It doesn't require a secret garden...
but privacy affects your birth.
I'm sure you'd agree with me when I say: it's hard to perform a private act when it feels like the public is present! Imagine trying to empty your bladder while three or four people you don't know are watching - yikes!
Here's the deal - having a baby is a very private act and I'm going to tell you why privacy matters!
There are four pillars for birth:
Food, Water, Protection and Privacy.
Food and Water are rather self explanatory.
Protection may mean myriad things: a good midwife, a hospital, your partner.
Privacy is the umbrella for: dim lighting, quiet tones, personal space, etc.
And though it doesn't require a secret garden, privacy (or the lack thereof!) will affect your birth.
As a doula, part of my job is help you tap into your intuition and identify how to promote your style of privacy. Your birth is not about me; it's about you and together we will hunt to find meaning to:
• who belongs in your space on the day you labor and birth?
• where do you envision laboring and birthing and what assumptions are you making about those choices?
• how do you personally best tap into your own inner coping and resources?
• should your space become interrupted, how do we get your back on track and moving forward?
Additionally, we've long known that catecholamines have the ability to slow down and even stop labor. Adrenaline ( a well known catecholamine) spurns a flight, fight or freeze response. Though appropriate levels are normal for both mom and baby, if a perceived or real fear arrives in her space, a woman's body potentially responds by slowing and perhaps stopping the labor until said fear is relieved - one way or another. A sudden bright light, loud voice, new person, or beeping machine might draw an unwanted reaction by the laboring body. Privacy is a key factor to keeping adrenaline at bay.
As a woman approaching labor, normal levels of anxiousness are expected and even normal. Doing some research and inner work in advance can help to way lay much of that uncomfortable feeling. When considering birth, be mindful of all your senses:
• sight - flourescent lighting is not conducive
• smell - be sure your birth team leaves fragrance at home
• touch - have your bedding and clothing readily available to you in hospital setting
• sound - background music; maybe yes but maybe no; tone of voices; semantics used
• even taste! - childlike popsicle or miso soup?
Privacy affects birth...prepare, as well, to be interrupted - you're human and it's probably going to happen! A bit of work, in advance, can save you tons of frustration in the moment.