Birthing area

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Second Life virtual birthing unit April 2009. Image by Sarah Stewart. Second Life build by Aaron Griffiths for the SLENZ project. CC By

The Birthing Room is a sanctuary for the labouring woman. It offers her privacy and comfort and aims to facilitate physiological labour. The door is able to be locked from the inside so that she is assured there will be no unwanted intrusions. The labouring woman is not immediately exposed to those entering the room, as they enter initially into an anteroom. She has her own bathroom en suite and access to a private garden area. This room invites the woman to be active and provides a variety of props to support her activities including a mantel piece, hanging rope and benches for leaning over. The bed is not the central focus of the room. Glass doors invite her into the garden.

It's a girl!!! Image by christy scherrer. Second Life build by Aaron Griffiths for the SLENZ project. CC By

The room contains the necessary equipment to provide safe care to the woman though the equipment is not not obtrusive and the room does not appear clinical. For example, resuscitation equipment, linen hampers, the scrub sink, gloves and antiseptic hand wash are housed behind cupboard doors. The warm tones of the floor boards and colour scheme, rounded edges to the furniture, artwork and soft cushions create a warm and comforting ambiance. The labouring woman has control over the temperature, sounds and lighting within the Birthing Room. When labour becomes intense she may prefer a dim, cave like environment. This can be achieved by closing the drapes and adjusting the lighting.

Lepori, B., Foureur, M., & Hastie, C. (2008). Mindbodyspirit architecture: creating birth space. In K. Fahy, M. Foureur & C. Hastie (Eds.), Birth territory and midwifery guardianship (pp 95-112). Edinburgh: Elsevier.