Having a birth altar is an important part of preparing for labour and birth for many people, regardless of their religious/spiritual persuasion (or lack thereof). Birth altars are usually made up of a collection of pictures, items, symbols, candles, stones, etc. that represent birth and/or that give the labouring person strength and positive energy (even protection) during labour and birth.
Stones/Crystals: four stones that are most associated with midwifery & birth are Moss Agate, Malachite, Moonstone, and Sard Stones
Candles Colours: candle colours most useful during labour are Primary Red, Silver, or White
Herbs/Incense: Raspberry Leaves, Frankenscense, Myrrh, Hyacinth, Squaw Vine, Strawberry Leaves, Chamomile, and Yarrow either to be burned or placed on the altar
Trinkets: goddess statuary, idols, & beads; tiny babies; mermaids/storks; items of meaning to the labouring person & family; items from parents’ & older siblings’ babyhoods; written prayers/prayer flags
Pictures/Images: of the family, important ancestors, saints/gods/goddesses of importance (Theotokos, St. Brigid, Hathor, Matrikas, Frigg, etc.)
Artwork: altar cards, birth art, paintings done by labouring person or their friends for the birth
Natural Items: things of the Ocean (seashells, sea glass, sand dollars, etc); seeds/seed pods; figures made of clay; hazelwood twigs
Elements: Fire (candle), Water (salt water, holy water, seashells, etc.), Air (feathers, butterfly/dragonfly, incense, etc.), Earth (money, bear, wolf, rock, salt, etc.), and Spirit (spiral, star, cauldron/vessel/vase, personal item, etc.)
** I am still working on getting our birth altar set up. Once it is completed, I will be posting a picture (and possibly some bits of description).