BBL 162: So, You Want a Faster Labor?

Are you hoping for faster labor and delivery ? You're not alone! Many mamas hope for a quick, easy delivery. In today's episode I'll share my thoughts on why women want a speedy labor… and what it's like to have a really fast deliver! Plus I'll give you practical techniques to use during pregnancy and while you're in labor - so things go as smoothly and quickly as possible!

The Birth, Baby, & Life Podcast cover image
Faster Labor. moms and babys

Topics I Cover in This Podcast:

  • Why women want a quicker labor
  • How to overcome fear about labor and delivery
  •  Most women are scared of the ordeal of childbirth - here's how to see things differently (and help your birth go faster!)
  • What I experienced during my very fast births
  • Which would I choose - a fast labor or a slower one?!
  • Important steps to take during pregnancy to speed up labor
  • How to eat for a quick labor
  • What kind of exercise leads to things moving right along
  • Exactly what kind of energy you need during labor (and how to get it)
  • Good positions to speed up labor
  • How to get ready to get into the flow

Faster Labor, Hands make heart on belly

Things Mentioned on This Week's Podcast:

Transcript: BBL 162: So, You Want a Faster Labor?

Kristen Burgess: This is the Birth Baby and Life podcast with Kristen Burgess, and we're talking about how to have a faster labor and delivery in episode number 162.

Narrator: Welcome to the Birth Baby and Life podcast. The tips, tools and straight talk. You want the pregnancy, childbirth and bringing up baby. And now you'll host Kristen Burgess.

Kristen Burgess: Hi, this is Kristen from and I am super excited to be here today to talk to you about a topic that is near and dear to my heart because it's something that I've experienced in birthing my babies and I hear from a lot of women about it. We're going to talk about what to do if you're hoping for a fast labor, which I think is something that many women universally think that they want. So we're going to talk about the pros and cons of a quote unquote, faster labor and what that even means. And then some practical steps, because, as you know, I like practical steps.

Before we jump into that, I want to tell you that the master class that I did a couple of weeks ago has been super popular. So I'm doing a couple of encore sessions. If you're interested in attending one of those or even if you miss one of the live sessions and want to watch the replay, go to I'm really excited about doing the encore because it was really a lot of fun to do. The first one, there was tons of interaction. I was able to answer a lot of questions, so I would love to be able to support you through that. Again, go to birth baby life dotcom master class. We're going to talk about the three keys to a faster, easier labor and it's a lot of fun. So I'll see you on the masterclass again. With that, let's talk a little bit about faster laborer's on the podcast today.

Why do women want a faster labor? I think at first it's usually well done. Of course, we would want to do that and a faster amount of time. But why? And I think it really comes down to fear. Women are really scared of labor, terrified of the pain of labor. Many women have had a difficult birth experience before, and they they just don't necessarily want to go through that again. And then first time moms don't really even know what they're getting into, but many of them are really scared of the pain. We don't have a good perspective of what it looks like to even have a good labor and birth, because all of our pictures of birth have been painted by the media.

Kristen Burgess: And we talked about that some in previous episodes. So women are just there's this sense of fear. There's not really this sense of this is something that I'm going to rock. You know, there's it's negative. So many women want a faster labor, not because they think, oh, I want to move my baby faster, but because they think, oh, let's just get it over with. And I'm not saying that there's really anything wrong with that. I just think that we should go into things with why with eyes wide open, we should know and we should understand what's motivating that, especially when it's fear that's motivating that. Because when you think about something, oh, my gosh, I just want to get this over with. When I think about my kids and I've told them to do something, for example, a school assignment is a good example. They think, oh, my gosh, I just want to get this over with. And they rush through it and they look at it in a negative way. And it's totally painful. And I find that frustrating because oftentimes it's an assignment that I think has great value to them. So if it's a reading assignment, it's interesting. You know, I homeschool my kids. I pick their curriculum super carefully. And though sometimes, especially at the upper levels, we get into a little bit of dry reading. For the most part, the the choices that I've made are really deliberate their conscious choices, because I feel like the material is engaging. We do a living books approach. So they're not really reading many textbooks, really. We only have a math textbook and an upper high school, some science texts, but otherwise everything is living books. And so when a kid is strutting their way through the assignment and doesn't appreciate it, I kind of cringe because, you know, it's it's something that's worthwhile. But when you're just rushing through it, when you're just getting through it because you want to be able to check it off your list. He may not appreciate it, and while I'm saying, you know, I'm not saying that birth is comparable to a great literary work or a living book and the sciences, it is an experience that I think teaches you a lot and helps you grow a lot and is inherently empowering.

Kristen Burgess: It's part of the journey to motherhood. And if we looked at birth in a different way and embraced birth in a different way and embraced women and motherhood in a different way on a cultural and societal level, then labor and birth may not be looked at quite so much as simply an ordeal to get through, but instead an experience that helps birth a baby, birth a mother, launch a relationship and a new dynamic. I won't wax too poetic here, but I just want to invite you to think about the fact that if you're looking at something like my kid's school assignment as something to just get through and dread, they don't really prepare themselves. They don't come to the assignment with an openness and an inquisitiveness and an eagerness to learn that I would like to see and that I think would ultimately benefit them. And when we just want to get through labor, even when you're planning a natural birth, many women just want to get through it. And so they don't they don't come to it with that spirit of preparation and that spirit of embracing the experience for what it brings. And ultimately, I think that can lead to fear, that can lead to stress and anxiety. It can lead to lack of productive preparation or lack of the right kind of preparation. And then the entire birth experience is more difficult. It's just like if my children approached their school assignment with some level of inquisitiveness and they slowed down enough to be curious about it and to say, you know, what's going on in this book. And this is kind of interesting, they would appreciate it more and they might linger over it for a few more minutes than they would have otherwise. But it'll be a mostly enjoyable or at least intellectually stimulating experience. It's a difference that I can see as an adult learner. I have to take some classes that aren't classes that I would probably choose to take otherwise. But they're required as part of General Ed and as an adult learner, I'm able to come to those classes and appreciate them and get something out of them were in a way that I didn't when I was when I was a child and going through, you know, typical school experience and even again in my own children.

Kristen Burgess: But you get more out of it when you're willing to come to it with curiosity and with preparation. Again, for my own classes that I do, I prepare at the beginning of the term. I review the assignments. I know what's coming. I organize things out. I use one note, which is a digital notebook to organize well my entire life, but especially school projects and even just regular weekly school assignments. All of that is mapped out because it's in the syllabus. So it's all mapped out at the beginning of the term. And then there's a lot less stress and the ability to to look ahead, know what's coming, make sure that I pace myself and get through what I need to get through while also giving myself that time and space for enjoyment, because I took that time for preparation instead of at the last minute jumping in and dreading the assignment. I mean, there's been some times like that because I'm not perfect and I've definitely procrastinated. But for the most part, I look at it even if it's not a course that I'm super excited about or that's directly related to something that I'm super interested in. I found that I can I can really get a lot more out of it if I come to it with some preparation and with the curiosity. So when we look at things like birth, if you come to birth with some level of preparation and you also look at the experience not just as an ordeal to get through or something to fear, but look at it actually is something to embrace, something that has a purpose that's greater than just being a crappy ordeal that you have to get through to get to your baby, to be really blunt about it. Then it changes your perspective. It changes your preparation. You're more willing to do preparation. I am 100 percent a fan of preparing for birth. I say it again and again and again. If you come to the master class, you'll see I do some myth busting on the math master class because there's so much misinformation about pregnancy and childbirth really on so many levels, but especially on birth preparation. And part of it is that paradigm of birth is an ordeal to get through.

Kristen Burgess: The medical world sees it as an ordeal to be managed where they managed to extract a baby separately from you and that that whole world view in that whole paradigm is just not really serving to us as women. And it it's it leads to that attitude. This is something that I just have to get through. And again, in the medical model that we get women through as inconvenient, you know, as conveniently as possible with as little inconvenience as possible. So we give her drugs and we, you know, try and keep things moving right along with other drugs. And, you know, we just want to get through it. There's no there's no sense of respect somewhere. I've been using with my kids a lot. There's no sense of respect, no honoring the fact that this isn't, you know, intrinsically part of the journey or that this experience in and of itself might have a benefit to you. And the truth is, is it has benefits to you and the baby. And again, I'm going to keep referring to the master class because it's at the top of my mind. But I talk about this on the master class to really take a few minutes to dove into why natural birth, like the actual process of birthing your baby, naturally has benefits to you and to your baby and to your bond and to everybody else around you, but especially to you and your baby. So I want to encourage you to just explore when you think about I want a faster labor, you know, why do I want it to be faster? Is there fear there? Is there a devaluing of labor as an experience or even a complete lack of awareness that labor as an experience can have some level of benefit? Because, again, we don't talk about this as a society or as a culture. To us, labor is an ordeal to get through an inconvenient and messy thing that you have to make your way through to get to a baby. And it's also painful and terrifying. That is our society's portrayal of labor and birth. And that's just not true. It is it is something that you go through, it's definitely challenging, but any challenge that you go through in your life calls forth strength and resilience in you if you let it.

Kristen Burgess: There are challenges in life that suck. I've been through them, ladies, really, I have there are ones that I would go back and change in a heartbeat if I could. But ultimately, the experiences came and in finding my way through them or finding my way through them with support of other people who helped carry me through, sometimes I found strength and growth as a person and childbirth is no different than that. So I've wax poetic a little bit. Let's move on. I just wanted to challenge you to really think about that. And as you think about that, you can still say, you know what, Christian? I think this is going to suck and I'm not really looking forward to it. That's OK. But I do want to challenge you to say to yourself, this is an experience that's going to be profound. It's going to change my life. It is an experience that can be profoundly empowering. And by preparing for that experience, I can make it much more likely that it has that transformative impact that probably deep down, if you've chosen a natural birth, you really are hoping for and I want to validate you that it's a good hope. It's good to embrace birth as a chance to find transformation and to find strength that only benefits you and your baby and your family going forward. I've had a lot of time to reflect on where my strength comes from and how it serves me and has served me as our family's gone through such difficulties over the past few years. And really I would say that my pregnancies and my baby's births have been one of the things that has created the most strength in me that's carried me forward, and that has been a gift to my children and to my family. And I want to encourage you to look at it in the same way. It doesn't mean that you have to be perfect. I had times in my labors and births that were challenging when I wanted to give up and throw in the towel. But one of the things is, is that I saw that strength and myself to keep going and to have an experience that ultimately helped me realize that I have a lot of strength within me to pull on and I have a lot of power within me to walk forward through difficult circumstances.

Kristen Burgess: And I want the same for you. So let's talk a little bit about fast laborer's, because I have had fast laborer's. And it's really funny because as I got the master class ready and was getting feedback from people as I prepared for it and talking about having a faster labor, one of the things that came up was while I had a fast labor and maybe I don't want to have such a fast one. So when we think about it as an ordeal and something to get through, we're like, oh yes, let me just have as fast as possible. But the reality is, is a really fast labor can be really overwhelming. So I think it's kind of like Goldilocks and the three bears, right? Not too hot, not too cold, but just right. And labor is the same way. You don't necessarily want it to be too long, but maybe you also don't really want it to be too fast. So it's kind of one of those things. Be careful what you wish for and think about it. Do you really want your labor to be super fast? That can be a really intense. My last few babies have come really, really, really quickly and. It's really intense when labor begins and just a couple, three hours later, the baby is here, it is like nonstop. Think about a train going 60 miles an hour and it's like, you know, you go from a dead stop to here we go, 60 miles an hour. Whoa. There is nothing that's going to stop this. It can be overwhelming. So that's one of the things to consider when you think about how you envision your labor going and what you want from your labor, it may be that you don't necessarily want it to move at quite that breakneck pace, but would prefer for things to go a little bit slower. I want to be honest with you and say that if I had to choose between having a labor that takes a while, for example, 12 hours or more, versus having a quicker labor, I would choose a quicker labor. So I want to acknowledge all you ladies who are like, yeah, thank you for telling us the truth, Christine, because it is intense and it is a challenge.

Kristen Burgess: And in many ways it is nice to get done with it. But one of the ways that I believe that I've been able to get to the place where things move faster is because of this ability to embrace the experience and everything that it brings. Because I think I think that if I was just dreading it and hoping that it would get over as soon as possible, number one, it wouldn't move along as quickly because there would be a whole bunch of emotional stuff going on. Birth is all about hormones and emotions affect hormones. So. I think that by virtue of the fact that I can embrace labor and birth as being a process that's ultimately empowering and ultimately good, I'm able to open up to the fact, you know, I'm open my body to having a faster labor and birth. And that's really important to consider. Mindset is really powerful. But let's talk some about practical steps, because I know that's probably what you want to hear. So there is some preparation that happens in pregnancy. As I've hinted at so far, I'm a huge proponent of diet. If you listen to this podcast, if you watch the masterclass, if you enroll Amama Baby Birthing, you're going to hear me talk about diet. I do a live Q&A every week. Lovelady's on the on the line with me or on video, which everyone I have QAI ladies who jump on on the phone or just fits better in their life because. Well yeah, they're busy moms, but almost always every week we end up talking about nutrition with somebody because it's just so core. And that's one of the things that I enjoy about momma baby birthing and especially the live calls is I can help evaluate a food journal. I can help evaluate your birth plan. All those kinds of things give you that instantaneous feedback. And I do a lot of looking at food diaries and helping give women pointers to eat better. So I believe in diet and diet is important because it really pregnancy changes every single system in your body. And I go into this in a lot of detail and mama baby birthing, but it changes every single system in your body.

Kristen Burgess: It increases your blood supply by about 60 percent, which is almost two quarts of blood. That's a lot. All of your hormones, your endocrine system is changed profoundly. Your respiratory system, your skeletal system, your your urinary system, everything everything changes when you're pregnant. And that is facilitated by your diet. That's facilitated by nutrition and especially looking at your circulatory system. That blood volume expansion is part of what facilitates all the other changes, because it's how your body delivers nutrients when you eat well during pregnancy, your uterus is well nourished. The uterus is a muscle. If you think about an athlete when she's training part of her training that she's doing as she gets ready for her competition or her race or whatever she's doing, part of that training and conditioning is what she eats because she realizes that her muscles need to be well nourished. If we think about an athlete, she would never go on to the playing field or start scaling a mountain when she had subpar nutrition because she would realize that it would affect her performance. And birth is the same. And even if you look at, say, somebody who's doing more intense exercise, they may need to have nourishment in the process because their muscles might run out of energy. I believe in the exercise world, they call it bonking or hitting a wall. So sometimes the muscles just run out of glycogen. And so they have to refuel. And for some reason, we don't really think about pregnancy in this way. We don't think about the fact that we're going to go through labor and birth. And so we need to have our uterus, which is a muscle. Our uterus needs to be well conditioned, and that's not by working it out, it's all by nutrition. It does its own workouts. That's what Braxton Hicks contractions are. You know, your uterus is doing its reps every day, but mostly it needs to be well nourished. You want to have plenty of blood supply on board for the for labor and birth, but also throughout pregnancy because it nourishes the uterus. It also brings ample nutrients to the placenta so that your baby is well nourished so that your amniotic fluid can replenish at the rate that it needs to, and also so that all of your tissues are well nourished, so that good nutrition, that good circulation brings nourishment to all of the tissues in your pelvis and all of the other musculature around your pelvis and throughout your entire body.

Kristen Burgess: So nutrition is vital when you go into labor, well nourished, things are much more likely to work right to work smoothly and to work efficiently. Movement is also something that helps you during pregnancy and when you prepare for your birthing time, I am not a proponent of really intense exercise during pregnancy. I like using analogies for athletes because they make a lot of sense. And on some levels, birth is an athletic event. But you don't want to do really intense exercise because birth is actually a beautiful symphony of endurance and also softening and opening for your baby to come through. So you don't necessarily want, like Ironman super pumped up rigid muscles. You know, you can, like, bounce a quarter off of it. You don't want that kind of musculature in your legs and pelvic region. And in fact, women who have been really into athletics often benefit from taking it easier during pregnancy, perhaps having some body work done, chiropractic done and even. Even taking some time to step back from the intense exercise and embracing something that involves a little bit more stretching and awareness and lengthening and softening to counteract, so you don't want to be doing super, super intense exercise, but you do want to embrace movement throughout your pregnancy. And all of this is vice advice that I give to any mom who comes into mama baby birthing or who listens to any of my classes because it's just so important. It's kind of standard pregnancy advice. But I honestly don't think that this is advice that you're getting from many places because, again, there's a lot of misinformation about pregnancy or even what pregnancy is. The medical model looks at pregnancy, really looks at the entire pregnancy as an ordeal to get you and your baby through. And they don't really embrace it as anything that you're doing consciously for yourself, for your baby, for the experience. They don't view it as an experience. They don't view it on any level other than physical, where their goal is to separate the mother and the baby. And that does a huge disservice to pregnant women because it perpetuates a lot of myths. So I'm not telling you that every day of your pregnancy you need to be obsessive about these things.

Kristen Burgess: But I would encourage you to make eating a really nourishing pregnancy diet part of your day to day routine. And I would encourage you to make movement part of your day to day routine. And that's a balanced movement. So some endurance stuff is good. Walking every day is really ideal. If you can get out and walk every day, that's beautiful for you. I sometimes I think, oh my gosh, we think, how can I find time to walk? I'm so busy. How do I find time to do it? But really, for the last three months I've been focused on making sure that I take time to walk every day. And I'm surprised when I look, I've got my little Fitbit that's got got me, I think four years ago now and it's still trucking. And when I look down every day between the walking that I do as a busy mom around the house and my intentional daily walk that I take every day, plus I try and find a little bit of time to do something, you know, that I enjoy. I love to dance. And so I'll dance with the kids or sometimes have a few minutes for myself. I managed to get in a fair amount of movement, three and a half, four and a half miles every day. And that seems like a whole lot when you think about a busy moms life. But it hasn't been all that difficult to work in to my life. So getting in a mile or so a day doesn't take too terribly much effort. Now you need to have a safe place to walk. And I know that for some of you that's a challenge. But for those of you that that's a challenge, then incorporating some sort of routine that you can do in your own home might work. But I encourage you to try and find somewhere to walk and at least work on that a few times a week. But if possible, most days maybe focusing on taking one day more to rest and then do enjoy some sort of pregnancy movement and exercise routine. And again, not every day, and especially at the end of pregnancy, do what feels good to you.

Kristen Burgess: Maybe take it easy, but find something that has a balance, that is functional movement, and that also allows you to be aware of your muscles stretching, lengthening, aware of your breathing. That's really what you want.

Kristen Burgess: Oh, sorry, these.

Kristen Burgess: In a good pregnancy movement routine and all of that is conditioning that helps you prepare for your baby's birth. It's conditioning that lengthens and softens your muscles. And you've you've heard me talk about that stretching, softening. I really like that term better than relaxation. So you'll hear me use softening a lot, because if you want to let your baby come down and out more quickly. Then that's what you really want to focus on, is that opening and that softening and just letting those tissues be soft and relaxed so that your baby can come down through the pelvis. Also being being active, moving, especially walking, those sorts of things can help keep your baby optimally lined up, well positioned and a well positioned baby is a baby who is more likely to come more quickly. A posterior baby often has a lot of rotation to do during labor. A baby who is facing on the right. Sometimes those babies will take a short cut and just turn. But a lot of times those babies want to rotate all the way around to where they're angled towards the left during labor, which can slow labor down. I don't think that it's a good idea for any woman to get really anxious about baby positioning, but it is good to be aware of it and to realize that that movement throughout your pregnancy, that not only helps you find that softening and gives you those steps that are really good for you for many reasons during pregnancy and just for health in general, but also just making sure that your body is moving and strengthened and that you're balancing. Sitting with being more upright and active is more likely to encourage your baby to stay in a good position and using something supportive, like a pregnancy support band or some sort of supportive tape to help keep your belly support. It can also help keep your baby lined up. If you go to baby position, that's baby hyphen position baby hyphen position. I have a lot of information, super extensive article on baby positioning and. And also, I've got a video that explains baby positioning and talks to you some about helping baby line up, and then there's also video on there about listening to your baby's heartbeat, which can help you figure out baby position.

Kristen Burgess: So I want to you know, I want to share that with you. If this is a position is something that is interesting to you, it's really very in depth. So that's definitely a good resource to check out. I'm just making a note that I should put that in the show notes. And then. The other thing that you want to do, so I've really talked about a lot of physical preparation, the other thing that you want to do is that mind body preparation and. Practical birth skills preparation, so the practical birth skills are learning different positions for labor and birth, they're learning different techniques to use during labor, that stuff is not just silly or something to skim over quickly, like you're one of my kids, like, oh, my gosh, let me get through this stupid birth course. No, those are things that really are vital, because when you learn good birth skills, when you learn different positions, when you learn breathing techniques, when you learn what can help open up the pelvis, when you learn what can get labor moving, if it feels slow or stalled, when you learn all those techniques, they become part of a toolbox that you take with you into labor and you're much more likely to keep your labor and birth moving quickly. So when you are pregnant, you want to go through a good birthing course. I, I know that especially in the natural childbirth world, that can sometimes be controversial because birth is natural. And if we just, you know, if we just come to it believing that it's natural, it's going to move smoothly. But I'm a huge fan that birth birth brings a lot with it. No birth is ever the same. Birth always brings the unexpected. And it's good to be prepared. It's good to have that toolbox. It doesn't mean that you're going to use those tools, but having it there means that it's available to you if you need it. And sometimes we need it. Sometimes things feel slower, sometimes things feel frustrating. Sometimes you feel like you're in pain and a position change can make a huge difference. So you want to have those tools with you. So you want to go through a good birthing course.

Kristen Burgess: You can go with your mama baby birthing or another course and really get those tools. And if you're having a natural birth, please take a course that's focused on natural birth. There are certain unnamed large baby websites out there that have a lipservice free birthing course, but that is not going to help you prepare for a natural birth because that's not the audience that it's geared towards. You need to go through a course that has the expectation that you need tools and skills to work with your baby naturally, because that's what you need if you're planning a natural birth and go go through that information. This is something you should probably go through with your birth partner as well, because, again, those are tools that are going to benefit you while you're birthing your baby. And then also that mental, emotional, even spiritual preparation is something that is essential. And when I said a while ago, when I was talking about my own quick birthing experiences, I said that preparation was one of the keys to that. And this is something that I feel is particularly that key. It's getting to the place where you're accepting of the fact that you're birthing time is going to be a journey and that it's a journey to be embraced and it's a journey to welcome. Because if you're dreading it, it's and I'm not saying that that's a bad place to start, ladies. It's where most of us start. But I hope that you do the work in pregnancy to where it's not something that you go into labor dreading. I think there's always that thrill of excitement, a little bit of nervousness, a little bit of anxiety. But if you work throughout your pregnancy to prepare, then you won't go into it with that sense of terror and dread that many women start pregnancy with, or at least once they get over the positive pregnancy test and through the first trimester and start to think, oh, this baby's going to have to come out. So take a minute, a few minutes, ideally every day, and do the mental, emotional, spiritual work, I walk through that a a baby birthing as well, because it's this is something that's not at all talked about in our culture.

Kristen Burgess: Again, our culture, pregnancy and birth are physical experience. But the truth is, is they're not just a physical experience. Pregnancy and birth are a rite of passage. They will profoundly change who you are as a human being from going from a woman to a mother or to a mother. Again, they change family dynamics. They change who you are. They change how you relate to others for the rest of your life. It is a profound experience. And when you prepare for that, when you acknowledge that, when you honor that, then you're ready to embrace that experience on a level that's quite different. Then if we just dread it and look at it as something that's inconvenient, messy, that we have to get through, it's just a totally different mindset and it's much more likely to come on. I've shared frequently that one of the things that's helped me is spiritual midwifery. Anna Mae Gaskins book has got dated language. It's got its got his hippie language in it. But I still love the birth stories. Now I at this point feel, you know, a bit more hands off than the farm midwives were, but try to give them a little bit of grace because they were really at the resurgence of midwifery at least, and in the modern culture. And they had to figure it out as they went along. But the birth stories are still incredibly empowering. And one of the things and one of the first stories that resonated with me was a mom saying that she got to the place where she wanted it to get heavy, which is hippie language for I'm welcoming that intensity and welcoming that experience. I'm ready for it. Bring it on. And that is the attitude that I have carried into my last few births is that I'm ready for it to get heavy. I want this to come. I'm ready for this experience. And pregnancy has a way of helping us out, because by the time you're 39, 40 weeks, you're like, I'm ready for this baby to come. So as a way of helping us along, just naturally giving us that little boost. But if you've done that, work within yourself as well to be ready to embrace the experience again, there's always probably going to be a little bit of anxiety, a little bit of nerves, but you can really come to that place where you feel peace and where you feel ready to welcome and embrace what comes.

Kristen Burgess: And that will help things move along more quickly because there's less resistance. Again, labor and birth is a hormonal symphony, and your thoughts and feelings play a large part in that. So when you do the work beforehand, you come into your birthing time and things are able to flow more smoothly on every level, hormonally, mentally, emotionally and physically. During labor, you want to keep your labor moving along? I already hinted at it when I was talking about nutrition. You want energy, so rest when you think that labor starting don't get super excited and stay up all night. Sleep as you can rest. Take it easy in those early stages, balance movement with rest. Make sure that you're getting enough to eat. We do not starve women during labor. That is a really, really, really bad policy. It is not evidence based. Please, you may not want heavy stuff. You may want lighter foods. And if it goes fast enough, you may not have the opportunity to eat anything. I certainly have in my last few years, but go into labor well nourished as when you think that things are starting, have something that's going to give you some energy, get some good carbs and there may be a little bit of protein to help just give some slow burn energy as well as that quicker burn energy from the carbs. But certainly as things get really going, if you feel like things are slowing down, if you feel like you're hitting that wall, then get some quick energy into your body. Gloria Lemay, one of my teachers at midwifery school, just a beautiful, wise midwife, says, you know, even even a soft drink, even a soda with sugar in it is better than nothing for a pregnant woman who needs energy. And she's seen, you know, that a swig of soda or juice or or something give women the energy that they need to push their babies out and to keep going when otherwise they felt depleted. So make sure that you're open to nutrition, especially that quick energy during your birthing time as much as possible. I would encourage you to stay mobile and upright, especially if you feel like things aren't moving as quickly as you want them to, or that things have even stalled.

Kristen Burgess: Mobility will solve that most of the time. It really is a wonderful thing. Get up, go to the bathroom, stand in the shower. If there are stairs available to you and you think that things are stalled, go up and down the stairs. Just do what you need to do to get yourself upright. A birth ball is a great tool. Doesn't take up much room, very small footprint in the birthing room at a hospital or at a birth center, but is a great tool to create lots of mobility, standing up, leaning on somebody, swaying back and forth, dancing, getting your hips moving. All of those things are things that help the baby do his or her thing. That's something we don't think about a lot. I have an older podcast episode called The Babies Experience of Birth that you may want to go back and listen to because the baby is an active player in birth. That's another myth that seems to be perpetuated, is that, you know, we as moms go through this ordeal and we push our babies out almost like we're pushing out a watermelon. And that's not true. The baby is an active participant who is really moving, who is really doing a lot to help him or herself get born. So when we are working with our birthing time and we're upright and we're moving, we make it easier for the baby to rotate, to move down and do what he or she needs to do and then again, be ready to get in the flow. What I talked about, about being ready to embrace this and to move into the flow. I love what La Shanly talks about. She's going to talk about it on the summit, which if you have not signed up for the summit, you definitely need to do that. That is going to be an incredible event. So many people are there. It's coming up after that. It's coming up after the masterclass. So don't miss that. Go to birth baby live dotcom summit, because this year is going to be amazing. You do not want to miss it. But Laura Shanly talks about that when we were talking about feeling many women feel worried about losing control.

Kristen Burgess: And she says it's not really so much about losing control. It's about getting into that flow state. And we think about that positively. Right? We think about that positively so. And I talked about that on last week's episode. So go back and listen to that episode. Staying in control during childbirth. You want to make sure that. You embrace that, that you think about that that's what you should make sure of, is that think about that. Consider that state of flow again, listen to the baby's experience of birth. I'll link to that episode in the show notes, listen to last week's episode on staying in control during birth and think about it getting into that flow, being upright, being active, where you're assisting your baby and where you're welcoming this experience. All of those things, plus the practical of staying nourished and doing the preparation during pregnancy. All of those things are going to lead to a lead to things moving along. Lead to things moving smoothly, lead to your baby being able to do what he or she needs to do and you being able to birth your baby smoothly and as quickly as possible. So if you're really hoping for a faster labor, there's a lot of practical work to be done during pregnancy. And there's also that inner work, that mental, emotional, spiritual work. There are choices to be made for sure. But I think that sometimes we reduce natural childbirth to a choice, and it's really a lot more than that. It doesn't take more than a few minutes a day. That's one of the things that my mom, a baby birthing students find is it doesn't take more than a few minutes a day, but it does take being intentional about it. It does take doing that work. And that work is physical, mental, emotional. I do believe that pregnancy is a spiritual experience that's not tied to any one religion. But there is something more to our beings. There's something more to your being, to your babies being to you and your baby together. And I would just invite you to explore that, to be curious about that, to embrace that, to be inquisitive and to do this work.

Kristen Burgess: And that will help you have a faster Labor and birth. OK, so I want to finish this up. I talked about the master class at the beginning, so let me talk about the summit is going to be an incredible event, virtual event. I've got 20 plus speakers who have been so generous with their time. I've done so many interviews. I've got more interviews to do today. Getting this ready for you. I'm so excited about it. It is in a little over a week from the time you'll be listening to this podcast, it's going to be kicking off and running for a couple of weeks, few weeks. So you'll be able to jump in. You'll be able to listen to these interviews and enjoy them. There will be an opportunity for you to get lifetime access if that's something that you want. But the interviews are so incredible. I am literally floored and honored by what these speakers are sharing, the wisdom and knowledge that these guests bring, the perspectives that they bring. I come away from the sessions in awe and energized because I just I can't I know I sound like I'm gushing because it is incredible to listen to this and I'm so honored to be part of that. I'm so honored to be helping facilitate it and bring it to you and your family. Last year's summit was a lot of fun. This year's summit is amazing. So definitely head to birth, baby live dotcom summit sign up. Tickets are completely free and you'll be able to guess you'll be able to get a session every day. I've worked hard this year to keep them focused, to keep them packed from minute one to, you know, the last minute of each one. You're just going to get so much out of it. There's such a wide range of experiences. I've got I've got midwives, I've got moms, I've got authors, I've got doctors that are all excited about natural birth, that are all honoring natural birth, that are all talking about healthy pregnancy is just really phenomenal. It's been a lot of fun. It's been an enormous set in a number of times now, but it's been an honor for me and I'm so excited about sharing it with you.

Kristen Burgess: So, again, in a little over a week, the summit's title is Plan Your Natural Birth. It's all talking about how you can unlock a healthy pregnancy. You can unlock that beautiful birth giving birth. Naturally, it's going to be so cool. So please join me on it. I think it's going to be such a fun experience for you. You're going to get so much out of it that helps you prepare for your baby's birth or helps you prepare for your next baby. If you are not pregnant right now and you're thinking about a baby at all in the future, you're going to say, oh, my gosh, Kristen, I'm ready to have this baby now. I'm ready to get pregnant, because that's what I feel like. I it's like I want to have another baby after listening to all because it's so much fun. But anyways, go ahead and register at And with that, ladies, I will talk to you again next week. And I hope that you have a blessed week.

Narrator: Thanks for listening to the birth baby and like podcast with Kristen Burgess for great resources and tons more info. Visit visit
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Birth, Baby, and Life Podcast
Kristen Burgess: Crazy About Everything Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby

The tips, tools, and straight talk you want for pregnancy, childbirth, and bringing up baby

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  1. I understand that faster labor means you're going to require more strength to carry on. And if that's the case, preparation really is the key. Stay healthy and strong mommas. Love the podcast!

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