified healthcare provider familiar with your individual medical needs. By listening to this podcast you agree not to use this podcast as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or others. Consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having. This disclaimer includes all guests or contributors to the podcast.

Dr. Shannon (00:02.018)
Hello there, you are listening to the Aligned Birth Podcast. We've got both hosts today, Dr. Shannon Dula-Rachel, and it's another birthday topic day. And today's topic is setting up the birth cave. When she and I do these recordings, we try to sit down and do like batch recordings of things. So we're kind of on our second one of the morning shift that we take. So we do it kind of for about, for several hours we sit here and chat. And...

When I'm so excited about the episodes that we're doing today, we just recorded another really good one. This one's the birth cave and we have this wonderful little Google drive that we access with each other and there's a excel sheet in there has all of our topic lists And so I went through and I was like birth cave. I love this name It was one that rachel had put in there for forever ago So this has been on our list probably since the podcast has started But what is it? Why is it important?

This can be, and this is not just setting up a birth cave like for a home birth. This is setting up a birth cave wherever you're going to give birth because there's things that you can do in the hospital. There's things that you can do at the house, like lots of different things. Now they may differ as far as what you can do at a hospital, what you can do at a house, and each hospital is different. So yes, there's aspects to that. But why do you wanna set up your birth cave? Why is it important to set up this space?

that makes you feel safe and welcome and loved and comfortable. So I think you just answered the question like why are we setting up the birth cave? It's to help facilitate birth. So I'm really excited to chat with you today about this Rachel.

Rachael Hutchins (01:43.006)
Hi, Dr. Shannon. I know why you picked birth cave as the topic because you just said you're ready to go hibernate

Dr. Shannon (01:50.478)
I am ready to go hibernate. I know, as we're recording this, we were just talking about, we just got back from our fall break. So it was the end of September. We had two different fall breaks. And my family and I went to the beach. And then, you know, I come back and now it's like pumpkins. I'm like, I don't know, I'm not really ready for pumpkins. Yeah, we're in for a slap in the face.

Rachael Hutchins (02:07.362)
Well, this weekend the highs are only in the 60s and the lows are in the 40s and we're in Georgia. And it's been really warm. Um, we'll be getting a little glimpses of fall, but very excited for some fall-ish weather.

Dr. Shannon (02:17.155)
Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (02:23.578)
I'm yeah, but I was messaging a friend the other day too. And I was like, man, I am ready to hibernate.

Rachael Hutchins (02:29.802)
Hi, Brené. Well, I think that's funny because you said that and then I was like look at our topic Birth cave it's been on the list forever and then you're like birth cave. It spoke to you because you're like I want to go into a cave

Dr. Shannon (02:33.306)
I know, that's why I picked it. And we've never done it. And then I was like, what are we doing for it? I would like to go to a cave. I'm ready for it. But yeah, I wanna be, you know, comforted. I wanna wear flannel and fuzzy PJs.

Rachael Hutchins (02:46.088)
Oh, that's funny.

Rachael Hutchins (02:49.922)
Yeah, I know some people may not envision cave as comfy, but it's like a vibe. It's like a, it's like a place where like your birth cave can be whatever you want it to be, right? But it's really what makes you feel and you touched on this safe, private, supported, comfortable, loved. So like this cave doesn't obviously have to look like a real cave,

Dr. Shannon (02:54.047)
Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (03:09.567)
Mm-hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (03:19.634)
speaks to the primal part of labor to where a lot of people go especially in a like normal physiological unmedicated birth especially where you kind of really retreat. It's like an instinctual thing that people do without like being told to. It's like you kind of gravitate like you want to retreat. You don't want to be out around a bunch of strangers. You don't want to be in a

Dr. Shannon (03:32.753)
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (03:36.926)
Without being told, yeah, like it's in an eight thing.

Dr. Shannon (03:46.419)
Mm-hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (03:49.354)
I get it, there are births out there who want that, but for a lot of people, you tend to go inward and then you need to feel safe. Like you need to feel like you trust your provider, you trust your partner, you trust your people, you trust yourself, like you've gotta feel safe.

Dr. Shannon (03:49.788)
Oh yeah, they vibe on that.

Dr. Shannon (03:57.056)
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (04:06.474)
Well, and so this is funny I forgot that I had heard cave so recently in a podcast that I was Watching on Instagram. Oh my gosh. Anyways, you know how it goes. I was podcast that I was watching on Instagram What is going on? But it was like well, it's us. Yeah, it was like a little real and it's Courtney DeWalter So she's this amazing ultra marathon woman

Rachael Hutchins (04:20.207)
you are watching on Instagram. Okay, I guess that could be us too.

Dr. Shannon (04:32.158)
She just became the first athlete to ever win. It was Western States, which is a 100 mile race, hard rock, UTMB. She's insane. Then every time you see her, she has this giant smile on her face after running so far and you think it's so hard. She talks, someone asked her and it was like, how do you do it? Because it's not easy and there's got to be pain involved in it. She talks about the cave that she goes to in her mind when it's like, I can't do it anymore or this is too hard.

Rachael Hutchins (04:55.81)
Mm-hmm. Mm.

Dr. Shannon (05:01.838)
there's this cave that she goes to and it was this whole long thing. And it's a little bit different than, you know, the birth aspect. But I remember thinking that and I was like, that is really cool. So there's also this aspect of the birth cave creating this space. But then maybe there's the aspect of the mental. It's not only just it's like all the senses, but it's also the cave, like, you know, in the mind, maybe there's like the birth cave in the mind as well, too. Yeah.

Rachael Hutchins (05:26.286)
could not agree more. We actually were just talking about this with a client who is planning to deliver in a few weeks. She's like kind of into pregnancy and but she's also an athlete. So she's done a lot of training like CrossFit type stuff. And we asked her and we kind of asked some probing questions with our clients. And if there's like something they've done in their life where they've trained for in any sort of physical capacity, we latch on to that because there's so many parallels with

Dr. Shannon (05:38.768)
Mm-hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (05:56.262)
where you have to go to get through it. And we were like, okay, you're in your CrossFit class, you're doing your umpteenth rep of something really rigorous. You want to keep going, right? But where do you go? And she's like to a dark place. Not like dark, depressing place, but it's like a dark place.

Dr. Shannon (05:59.438)
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (06:08.654)
Where do you go? Not Dr. Pressing, exactly. And I thought that's so, I don't know, that's so beautiful. That just, I had no intention of even mentioning that with this episode, because when I had first saw it, so first, yes, I wanted to hibernate. Now then the cave came up, and now it's also the mental cave too. That's pretty cool.

Rachael Hutchins (06:29.526)
Yeah, yeah. And when you can see like, okay, so, and again, a lot of people have experienced some kind of physical fitness, like intense thing, maybe. It's easier to sort of, it's more likely that you've done something like that than given birth, right? So when we're trying to find these like access points to give them some insight into what is needed, we like when they've had some experience like that, because then we can, we use it because it's so, so true.

Dr. Shannon (06:39.376)
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (06:43.61)
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (06:55.072)
Mm-hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (06:55.35)
So in labor, so you've got the cave. So that's like supporting your, that's your external environment and it's supporting the hormones of labor and birth. That's the oxytocin and endorphins need to flow. And in order for those to flow, you have to feel safe, private, comfortable. And, because when you don't feel safe, private, comfortable, you have an increase in cortisol and adrenaline. And cortisol is your stress hormone.

Dr. Shannon (06:59.824)
Mm-hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (07:23.37)
Adrenaline is your fight or flight hormone and if we experience those too early in labor Slows down labor, but that's a biological or physiological response It's saying we're not safe here, baby It's we need to slow things down as much as possible so that we can protect mom and baby Now at the end of labor you have a spike in adrenaline because you need to get baby out because once you've progressed so far

Dr. Shannon (07:34.761)
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (07:49.579)
Mm-hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (07:49.846)
Like if you're in nature and a mammal is giving birth, like they need to speed things up so they can get away from the predator. We have similar, similar things happening with us. So later in labor, you have a spike in that, which is cool, serves a purpose as well, helps get the baby out. But in early labor or early inactive labor, like all before that, you wanna support oxytocin and endorphins so that labor can flow. So we don't have the responses of cortisol and endorphins. Those are different, like,

Dr. Shannon (07:55.147)
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (08:04.416)
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (08:11.886)
Mm-hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (08:18.882)
They're different nervous systems. They don't really flow at the same time. Um, so one will overtake the other if, if it is having more input, right? So if in your external environment, if, and this happens, tends to happen, can happen if you're shifting from home to hospital where you've gone from your comfort of your home, your cave-like things, your safe private, like you, you know, everyone around you to a very brightly lit.

Dr. Shannon (08:22.882)
Mm-hmm

Dr. Shannon (08:30.188)
Right.

Dr. Shannon (08:41.37)
Feeling safe and happy. Yeah

Rachael Hutchins (08:48.926)
a very sterile smelling, a very place full of new faces. While it's like intellectually, you know, it's safe, that's like you're choosing to birth there, there's still like an impact on, when you think about those things. So I like to also use the example of, if you can really pay attention to how you feel physiologically when you go to the doctor's office, you know, you have similar things, strangers, bright lights, sterile environment,

Dr. Shannon (08:52.343)
Uh huh.

Dr. Shannon (08:58.951)
Right, it's logically safe, but...

Dr. Shannon (09:11.342)
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (09:18.286)
Mm-hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (09:19.866)
Little bit faster heart rate, little bit hot, cold sweats, little bit like anxious, like that is your adrenaline starting to be like, okay, what's happening here? Cortisol, it's like we have these, it serves a role, it keeps us safe, right? It helps us protect ourselves. But understanding how that works in labor so that you can protect like your space so that the right hormones flow when they need to flow.

Dr. Shannon (09:21.912)
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (09:36.705)
Right.

Rachael Hutchins (09:46.914)
That's the goal here. So your external environment is your birth cave. And then the internal environment, the dark place, the dark cave that you go to is like mental aerobics. There's just like this thing you have to do at a certain point in labor in order to get through it. Maybe that's a conversation for another day. Cause that's like, you know, you're addressing two different things, both important though. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (09:58.548)
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (10:06.48)
Yeah, no, it's two different things. Yeah, and I think even the next conversation we're going to record, it's going to be about that aspect of things. But it's just a fun way to look at it.

Rachael Hutchins (10:16.238)
I like it because it's brutally honest. Like and it looks different for everyone because I really do think people, a lot of people preparing for birth who want unmedicated have a vision of their birth of being like kumbaya, right? And there are so many beautiful, peaceful, happy, orgasmic births. There's like a whole range but I do feel like that is not necessarily happening for everyone and everyone has like

Dr. Shannon (10:22.447)
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (10:31.108)
Right.

Dr. Shannon (10:35.879)
Mm-hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (10:44.546)
different experiences and preparing for like this dark place that you got to go to and how to access it and have it and dark doesn't mean bad it's like what you have to do to get through so I love that little tangent put a pin in that because I really do feel like I could talk about that for

Dr. Shannon (10:44.884)
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (10:51.57)
Mm-hmm. Right.

Dr. Shannon (10:58.514)
I know, or fun tangent. Could talk about the mental birth cave. I know, I know.

Rachael Hutchins (11:06.906)
I think it's a lot of mental a lot of mental I also feel like talking about the birth cave is helping you cope mentally It is helping set the tone of what you need

Dr. Shannon (11:15.282)
Mm-hmm. Yes, you're setting the ability for you to access the cave. I think that's how they're connected. Because when, so I had a patient in yesterday. I was telling her the episodes that we're going to record. She's pregnant now, just kind of midway through her pregnancy. And I was telling her about these episodes. And then she asked, my first birth was emergency cesarean. And she was asking me kind of the things that led to that. She just kind of wanted to know. So I was very honest as far as like,

Rachael Hutchins (11:20.646)
Yes. Yep.

Dr. Shannon (11:44.566)
this is what I think. And I remember going through and like we'd finally gotten to, we'd gotten to the hospital and everything and we're in the room and I'm laboring for, it feels like forever. I think it was about like 18 hours or so. I think I remember having these thoughts. And I was like, I'm really tired of that stupid rocking chair and it's brown and it's ugly and this room is bright and there's lots of blue and everything is blue and it just sucked. And I remember telling you, I was like, it just sucked and the rocking chair sucked. And so we were just laughing about it. Cause I was like, that was not.

a birth cave for me. And I still, I'm like, I really hated that rocking chair. You know, like, I just, I don't know what it was about those things. So that was not a happy birth cave for me. But that's where, that affected my nervous system. Uh-huh, uh-huh. Hehehehe.

Rachael Hutchins (12:26.386)
Yeah and sometimes the birth cave needs to change. Yeah yeah it does but were you able in the moment were you able to identify I hate this or was that a hindsight thing?

Dr. Shannon (12:38.322)
I don't know if it was a hindsight thing, but there's like an image I have in my mind and it was this one nurse leaving again, like all the nurses just kept coming and leaving because I was there for forever. And it was like, I just remember staring her walk out the room. She's dressed in all blue. She's cute as could be, very nice, very helpful. And then I saw that rocking chair and I just remembered that picture in my mind.

So I guess that I got back to it. I don't know if I was cursing the rocking chair at the time because I sat in, I actually used it. I didn't like it so much. Maybe it's hindsight, I have no idea. Yeah.

Rachael Hutchins (13:09.748)
Mm-hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (13:13.566)
Well, I do I think there are things that can set us off that we can like really disrupt us and disturb us in labor and again, we couldn't you couldn't have predicted that but I think the important thing is being able to Express it and identify it and I do think in labor. It's harder for people to shift their environment to shift something Because it just feels either Everyone's thinking oh the end is almost near or i'm in labor. It doesn't matter like

Dr. Shannon (13:18.698)
Mm-hmm. I wasn't expecting a rocking chair to...

Dr. Shannon (13:26.237)
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (13:33.057)
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (13:41.058)
Mm-hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (13:41.686)
Versus like, I'm gonna change this now in an effort to make the rest of labor go more smoothly. You know that it's like an inertia that's hard to overcome, to initiate it. So, again, a lot of things we talk about takes intentionality, takes communication with your partner and your doula and your team of like, this is what I really want so that they can help you achieve that, help support that. And then, you might say, I really want.

Dr. Shannon (13:45.402)
to make it better.

Dr. Shannon (13:49.402)
to initiate that.

Dr. Shannon (13:53.595)
Mm-hmm. Yes.

Dr. Shannon (14:00.706)
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (14:04.416)
Mm-hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (14:08.462)
twinkly lights because I want that birth cave vibe or whatever and then you really could like get into labor and be like no that's not working for me. So again flexibility but understanding why it works. So the nomenclature like this fun term birth cave is really about addressing your birth environment and this is at home as well as at the hospital and it's to facilitate the flow of the hormones we need in birth. Oxytocin that's your love

Dr. Shannon (14:19.467)
Mm-hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (14:37.878)
Your uterus has oxytocin receptors on them and over time from early labor all the way through they're building up and so the more oxytocin you produce the longer stronger your contractions are going to be which makes labor more efficient and we want labor to be efficient. Oxytocin is also released in your brain and helps you cope with pain. It helps reduce your pain perception and it's on a cycle.

Dr. Shannon (14:54.528)
Mm-hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (15:07.518)
on a loop. So it keeps going so long as that loop is being fed. And it's really cool that how it helps you cope with pain helps you perceive pain. Like so as your pain is increasing, oxytocin is increasing and helping you cope. So, you know, I've used this example before, but if you walk into labor at 10 centimeters, like without any hormones to help you cope or anything, it would be a very impossible thing to overcome. But with a slow steady build up oxytocin and endorphins over time.

Dr. Shannon (15:12.726)
Mm-hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (15:36.95)
you have more abilities to cope. Also being produced at the same time are endorphins and endorphins are neck and neck with morphine and how they help you, it's like nature's painkiller. And those are, that's your happy hormone. So you got your love hormone going, your happy hormone going, and we want those to just flow freely. And in order for those to flow freely, you need to feel loved, connected, safe, private, comfortable. We've said this many times, but we're gonna keep saying it

Dr. Shannon (15:45.974)
Mm-hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (16:06.298)
the goal of the birth cave whatever you want to make your birth cave be that's what you need to feel because that's what's going to help the hormones flow. For some people it's watching a comedy show because laughing just really makes you know the oxytocin flow for them but we talk specifically here about like the birth cave in like the let's have that calm environment

Dr. Shannon (16:10.854)
Mm-hmm. Because that looks different for everybody.

Rachael Hutchins (16:34.25)
maybe a darker environment, private, that's like, I think a good place to start. Especially if in labor you're feeling more stressed and this is another thing to touch on too. So at home, the birth cave happens more organically. You have, you can turn off your lights, you can get in the tub, you can eat your food, take a shower, be in your bed with your blankets and your pillows and you kind of have these things more organically.

Dr. Shannon (16:40.875)
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (16:51.802)
I'm going to go ahead and turn it off.

Rachael Hutchins (17:02.946)
But when you do shift to the hospital and you're coming up against the things that you're going to come up against in the place you've chosen to get birth, but that's part of it, but it can be overcome by getting through, you know, get through triage, you get this through that part. And when you get into your room, you set up your room, your hospital room as if it's home as many things that you can bring in. And we're going to, I'm going to share some tips of like how to kind of transform your hospital room into your birth cave.

Dr. Shannon (17:10.401)
Mm-hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (17:32.21)
Um, because that's where it's like, okay, I've been at home, I've been rocking and rolling, and now I'm shifting. And not only are you having to get through like triage and overcome bright lights, strange faces, sterile environment, cold, all those things. Now you're in your room that also feels the same way. So what can you do? Right? I like to also bring the parallel of like, what makes you feel better when you don't feel well? So and for most of us women are cycles.

Dr. Shannon (17:49.316)
Mm-hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (17:59.97)
when we're PMSing or having our period is a good thing to draw on. Like what feels good to you during that time? Usually, comforting warm foods, a heating pad, a bed, comfortable bed with your pillow, your blanket, curled up, cozy, usually not a lot of people around. Or if you're, you know, you can talk about being sick too but I don't wanna go too much into that because being pregnant is not being sick at all.

Dr. Shannon (18:10.394)
Mm-hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (18:28.618)
or giving birth is not being sick, but it's like, what do we like? What makes us feel better when we're not feeling well? And for a lot of people, it's some of those things I just shared here. So I want you to sort of like try and translate that to labor of like, what can I do to help me feel better in labor or more at home or more comfortable? So the things that you can consider are sight. So dimming the lights, hanging.

Dr. Shannon (18:30.4)
Right.

Dr. Shannon (18:34.454)
feeling good. Yeah.

Rachael Hutchins (18:56.974)
twinkly lights, twinkly lights just have an effect. Like turning off overhead lights, like those fluorescent lights in hospitals are the worst. They're stress inducing for anybody. So turn off those lights, you can, right? You have rights, you can turn off the, you know, and then request the staff to only use lights that are necessary. We have lights in our bags that are, they're twinkly lights and,

Dr. Shannon (18:58.21)
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (19:06.377)
Mm-hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (19:25.594)
Many nurses have said these lights are great because they provide enough light like to see but they're but they're still twinkly they still give the vibe.

Dr. Shannon (19:32.02)
Yeah, that they're useful, but they set the mood, the vibe. Yeah.

Rachael Hutchins (19:38.318)
but they're bright enough to where nurses don't feel like they need to turn on overhead lights which is super cool and they comment on that like oh this is great so that's less disruption to the environment but twinkly lights just have an effect think about how you feel about like looking at a Christmas tree a lot of people it gives a good warm feeling. Another thing is an eye mask so if it's daytime or even like getting through triage when there's lots of bright lights like

Dr. Shannon (19:43.699)
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (19:48.203)
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (19:57.968)
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (20:03.31)
Hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (20:05.45)
an eye mask and really force you to keep your eyes closed and force you to go towards the dark place because you've got the eye mask on because it's really hard to keep your eyes closed. Yeah, some of the stimulation and then kind of forcing you to do that if you could do like they make them with essential like lavender or you could warm it up to or make it cold like whatever you want to do to help make that you I think that's a great tip for getting through triage. I like eye mask and

Dr. Shannon (20:12.568)
Mm-hmm. You're taking away some of those other senses. Yeah. Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (20:24.393)
Mm-hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (20:34.29)
Earpods or earplugs for your ears to get through to try and keep the stimulation to a minimum Then sound so we have sight and then sound so in the hospital there's a lot of chirping and beeping and people talking so Trying to keep it quiet. You can put a sign on the door You know so that people come in they're using softer voices

Dr. Shannon (20:34.646)
EarPods. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm

Dr. Shannon (20:43.019)
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (20:52.586)
Mm-hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (21:01.922)
As a doula, we always talk in very soft voices and that kind of helps everyone else do the same. Playing music either on a wireless speaker or in, I like the direct in-ear ear pods because it's like more of a direct sensory effect. So whatever, have options, you can bring both or earplugs to help keep sound out if you don't, if music is too stimulating.

Dr. Shannon (21:06.628)
Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (21:14.859)
Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (21:19.41)
Exactly.

Rachael Hutchins (21:30.766)
and trying to keep chatter for other, if you have other people in the room, like really trying to focus like on quiet and not a lot of like other conversation unless you're like leading that or asking for that.

Dr. Shannon (21:43.874)
I was gonna say unless that's, yeah, what you want. Yeah.

Rachael Hutchins (21:48.018)
Yeah, and then the other is the scent. So hospitals have a very sterile smell. We want them to be clean, but that comes with a certain smell. And so if you want to bring your own little diffuser, or just have like the roll-on essential oils for your wrist so that you can just give a little like sniff. And you don't have to be like a big essential oil person to

Dr. Shannon (21:51.246)
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (21:56.071)
Yes.

Dr. Shannon (22:06.466)
Mm-hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (22:11.81)
to use essential oils in birth. I think lavender is a very common one that a lot of people like. It's very relaxing. It's very pleasant. Citrus oils are good, like orange or lemon. Peppermint is good if you're feeling a little nauseous. And

Dr. Shannon (22:21.072)
Orange is really good. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (22:27.902)
And we have an episode too, I'll, we'll put it in the show notes about essential oils during pregnancy. So we have, we go all through that.

Rachael Hutchins (22:31.23)
Oh yeah, all on the essential oils. Yeah. But I, anytime I've been in a birth and I've been like using essential oils, like the staff is always like, this is amazing. And then like one of my favorite tricks is to get a bowl of ice water and I take a rag and I put it in there and I put a few drops of orange and I ring the rag out, so now I have a cold rag infused with orange oil and I wafted over their face and it never fails. The response is almost always like,

Dr. Shannon (22:42.055)
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (23:01.294)
Mm-hmm. Yeah. Uh-huh.

Rachael Hutchins (23:02.238)
And it's just like the smallest thing, right? So essential oils. So we have sight, sound, scent. So the three S's. We're gonna address those things and be like, what can I bring in to make it be what I want? And then home-like things. So reminder, you can bring your own robe or your own labor clothes. You can bring your own pillow, your own blanket, your own socks. Everyone at the hospital gets size XL.

Dr. Shannon (23:08.11)
Definitely.

Dr. Shannon (23:23.358)
Yeah, yes, definitely. You're in slippers. Yeah.

Rachael Hutchins (23:32.438)
bright yellow or some crazy like grippy socks that they require you to wear to go to and from the bathroom. Bring your own socks or your own slippers like it just feels so good those are your creature comforts those are your things like you want to hang out in on the weekends like and it's okay it might feel like you're moving in I think it's worth it you don't have to bring all of this but like think about what means like if you have your favorite pillow or favorite blanket like our favorite thing t-shirt I don't know whatever it is like that's going to help you feel comfortable and you're going to be able to rest.

Dr. Shannon (23:44.847)
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (23:51.613)
Oh yeah.

Dr. Shannon (23:58.738)
Mm-hmm. And I still have my robe. I still have my robe that I wore when I was at the hospital with Ethan. I love that robe. I still love that thing. And I think about that. And the.

Rachael Hutchins (24:03.787)
Mm-hmm.

Yeah.

Yeah, some people say the first intervention is the hospital gown. Cause it's like, it says hospital property or it's heavy and like not very soft and someone else has worn it and like, but it seems like a no big deal. You're like, it's just a robe and some people could really care less. And I can tell when people truly don't care. But for those, if you're like this, this is one little thing I could do. Like make it home-like. So make your labor and delivery room.

Dr. Shannon (24:12.286)
Uh huh. Has for it. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (24:19.846)
It's yeah, it's foreign. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (24:29.988)
Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (24:34.56)
Mm-hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (24:38.862)
home like another great tip. Oh, no, go ahead.

Dr. Shannon (24:40.094)
And maybe, sorry, I was gonna say, it just came to me though, as far as maybe like have these things in the car, you know, packed and you don't necessarily have to have them all at like once, you know, so it could be something as you go along that you didn't realize, you know, we have the robe in the car, I didn't think I wasn't, the gown was gonna be this big of an issue, but can we go get that? So that way maybe it feels better that you didn't, you're not feeling like you're moving in.

Rachael Hutchins (25:00.746)
Yeah.

Rachael Hutchins (25:06.103)
Right.

Dr. Shannon (25:06.562)
that could maybe make you feel overwhelmed too, but then you can at least access it then as far as like kind of bringing it along or maybe, you know, something you didn't necessarily think that you were going to like or want or need. It would still be good to have it with you. Mm-hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (25:12.586)
Mm-hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (25:20.31)
Yeah, you can have like a reserve. Yeah, 100%. And we do also say like have your labor bags and then have your postpartum bags and you don't have to bring them all up. That's another way to make it feel like you're bringing less up like all the stuff for the baby if you have like postpartum PJs or nursing tanks or whatever like, because you transition to another room for postpartum. So we say like, you can send your husband doula family member, it's a great to do task for somebody to bring your other like kind of swap out your stuff.

Dr. Shannon (25:29.782)
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (25:38.018)
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (25:42.511)
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (25:49.714)
Exactly. Yes, yeah. No, no. Only if it's like, if it's overwhelming for you to be like, God, I don't wanna think that. Yeah, but who cares? Yeah, bring all the things.

Rachael Hutchins (25:49.762)
So it feels like it's less stuff. So I'm all about that. But also it's okay to bring stuff. Don't worry about what people think. Ha ha ha.

Rachael Hutchins (26:02.462)
Right. Yeah. Bring all the things. But the last tip I'll share too is that the bathroom and the hospital is also a great place to set up a cave-like environment, especially upon admittance. So you've come through triage, like that's a big shift. So I just say go directly into the bathroom, close the door, you know, if you have any sort of...

Dr. Shannon (26:13.434)
Hmm. I didn't even think about that.

Rachael Hutchins (26:27.806)
Electric, that's the other thing is electric, like tea light candles, even just one in the bathroom can make it feel all like romantic and cozy. Have your phone play some music or not, you know, whatever you want. But then sit on the toilet, empty your bladder, like hang out there for a minute. Take like a reset. It's dark. It's private and people really, especially in the bathroom. They're not going to barge in. If you stay in there too long, they're eventually going to like ask you to come out because they're going to want to like check on the baby and stuff. But it's a good place to go and be like, you know, take a minute, take a beat.

Dr. Shannon (26:44.419)
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (26:54.643)
Mm-hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (26:57.706)
reset or at any point in labor you need a reset bathroom close the door hang out

Dr. Shannon (27:04.222)
Mm-hmm. So that's like you can create like a cave within the cave. You've got the birth cave there, then you go into the bathroom cave. So then you can go into your mental cave. There's layers. Yeah. I love it. I love when the conversations go in areas where I'm like, I wasn't expecting all the caves. Those are really good.

Rachael Hutchins (27:08.619)
Yeah.

Rachael Hutchins (27:14.162)
Yeah, exactly. Yes. Layers, layers upon layers.

Rachael Hutchins (27:23.734)
What's even thinking of that?

Dr. Shannon (27:30.478)
Those are really good things. They're very simple, they're very easy. It's not very complicated. And it just takes some effort beforehand, you know? But it can make all the difference, yes.

Rachael Hutchins (27:38.662)
Yep. And then I think understanding the benefits, like the process of what your body is going through and why it matters. Some people will be like it feels materialistic or it feels extra or it feels whatever. But it's like if you understand the benefits of it and why it would be something you could try to help you, I think then it's like, okay, yeah, but you got to, you got to be open to it. Yeah. Just some tips, some ideas. I love it.

Dr. Shannon (27:49.014)
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (27:59.802)
Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

Dr. Shannon (28:04.374)
Yep, yep, yep. I know. I love it. Thanks for listening friends. Stay tuned next week for another episode


(Cont.) Ep 125: Setting Up Your Birth Cave