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Whilst you’re are pregnant and getting ready for the birth of your baby you may well get the urge to build a safe and comfortable nest.  There are many advantages of low lighting for labour and birth.  It is believed that lower light levels contributes to comfortable and safe place to give birth.  And the more safe and comfortable you feel the better the release of oxytocin, the shy hormone that is at work during labour and birth. This is relatively easy to achieve at home, where you can choose your lighting and should be having a homebirth there are generally a range of lights and lamps and few rules about what can and can’t be moved or used. Many birth centres and a few hospitals are working to create environments that help the kind of nest-building that facilitates normal birth. It can be hard for midwives in hospitals to create the right kind of effect on the labour wards where this hasn’t yet become a priority. So, here are some tips and a few ideas and tips to help anyone who to bring the right mood through some softer lighting.

Of course bright lighting is needed in a birthing room, though at times when it is not needed there are other ways to keep things less bright and calmer

Tip 1 – If it has not happened already. Ask for the main overhead lights to be turned off, draw the curtains or roll down the blinds.

Tip 2 – You may be in a room where there are no blinds or curtains.  Which is often the case in a high rise hospitals!  So some solutions are temporary blinds that can be bought from DIY stores or why not try the Magic White board sheets which adhere through static on the windows

Tip 3 – Anglepoise lights can be turned towards the ceiling or wall to soften their light.

Tip 4 – Use a torch or camping lantern to provide sift light in a bathroom.  Angle it toward the wall, floor or mirror

Tip 5 – If you have an ensuite bathroom, adjoining room or lit cupboard, put the light on and leave the door ajar

Tip 6 – Use LED candles, fairy lights and other safe forms of soft lights to bring the mood alight!  Of course naked flames and candles are not allowed in birth centres and hospitals and not a good idea in a home birth as they are easily forgotten or knocked over.

Tip 7 – To keep the brighter lighting accessible and also the mood you have created, place a notice on the door so no-one comes in and inadvertently switches on the bright lights.  You may lightly tape a bit of card over the light switch, so it does not get switched on accidentally but is easily accessible should it be needed.