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Making a hospital room seem more “homey”

February 3, 2011

I have met very few people who like hospitals.  A lot of people find them stressful and for good reason- most of our experiences in hospitals are associated with pain, discomfort, disease, injury and sometimes even death.  Of course, delivering in a hospital is not a laboring woman’s only option (in our area for example, Brande Ruskusky, CNM with With Woman Midwifery Service attends homebirths) but for women who wish to deliver at the hospital, many face the dilemma of feeling “relaxed” in this kind of setting.  While there are limitations with how “homey” you can make it- there are things you can do at a hospital to feel more comfortable.

Things you can do:

Talk with your care provider about your desire to create a less “clinical” environment as a comfort measure in labor.  See what their policy is on eating/drinking in labor.  Pack your own food/beverages so you can get what you want when you want it.

Dim the lights- or turn them off.  If a nurse or hospital staff needs the lights on they will let you know and will usually turn them back down when they are finished.  Some women like to open the shades and have only natural light.  If you prefer a “candle” type of lighting a good option is battery operated LED lights.  These create the same type of lighting while not creating a fire hazard or going against hospital fire codes.

Adjust the heat- if you are hot or cold ask the nurse to have the temperature changed.  Most hospitals have the ability to adjust each individual room’s heat.

If you’ve been using the tub or shower to relax at home see if that is an option at the hospital (You may want to pack a shower cap).

Surround yourself with caring, attentive support.  I am obviously a big advocate of doulas and believe the familiarity and continuous care they offer their clients is extremely valuable.

Bring your own pillow or robe and wear your own clothes.  Yes, they might get dirty.  Yes, you can wash them when you get home (or better yet, have someone else wash them – you focus on that baby!)  I actually really like the idea of bringing your own hospital gown.  Yes, I know that birth isn’t a fashion show but there is nothing wrong with feeling pretty and special during your hospital stay and I think money spent on making mom feel more comfortable and relaxed is a good investment.  I know bringing your own pillow or wearing your own clothes may seem like a “little” thing but I have seen first hand how much difference those “little” things can make.

The Peanut Shell® makes some super gorgeous gowns that give mom the comfort of bringing a gown from home to replace the awkward, “one-size fits none” hospital gown.  Instead of the three ties that seem to leave gapping holes- this gown fully snaps down the back so you know your backside is covered as you walk the halls.  The hospital staff will appreciate that the gown is just as accessible as the hospital issued one for monitoring and what not and mom will appreciate that the gowns are 100% cotton, come with an optional empire waist belt, and have snap closures on both sides for easy breast-feeding.

When I was first preparing this post I was a little worried because it appeared Peanut Shell was no longer making their gowns.  But I contacted them and not only did they tell me they plan on re-introducing them later this year because of their popularity but they also offered to give one of our readers a free gown in the Champagne Brunch pattern!

To Enter the Giveaway:
• Leave a comment on this post letting us know why you would love to win this gown.
• For an extra entry, put a link back to this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter (and then do a second comment here that says “FB/Twitter”)
• You will get ANOTHER entry for posting about this giveaway on your own blog (add another comment here that says “blogged here” with a link to your blog)
• And lastly, you will get ONE MORE entry for subscribing to our blog. (Add another comment that says that you’ve subscribed or are already a subscriber)

The Small Print- this giveaway is running until midnight central time Friday, February 18th. You will win a brand new Peanut Shell Maternity Gown in the Champagne Brunch pattern.  The winner will get to select either the S/M or L/XL size and it will be shipped to you directly from The Peanut Shell®.  This contest is only open to U.S. residents.  The winner will be chosen by and will have 48 hours to respond.  If we haven’t heard from the winner within that time frame- a new winner will be selected.

39 Comments leave one →
  1. Veronica H. permalink
    February 3, 2011 4:35 pm

    Didn’t even know that they made these! Super cute, although hopefully stains come out pretty easily. 😉

  2. Corri A. permalink
    February 3, 2011 4:41 pm

    I would love to have one of these for a friend. She is pregnant with her first child and this would make a great baby gift!

  3. Corri A. permalink
    February 3, 2011 4:42 pm


  4. Corri A. permalink
    February 3, 2011 4:45 pm

    I subscribed! (Can you tell that I really want to win this?!?)

  5. Kim Hillard permalink
    February 3, 2011 5:00 pm

    I facebooked it for you 🙂

  6. Kim Hillard permalink
    February 3, 2011 5:01 pm


  7. Kim Hillard permalink
    February 3, 2011 5:03 pm

    I could probably give this away to someone I know… 😉

  8. Angie Erickson permalink
    February 3, 2011 5:15 pm

    I would love to win this… I think it is super cute 🙂 I am expecting in September and I think this would be a fun thing to look forward to wearing in the hospital… and at home 🙂

  9. Angie Erickson permalink
    February 3, 2011 5:22 pm


  10. February 3, 2011 7:20 pm

    This would be awesome so I could look extra snazzy after a child comes out of my body, even though hopefully I’ll be at home, not the hospital!

  11. February 3, 2011 7:21 pm

    and now I officially follow your blog =)

  12. Nicole Pufall permalink
    February 3, 2011 10:55 pm

    Okay, so I am NOT pregnant but have been twice and let me tell you… The hospital could use gowns that fit or at least cover the expecting/recently birthed mama up.. I actually had so many visitors after each baby it was absolutely mortifying to sit in such a gown and try to be modest and/or feel good about myself. This is such a brilliant idea! I do hope to have more babies and I do plan on getting the “I’m pregnant!” call from my best friend very soon!! Pick me pick me!! 😀 😀 😀

    • jessicabirthdoula permalink*
      February 3, 2011 11:04 pm

      Thanks for sharing the pics Nicole! You and your babies are gorgeous 🙂

  13. Nicole Pufall permalink
    February 3, 2011 10:55 pm


  14. ashley permalink
    February 4, 2011 12:17 am

    super cute. I’m due in September and agree about the nasty hospital gowns. we’ll see if I even make it to the hospital. would rather have a water birth at home. 🙂

  15. Hannah permalink*
    February 4, 2011 8:54 am

    I would love to wear this gown while laboring at home. How perfect does it look for all those brand-new baby and mommy pictures??!!!

  16. Hannah permalink*
    February 4, 2011 8:54 am


  17. Audrey Childers permalink
    February 4, 2011 10:03 am

    This gown is so pretty. I’m pregnant with my first, and I’m so looking forward to going through the wonderful, natural birth process. I plan on using a lot of your tips to make a less ‘clinical’ environment, and this gown looks like it would be a great item to help ‘de-clinicalize’ the experience. 🙂 Pick me!

  18. Kim Hillard permalink
    February 7, 2011 1:35 pm

    So, now that it’s “out” I would so love to have this for baby cinco!!

    • jessicabirthdoula permalink*
      February 7, 2011 9:08 pm

      Congrats Kim!

  19. Audrey Childers permalink
    February 7, 2011 2:14 pm

    I am now also following your blog!

  20. Stephanie permalink
    February 7, 2011 3:50 pm

    Would love to try it out – I’m expecting and it would be great — the last time, I hated those ugly gowns!

  21. Stephanie permalink
    February 7, 2011 3:51 pm

    I subscribe via Google Reader – new subscriber!

  22. Kelly permalink
    February 13, 2011 6:43 pm

    I would love to be entered into the drawing! I’m expecting my second child May 6th and will be using the hypnobirthing Mongan Method for the first time. An I would agree that the “little things” sure make a big difference during childbirth!

  23. February 15, 2011 9:00 am

    i would love to win this for my daughter who is expecting her first baby in may!

  24. cindy permalink
    February 16, 2011 4:58 pm

    It would be so nice to feel presentable and attempt to be cute while recovering from delivery. cindyhinckley at msn

  25. Christina H permalink
    February 17, 2011 9:55 am

    I would love to win this and use it for my upcoming birth.

  26. Christina H permalink
    February 17, 2011 10:12 am

    I subscribed

  27. Christina H permalink
    February 17, 2011 10:16 am


  28. Shauna permalink
    February 17, 2011 10:51 am

    I’d love to win this for my SIL who is expecting. And of course use it myself when we have our next little one!

  29. brenda permalink
    February 18, 2011 8:01 am

    I’d love to win this for my dear friend who is expecting.

  30. Brenda Andrews permalink
    February 18, 2011 6:43 pm

    I would love to have this for me. Would be a perfect thing to have when I get pregnant

  31. Brenda Andrews permalink
    February 18, 2011 6:45 pm

    I subscribe to site

  32. February 20, 2011 7:52 am

    I would love to win one for the birth of my 2nd child. The first time around all I wore was the ugly one they give you to use. This time I want to look and feel cute.


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