Doulas Northwest | Our Favorite Delivery Room Hacks
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30 Mar Our Favorite Delivery Room Hacks


I hear tell sometimes, that families are worried about what their labor & delivery room will be like.

–That they believe they’ll need to take everything but the kitchen sink in order to be comfortable or have the tools they expect to need when coping with labor.


If taking everything but the kitchen sink is your preference, then get to packing! But if less-is-more sounds like your jam, then check out these delivery room hacks. You’ll love them and feel like getting your MacGyver on.


**Make sure to ask your nurse for permission to use these hospital room items, and for access to the cabinets they are stored in, prior to using.


Hacks with heat

Is heat one of the things you go for when you have cramps or don’t feel well? If so, then it might be one of the things that brings comfort during labor too.


Heat in the forms of heating pads and hot compresses are easy to hack in the hospital using:

  • Washcloths
  • Hot tap water
  • Blankets from the warming closet


Hot compresses made with tap water and the washcloths in your room can be placed on your lower abdomen during contractions as well as on your perineum during pushing. ←–Yep, those feel GREAT.


Hacks with cold

Hot flashes from hormone surges and a lot of physically hard work can cause you to feel hot during labor, seeking a way to cool down.


In addition to drinking cool water, ways to cool down can be hacked in the labor room using:

  • Washcloths
  • Cold tap water
  • Ice from hospital ice machines


Cold compresses can be made using cold tap water or very cold ice water and the washcloths in your room. These can be folded however you like and placed on the forehead, neck, chest, shoulders, lower back, abdomen, etc.


One of my favorite cool down hacks is to MacGyver a fan with ice water and a washcloth. Waving the wrung out cold washcloth in a circle -like a helicopter rotor- and near the laboring person, fanning cool air all around.


Hacks with your bed

Did you know that your standard labor and delivery bed is a lot like a transformer? Puts a whole new vision in your head, doesn’t it?


Your L&D bed changes in several ways, creating positioning hacks galore.

  • Laid flat, it raises and lowers to whatever height you want for sitting, standing, leaning over, holding onto, putting one leg up onto, etc. Name a position and you can probably adjust the bed height to help support it.
  • It is a bed with three sections. Head, middle, and foot sections. The head section ranges from completely flat to raised nearly 90 degrees. The middle section remains flat and raises/lowers in the flat position. The foot section also remains flat, raising and lowering separately from the mid section. ← Think stair stepping. The sectional adjustability of your L&D bed creates many ways to support labor and pushing positions.
  • Example: Want to lean over something while kneeling? Facing the back of the bed, raise the head section to your comfortable leaning over point, kneeling on the middle section.


Hacks with the linens

Many families I work with consider me a magician of sorts, when they see these hacks. Especially when they realize that they are not responsible for this particular laundry!


  • Hot and cold compresses with washcloths, as described above.
  • Creating a belly wrap/band/lift for comfort and support with a bed sheet -comfortably drape lower belly/abdomen with the sheet, looping the lengths behind your back and over your shoulders to use as ‘handles’. With these ‘handles’, you can pull and add however much belly lift with the draped sheet as desired.
  • A bed sheet wrapped around squat bar for tug-of-war type leverage during pushing or pulling up into a squat during contractions.
  • A bed sheet wrapped around the waist of your doula or partner, with sheet lengths on either side for your use as “rope handles”, allowing you to crouch/squat/lean in whatever way you’d like during labor.


Life hacks are all the rage these days. And now, you can add life hacks during labor to your list!


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