This is an interesting one, because things are different during the age of COVID than they were before (as are many, many things, of course.) But, the fact remains that many of our clients ask how they can prepare their space so that we can be comfortable if we are at their home for a long while during their labor and birth. For the purposes of this post, we will separate out the info into both pre- and during-COVID categories – if you are reading this is in a post-COVID world, where everything is back to normal (yay!), then apply the pre-COVID advice.
In either case, please keep in mind that these are only friendly suggestions, as we are quite used to coming prepared to meet our own needs during a birth.
In a normal world, we ask people to think of a space in your home, such as a guest bedroom, where we might be able to lay down to sleep in a long labor. If there is not a spare bedroom, not to worry – we will be perfectly happy in a basement living room on a spare couch, or something of that nature.
Even if it is not an overnight labor during which we might sleep, it is still lovely to have a space that is out of the way for us to take a break, eat a snack, do some charting, etc. Sometimes, of course, we don’t have time for that, but many times we do.
Speaking of snacks, in answer to the oft-asked question of what we would like to eat while at your home, we are perfectly content with snacky foods, such as cheese and crackers, fruit, granola bars, and the like. We are not afraid to make ourselves some scrambled eggs, a quesadilla, or a peanut butter sandwich if needed.
It is a little trickier to figure out all of these details with COVID restrictions. For example, since we have to wear masks in your home, it’s not so easy to sleep inside the house during those long labors. This past summer, we perfected the fine art of sleeping in our cars, which doesn’t work so well during the winter months. If it’s too cold to sleep outside, a good alternative is if you have a spare room that isn’t used (or hasn’t been for a few days before the birth), where we can close the door and remove our mask to sleep. If that doesn’t work, we have become pretty good at napping with masks on (hey, if we didn’t laugh, we’d cry, right?)
It is so lovely to have a place to remove our masks to take a break, eat a snack, and do some charting. If it’s warm enough, an outdoor space is perfect for this.
As for the food, this is also a lot less fun during COVID. For now, we are mostly bringing our own food, but we know how important it is to some to have something for us (and we thank you!). If you’d like to put snacks out for us, prepackaged items like packages of crackers, cheese sticks, granola bars, nuts, sparkling water, etc., work wonderfully.
In the end, we don’t wish you to spend too much energy on making things perfect for us, but we want you to know how much we appreciate the thoughtful things you do to make us comfortable. Thank you!