BBL 167 – How to Get Off the Childbirth Conveyor Belt (and have a Sacred Birth Instead)

Routines and standardization are helpful for institutions. But they don’t serve pregnant and birthing women. While care might look similar, you deserve to be seen as the beautiful, sovereign woman that you are. Here’s how to find your voice - and create the pregnancy and birth that you want to have

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pregnant moms

Topics I Cover in This Podcast:

  • Women are sovereign in birth - here’s what that means and why it matters
  • You get to be in control of your experience (even when the unexpected comes up)
  • You are having a child, but you are NOT a child… how to overcome the real tendency of care providers and loved ones to act like you are
  • Wanting a good experience is completely valid (you are NOT BEING childish to want a good experience)
  • Here’s the right perspective to have on relationships during pregnancy and childbirth
  • Practical steps to prepare for a sacred pregnancy
  • Handling the responsibility that comes with pregnancy and birth
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Things Mentioned on This Week's Podcast

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This is the birth, baby and Life podcast with Kristen Burgess, and we're stepping into our power

And episode number one hundred and sixty seven.

Welcome to the Birth, Baby and Life podcast, the tips, tools and straight talk you want for pregnancy, childbirth and bringing up baby. And now your host Kristen Burgess.

Hi ladies, this Is Kristen Burgess from And today We are going to talk
About something that I have really spent a lot of time pondering lately, and that is what I think of as a woman's sovereignty In birth. And what I think of as stepping into your Power during your pregnancy and birth experience.

In the last couple of podcast episodes, we've talked

About healing from a bad birth and what is the real deal behind birth and looking

At some of the institutional things that are going on, I guess, for lack of a better word, because that's really what it is, is institutional

Interests and birth. And I want to be clear that routines and standardization are helpful for institutions, I mean, they're even helpful in life.

When I think about my day to day life, raising my children routines are essential and some level of standardization helps with life. So that helps in

The circumstance of pregnancy and birth. I mean, midwives have

Routines that they use. They have checklists. I'm going to talk to a client about this topic during this week and offer this during this week and check this during that week. So routines and standardization

Aren't bad, necessarily, but the level of routine and

Standardization that you see in institutions don't

Often serve pregnant and birthing women. While care might look similar, you deserve to be

Seen as a beautiful and a sovereign woman, and

This is where many care providers do have this right, I'll say. There are even doctors who have this right. There are midwives who have this right. There are midwives who don't, but there are many who have

Guidelines and templates and routines and checklists. But they look at the individual woman before them. This doesn't often happen,


In an institution like a hospital during labor because, well,

Things are just moving quickly. And even ironically, if things aren't moving quickly, there's a routine or a procedure

That is meant to take care of that. That doesn't necessarily

Look deeper than the surface. So.

What is essential

For us as women and especially for you as a birthing woman,

Is finding your voice and creating the pregnancy and birth that you want to have and that. That may be within one of these systems

Or structures that's already there. And that can happen because when you see yourself

As a powerful woman with a voice, you

Become what drives your care rather than the routines rather than the procedures, rather

Than just being a cog in a wheel. I titled this episode How to get off

The conveyor belt, and I was really thinking

About that. I had some testing. Just a couple of days ago, and

It really brought me back

To earlier pregnancies where I had sought obstetric care, and this wasn't related to obstetrics at all,

Which is that's pregnancy and birth care. For those of you

Who don't know the lingo, but an obstetrician practices obstetrics. So anyways, what happened is there was this

Waiting area out front.

And then I got taken to a

Waiting area in the back,


I couldn't be with my support because I was with, you know, I was with other people who were back in the second waiting area. But, you know, I was a poor person had been left out front and it it reminded me

Of going to the obstetricians office. Many, many, many, many, many years ago. It would have been while I was pregnant with.

Ash or Brennan and I I had

Gotten a little bit of testing done,

You know, like my prenatal workup

In that sort of testing had to be done at an obese office in the state that I was in. And and so. I went from being out front.

With a support person to

Going to the back, you had to pee in a cup, get weight and then you waited in the second waiting

Area and then finally you went to your room and and then your partner or your husband or whomever could come back with you. And I was just really pondering that

Because the situation that I was in last week for the lab testing that I had to have done

Was similar where you were stuck in a second waiting room, and that's where I waited all alone.

Even though the testing was overwhelming and it's just it's.

Efficient for the institution, for the hospital. Or the doctor's office, but. It's not really looking at at the person, and it felt a lot like a conveyor belt.

I used to joke then again way back in the day,

You know, Asher's 18, Brennan

16, so

Many years ago that you felt kind of like cattle because you were just being moved from pen

To pen to pen. And that's one of the reasons why I chose the episode title How to get off

The Childbirth Conveyor Belt because

You're just on this conveyor

Belt from the beginning of your pregnancy onward and again when you're running an institution or an office like that,

I guess in some ways, you know, it has to go like that. But it's

It's remarkably contrasted with my experience with

My midwives. And it's also remarkably contrasted with my experience in stepping into my sovereignty and paying attention to

My own care.

And I have always sought to do

Or to have prenatal care with a provider.

Partially because I wanted that

Emotional support, which of course, I got that from a

Midwife, I wouldn't have gotten that from an obese office. But in some of my pregnancies, I've done my own

Prenatal care concurrently

To what I was getting with my midwife just for my own records. And because it's what felt right to me

And even honoring myself, of course, looked very different than that conveyor belt,

Even if I was choosing to do the same, similar things like checking my

Weight and my blood pressure and my

Peeing on in a cup and checking it and that kind of thing, you know it was.

Different, and that's where I want.

To step into today on this podcast episode, is that sovereignty and that it's not that those things that they do

Aren't valid or important or things

That we should do during pregnancy. But. It's what's behind it and

The entirety of the experience

And how the experience is

Centered, that matters. The most important thing for this is for you to believe that you are sovereign. For you to believe that you are the one that matters. And your baby, of course, matters, but

One of the fundamental precepts of woman

Centered care and of mama

Baby care. That's why my

Online childbirth classes mom and baby birthing, which you can get more information about it, mama, baby birthing

And my even my consulting is called Mama Baby Rising because it's

So important to me to look at the mother and the


And essentially what is good for you is what is good for your baby. You've heard me

Say it dozens of times. If you've been listening to this

Podcast for a while, it's very much like if you get on an airplane. You're going to hear. Put on your oxygen first, if the, you know, something's emergency situation, put on your oxygen first and

Then put the oxygen on your child

When you're taking care of you,

It's almost always synonymous with taking

Care of your baby because when you're genuinely taking care of yourself, then you are nourishing your baby, and that will be true throughout your parenthood experience. And I think we have persistent stereotypes of a selfish mother. And maybe, maybe there are women. I mean,

Many of us have grown up with a mom who wasn't there for us as much as we needed and that kind of thing.

And there are some moms who were truly neglectful,

Though I would also challenge

Our cultural narratives and our our dominant

Stereotypes I love. And I

Think I've shared before

This concept that I've been introduced to recently of the good

Enough mother, and I can't remember if I've shared it or not, but I want to share it here.

And that concept is that children

Actually grow up healthier and more resilient when they have good enough parents as opposed to perfect parents.

So the fact that a mom isn't always one hundred percent able to meet her child's emotional needs and isn't one hundred percent able to be perfect, causes the child to

Have to rely on their own internal strength on some level.

And that develops resiliency and that develops coping skills and those sorts of things.

It's good for a child, a child who grows up with a parent who could theoretically meet all of their emotional needs in everything that they need would actually grow up

Emotionally stunted because they would

Never learn to develop that well of their own resilience. They would never learn

To develop those coping skills. And so there are areas that we can look back. I can look back. My mom

Was chronically ill for a significant number of my growing up years and still

Is. And my dad was a

Really busy and really overwhelmed with all of that and worked two jobs for a period to

Help pay medical bills. I can look back and see ways that I wish that my parents

Had been able to be there more, and I

Can look back and see ways that I felt like I wasn't good enough and all kinds of challenges that came

Through all of that.

Some things that I still struggle with today. But I can also look back and say that I did develop a level of resilience from that, and I can look back

And see where there was traumas

And things that impact me today, but also strengths. So I'm not saying that we need to be neglectful

Of our children or anything,

But what I am saying is that if sometimes we step back from our children and say, I'm going to meet my own needs because this helps

Me be a better parent.

That is an OK thing, and

That's a bit of a rabbit trail from where I was going.

But what I want to do is I want to fight the dominant

Narrative that, you

Know, like, quote unquote.

Taking care of you means neglecting your baby.

You know, it means going out on some

Shopping spree or sticking your baby with a babysitter or not

Paying any attention to the baby in the womb. I'm not talking about going out and doing

A wild, wild partying or doing drugs or crazy things where you're not thinking about your child.

But what I am saying is that when you do, in fact, especially during pregnancy,

Put yourself first and say, I'm really going to take care of me.

That almost always equates

Taking care of your baby. And really and truly,

What I would challenge you to think is that when you stand firm and say, I'm going to take care of myself, probably

What you're saying is there are other

People's needs and concerns and emotional hang ups and things that

I'm not going to worry about so much. And that might be your mothers or your partners or your doctors or whatever. But you're not going to worry so much about what other people think and you're going to take care of you, and that's probably the reality and

And what happens in society is people will translate. You're not taking into consideration

How or what I think or what makes me comfortable. Therefore, you're not being a good mother. They'll kind of guilt trip you. Because you're not doing what they want,

And I'm not saying that this

Is overt or even something that the other person

Realizes. But that's what we often see is you're doing something that makes me uncomfortable. And so I'm going to try and get you to change by

Implying or even outright stating that you're not taking care of your baby.

And this might seem. Over the top, you may not have encountered this, and if you haven't, it's a real blessing. But I have seen it a lot.

I've been helping pregnant and birthing women for over 16 years now.

And I've seen this happen a lot, and I felt this happened in my own life

Over time and I've had to stand firm

In my own sovereignty, this is something that I

Got a crash course in in my very first

Pregnancy because I made a choice that

Was very different. I was very young. I had my first when I was still a teenager and I chose to have a home birth with a midwife.

And that was, yeah, it's just not

What people were expecting and

It people did consider it to be. You know, maybe even a rebellious choice

Or a stupid

Choice and naive choice. And so I had to stand up

And realize that I 100 percent believe that this is right for me in my

Baby and this is what I'm going to do.

I've been reading. In doing some of my coursework, I've been doing a history course and looking at the American founding and the Declaration of Independence and.

That concept of individual rights and natural rights and, you know, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and all of that.

And. I believe that we, as birthing women, need to look at our individual

Rights and step into that we're

Especially in a climate right now where it's

It's really being emphasized. Oh, you should do what's right

For the collective. And on a level. There is validity to that, and I'm not going to get political or even

Into any of the pandemic nonsense that's going

On as I'm recording this, but. I do believe that we are born with a level of

Sovereignty and autonomy for our bodies, and we get to make the choices that are the choices that are right for our bodies and for our babies. And I believe that

When again, you're going to hear me say it again

And again because I just believe it so fundamentally at my core,

When a mother is taking care of herself, she is taking care of her baby.

An issue that we see, especially in obstetrics, but to some extent, I think in all of the medical profession is that the patient is looked at and I say the patient because that's the medical word. Is looked at as not on the same level. And especially in obstetrics, it's

You know, you're having a child,

And in some ways you get looked at as a child. I know that when I was having Cassidy. I was looked at as a child because here's this teenager, you know, this dumb teenager who's having a baby, so it's a baby having a baby. Excuse me, ladies, and.

But the truth is is you are having a child, you are you are not a child.

You are a woman, a sovereign woman, and you may, you know, you may think, Well, Christine, that's easy for you to say because you have this encyclopedic knowledge about pregnancy and

Birth and baby. And there's truth to that. I mean.

I have

Lived pregnancy, birth and baby for a lot of years of my life, literally and figuratively,

And just that I've been

Up to my ears over my ears, completely buried in pregnancy, birth and baby

For the last 16 plus

Years. But the truth is is I was sovereign when I was a 19 year old who had read a couple of books about natural birth and read mothering

Magazine and decided that that's what

I wanted and I really didn't know all that much. And you're sovereign in your pregnancy and birth right now.

So you. You may not have as much knowledge as, say, an obstetrician or


But you have knowledge about yourself and you may feel like, you know, OK, well, I don't I don't know a lot about this Christian. I don't know a lot about trusting myself, and I'll come back to that in a minute.

But I want you to realize that even if you feel like your experience is limited and your knowledge is

Limited, that's OK. You still know you and you can still tune in to you and you can still pay attention to how you think and feel about things. And consider not

Just that those are valid, but that those are are the priority. What you're you are in a consulting relationship,

Think about a business that hires a consultant, the consultant comes in and assesses what's going on, makes recommendations and the business can choose to

Follow those or not. I'm working with somebody right now,

A small business consultant who's helping me look at the website and everything that I'm doing on the business side of And I can choose to follow her advice or not. I don't feel intimidated by her. I mean, I feel

Like she's got a level of expertize and objectivity that I don't have, and I value that. But I don't feel like if I chose not to follow her advice that I would be being childish or

Stupid or that she's somehow superior to me, she has a different

Perspective than I do. She has expertize. She's helped a lot of small business owners, micro business owners, a lot of women, business owners to be able to balance the practical side of the business with the heart and soul of what they want to do. And I value

That a lot,

And I realized that she's seen a lot.

And so I value her advice, but I don't feel like I would be stupid or that she would be offended or mean to me or anything if

I didn't decide to take her advice.

And that's really the way that we should look at our relationship with a care provider, for sure. And most definitely with a mother or another loved one or a girlfriend or

Somebody who's giving advice about pregnancy,

They may bring up a valid

Point. So I was talking to a friend and the other day about some

Advocacy work that we're doing, and

She was talking about, Oh, my sister says, I come across a somewhat abrasive

And I've been trying to work on that. So her sister

Gave some advice and she thought about it and said, You know what?

I think she's right. And so she's become aware of that. But. It's it's being able to take that feedback

That other people give us and filter through and say, OK, this is valid, and sometimes we might say this isn't

Valid, this doesn't work. This isn't right. But what I want you to realize is that there's still that sovereignty I'm,

You know, I am still the one who's running my business. If I decide to take my consultant's advice or not, my friend is still the one

Who's considering her

Approach to advocacy and and how she how she advocates for things and how she phrases things and even her tone of voice. She gets to take her sister's

Advice, take it or leave it, so to


And that really is the way that it is and birth. You're not a child. You are a full partner in this. You are appear in many levels, maybe not appear on a professional

Level, but on an adult and

Relating level. You are. And in fact, you are really a step

Above because you are the boss. You are the one who's hired these people, just like the CEO, hires the consultant.

He or she

Doesn't feel intimidated by the consultant. The consultant is

Technically lower than them on

The totem pole. The consultant has specialized expertize in this one area, comes in, gives it in that area, and then the CEO

Sees the entirety of the organism, which in this

Case is a business. And decides how they will if they will implement the consultant's recommendations.

And in that you are CEO of yourself and of your pregnancy and of your life.

You see a lot more. This pregnancy is an important and vital thing. I would even say the central thing

In your life right now in many

Ways. But it's not all of it.

And you see

Yourself in ways that especially the medical profession doesn't see, many midwives are better about seeing this, but you're not just a

Pregnant body. You are a woman. You are a body. You're a heart. You're a spirit. You're a mind.

There are these multiple aspects of you and all

Of those are important and all

Of those that totality

Of the person that you are is

Who will raise this child.

And when you honor the totality of that person and the

Sovereignty of that woman,

Then you are honoring the mother that you are, that you

Will become that you will grow into

As you grow through parenting this child and even

Beyond. And this experience

Is vital for your child,

But it's also vital for you. I also want to ask

You, you're not being a child if

You want a good experience. That's another characterization that we often see is that you're being childish to want

A good experience. You're you're being

Selfish and childish.

You're putting yourself ahead of your baby.

And I've emphasized it a lot already on this episode that

Very rarely is that the


Mothers are willing to do anything for their children. They put their baby first in

A lot of ways, even to their own detriment. And in some ways, that's important. We need to be able to do that. But in some ways what we've done is

Actually create mothers who are harmed and who don't,

Who don't get the healing that they need in the support that they need. Because the belief is just she'll get over it. She's done what's best for the baby, the healthy babies,

What matters and she'll get over it.

And I've have talked about that some and some of the more recent podcast episodes.

And that's that's a wrong perspective to take.

But it is the perspective that leads to this implication that you're being

Childish if you want a good experience. Are you wanting a good experience, you

Wanting to

Step into your power in this birth

Is not at all childish.

It serves you and your baby. It serves the world when we have powerful

Women, when I did


Spring, when I did the.

The pregnancy event where I had the

Twenty one different speakers

Come on and we

Went across twenty one days of just pregnancy and birth goodness, one of the obese that I talked to, we talked about that at the very end of his talk, which is and I just spontaneously asked him the question because it just it felt right at that time, but it was asking about what happens if we as a society

Honor mothers and their voices

And what they need. What does that do to the mother? What does that do to the woman? And ultimately, what does that do to our society? And I loved his answer because he talked

About how

Having strong

Mothers benefits

Our society when we have. When you have strong

Women who are confident in their power, we have a better

Society. And that's not because I'm promoting any sort of political agenda. It's because I

Truly believe that when we have women who are sovereign and in their power, we have healthier families. We have women who are able to fight. Life is bittersweet.

I was talking to a friend about this last night. Life is is bittersweet, I was I was actually feeling a little bit grumpy and cynical about something. And you know, they said life can be cruel and I thought about it. That's definitely


But even while I was

Pondering this particular cruelty that we were

Discussing, I was thinking that. Really, life is a blessing, I've seen a lot of blessings concurrently at the same period of life that's been so challenging for my family and so life is bittersweet.

And we need strength and resilience for that.

That's the point that I'm getting at with that is we need strength and resilience. And when we have women

Who have gone through this journey of pregnancy and birth and into motherhood, being honored and

Having a voice and feeling strong and

Powerful, that's building strength and resilience that serves her and her family and the greater world beyond and whatever she does, whatever you

Do beyond that. So it's a beautiful thing. Ok, let's talk about some practical things, because I know I'm

Getting long here. I want you to get the right perspective on

Relationships in this, because that helps you

Step into your sovereignty and that's relationship with your care provider, which I've already talked

About quite a bit

As I've rambled through

This podcast episode.

But your care provider is there as a peer, as a consultant for you. Look at that relationship in that way. And then there's a relationship

With, say,

Your friends and your extended

Family and those people and I put those relationships on the same level. Even though you might think, Oh, you know, what's going on between me and my mom

And my parents is different than me and my

Friends. But in some ways it's really not because, you know, these are

People who love you and care about you, but they're not the people who call the


And so they're going to give you

Their thoughts and opinions. And it may feel

Like it really matters, especially if you have a really close relationship with, say, your parents.

But ultimately, it's this it's similar and that these people give you input and feedback, but you need and you consider that, but you need to do

What is right for you and your baby, what's right for you and your child, and what's right

For you in this situation? And step into that even if you step on toes. Remember, if people get upset because of the decisions that you make,

It's much more about them than

It's about you. It's about their feelings, about themselves, and it's about how they feel about the fact that, oh, they didn't listen to me, and it's not so much about you, and I just encourage you to step

Into that power and be sovereign. The other relationship that's really important is, of course, your relationship with your partner or your spouse, and that relationship is going to feel bigger and especially if there's disagreement because.

This I mean, there's a good

Chance that this person is this baby's parent as well, and that feels important and valid. But I want you to realize that

You still need to

Step into your power at this point, you are still ultimately sovereign. You are the one who's carrying this baby.

You're most likely the one who's going to nurse this baby. And yes,

Both of you are going to parent. And even if you have

Some egalitarian

Equality kind of stuff in parenting, which is good. This is still a journey on a profound level for you. And you stepping into your power and your sovereignty.

Is still ultimately, I think the bottom line, it's the buck stops here, kind of thing.

Because it is what prepares you for the transition to motherhood and into the strength that you will need, and there are no guarantees in life. You know, there are moms, there are children who lose their mothers or children who lose their fathers, children who lose parents for various reasons. So there's no promises in life.

But I do know

That you ultimately. Are the one who's sovereign, and what

I see many, many, many times

Is that you realize

On some level how fundamental this is, but a partner just doesn't quite get it on the same level. I see this even with Mama Baby birthing classes. So, you know, we buy all the stuff like, you know, people, I I've got this

Zoom Group, a support group

We've been meeting for since the beginning of the pandemic,

Kind of. The support group went on Zoom

And you know, it's guys and gals and and one of the guys his daughter

Is having a baby, right?

And he's talking about she asked him to buy the stroller.

And then she told him the stroller and he goes to buy, buy baby, to buy the stroller. He's like, Holy bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep, bleep bleep. Because this stroller

Is hundreds and hundreds of dollars, right? And so he's, you know, he's a good

Daddy, good grandpa says buying the stroller. But I I can't

Help but think about that. That's a norm in our society is to spend hundreds of dollars, even a thousand

Dollars on a stroller and baby gear and liet and

Cribs and all this stuff. And I don't think that's necessary, but it's normal people do it without batting an eye. Yet a mom talks about how she wants to

Buy a natural birthing course and all of a sudden,

Oh my gosh, we just don't have that in the budget, babe. And that stretch in the budget.

And do you really need that? You can just go take this course from, you know, unnamed corporate baby sites. Their course is free. You can

See I found it on the

App Store. Go do this.

And it so it it's normative not to honor.

I mean, yeah, that course probably has slick graphics

And explains the mechanics of childbirth and tells you what to do when the doctor says, Oh, everything's stopped, go. Let's get a C-section. It may tell you how to handle that situation,

But does it honor you? Does it honor you on every level? If you go through Mama Baby Birthing or probably many other natural childbirth courses. They're going to honor you on every level. And Mama Baby birthing, I talk about all the practical stuff. But I also cover the heart stuff

And the soul stuff, the spirit stuff we talk about the intellect, the choices, the interventions,

All of that. But we also talk about the heart and soul of birth. And of pregnancy and of motherhood. It's much more why is

It why is it

Selfish or a splurge or out of the budget

To do that?

And so when I talk about your partner or your spouse

Is especially coming back to this concept that

You are worthy, you know, you're not chopped liver here. If a stroller is a valuable splurge, a worthy splurge, I mean, I like I. He was talking about, Oh my gosh, they have Bye-Bye baby, and it's even called B y, and I was like, Man, I love going into those stores. I just I don't like, you know, I've I've raised eight babies on a shoestring, really, but I haven't splurged a lot. But gosh, I love going in there. I love looking in the little

Baby clothes and all the baby stuff. I just love it, even if I'm not going to buy it. You know, so I don't have a problem with that. But what I have a problem with is that we, as women can't step up and say, You know, this is important to me.

I think one of the biggest arguments that Scott and I had across

Our babies was I

Hired a birth photographer. It cost a lot of money, but it was super, super, super important to me, and the reason

I don't think it was the cost, necessarily, it's just at that time. Finances were not not good because he had been laid off and a whole bunch of other stuff. So. Anyways, I but to

Me, it was important, and I, you know, I

I put my foot down, so to speak, and said, This is important to me. I need I need this. And today, given everything that's happened,

I treasure those pictures.

I'm so grateful that I did that. And I share

This, it's a really vulnerable thing for me, but it was so important to me and really my baby's birth. I paid for all my baby's births out of pocket. It was so important to me and I'm not

Saying that you need to necessarily spend money, but I'm saying that these are things

Where again, like, you know, people aren't going to bat an eye at a freaking thousand

Stroller, but somehow a woman is she's selfish or it's not

In the budget for her to pay for the birth that she wants her birthing courses that will support her or working with somebody and my mom, a baby rising program. I work one on one with women,

Some of whom don't have access to, say, a midwife

Or something in their area. And it's I mean that that's an investment for them to work with me.

It's an investment in themselves, and so.

I'm not saying that any of this requires a lot of money.

It's just that money often is used as a

Qualifier for why we shouldn't do what we need to do, even though people wouldn't bat an eye in another circumstance.

What I'm saying is I want you to look at your voice in the relationship,

And there are many things that

May be about what you

Need to eat or that you need some time to rest or some time alone or some time to exercise or whatever it is. It doesn't necessarily

Have to be about money, but as you being able to stand up and say that what I need is valid.

That's important, that's part of stepping into your sovereignty. Pregnancy and early motherhood are time to let yourself be mother, to be served. We as women take the role as nurturers and servants very naturally.

So look at this time as a time

That you're nurturing your baby and you can be nurtured on whatever. Whatever level that is. The truth is, is that preparing for a sovereign birth is really on you.

It's on you to step into that

Power and to find

Your voice, to do soul

Searching, to figure out what's important to you and what's

Not. There may be some things that don't matter to you.

You know, things that might be part of the routine or whatever, or some

Things that you don't feel like you need. But there might be some things that you do feel like you need. Another thing is is having some help cleaning the house after one

Of our babies was born. That was something that felt important to me,

Even though Scott didn't see where it was important. So sometimes it's you look at what you need, and there are sometimes when you might say, no, I don't really necessarily need this. I mean, I've some people want to go away

And have a period away and do a retreat or something before their babies are born. That's not something I've ever done. But it might feel important to you.

So look at

What feels important to you and look at it truthfully and honestly

And ask yourself, how is my voice in this relationship? This doesn't mean that you need to be obnoxious or

Demanding or anything like

That, but it does mean get

Comfortable with your voice. I believe that with great power comes great responsibility, we as mothers are so we're responsible for so much. And so we're powerful and also responsible, but I believe that every mother can sense that.

So part of this is practical preparation, I talk about practical

Preparation all the time. I mean, that's what Mama Baby Birthing incorporates for sure. Is that practical preparation. It's nourishing yourself, it's

Listening to yourself. It's getting into the habit of

Honoring yourself in practical ways. Am I thirsty? Get a

Drink. Do I need to go to the bathroom even if it's for the 50 millionth time today?

Do I need to gain birthing skills?

Yes, I'm going to answer that question for you. So take the time to

Work on those birthing skills. Listen to yourself.

I'm sleepy. I need a nap. I need some time away.

I've tried to be more gentle with

Myself recently and say, You know what? I'm overwhelmed with parenting all of these children all day long.

It's really

Intense, and I'm going to just take a moment to step

Into my room and breathe

And then go back out and handle whatever the situation is. It's OK to say that I need to honor myself. And when you start to honor yourself in small ways, you tune

In more and more. And that's what I would encourage you across the

Course of this pregnancy is to start

Small, honoring yourself

In the little ways and finding small pockets of joy

In your day.

Little things like a cup

Of tea or enjoying a

Song that you like singing with the song that you like, maybe dancing

Or taking a minute to read a chapter in a book, a few minutes to read a chapter in a book, or closing your eyes for a few minutes and going through a guided relaxation.

It can be a pregnancy relaxation like I include

A mama baby birthing or. It could be anything, you know, whatever it is that nourishes you,

Do these tiny little things

And at your next appointment, ask your doctor or midwife

Some questions, not necessarily pregnancy questions, but as they talk about things, even as they listen to the baby's heartbeat. Why, you know, why do we listen to the baby's heartbeat

At every appointment?

Get explanations,

Start to assert yourself, step into that level of power, that level of right to know, to understand the right to ask questions. The right to be part of this. The right to consent. Those little things are things that are going to build and help you step more and more into this power and this sovereignty because women are sovereign and birth, I was talking to a

Mom on the phone last week and told her that is my fundamental

Core premise is that women are sovereign and birth, and I'm going to support you. I'm going to encourage you if I have a mom

Who I don't feel like is eating as well

As she, should I talk to her about that

Because I have beliefs and

Standards of care that I think are important. But I

Also feel like a

Woman is sovereign, and I respect her enough to


I respect and honor your sovereignty.

This is what I'm seeing, and I want to give this to you. I want to share this with you, and

You take from it what you will.

I hope that you listen to me.

I hope that you can receive that.

And I hope that because often when, especially in that sort of circumstance, when a woman isn't eating well, there's often other stuff going

On like she's worried about. I have had a mom who was really worried about the finances and her husband had to step

In and say, Look, I don't care how much the food costs,

You and the baby are worth it.

And I've had women who have emotional hang ups about food and that sort of thing. And so am I.

My job and mama baby birthing and and baby rising is to support you where you are and help you. If I

Feel like something would help you help find the support

That makes that right for you or to honor and respect you

Saying, you know what? That's just not something I

Can do right now, Christine.

And that's but that's where I come from, is this place of

Sovereignty and respect and support. And that's what you deserve, no matter who your care provider is, no matter who you're working with throughout your pregnancy. If its friends, loved ones, your husband or partner, your doctor or midwife, that's what you deserve is for them to recognize your sovereignty, that you are beautiful, powerful, amazing


That you are an embodiment

Of feminine abundance

And power and beauty and strength.

And that this is a time

To honor you

And to step back and to say, this woman is amazing.

How can I support her?

And for you to step into that, not in a selfish prima donna kind of way,

But in literally I am a powerful, sovereign, beautiful

Woman. And as I step

Forward into this, I am serving my baby. I am serving my family. I am serving my world. I am stronger and confident.

I feel amazing. And even on days that I don't feel amazing, I can be gentle with myself and honor myself. And by doing this, I'm supporting myself and my

Baby and I can receive the support and love

That's coming to me and I can make my voice heard. And so I know this podcast episode has gotten long, so I'm going to leave you with that beautiful sovereignty.

I want to invite you that if you're interested in Mama Baby birthing or working with me through Mama Baby Rising, check out Mama Baby Birthing. There's information there. If you've got any

Questions, you can shoot me an email,

Kristen, that

I would love to support you in this pregnancy. Just let me know if you've got

Any questions or any thoughts, if you

Have any thoughts that come up after you listen to this episode, I'd love to hear

Them, but I want to leave you there in that power, feeling supported, feeling powerful, finding

Small ways to step into that power,

Even if you feel a long way from it right now because you are sovereign in this

Experience, it is a beautiful experience, and the you that you become through this experience

Is a gift to yourself, to your baby, to your family

And to the world.

It is literally what we as a world need. So you are strong, mama, you are powerful, you are sovereign and you are supported and loved,

And I will talk to you soon.

Thanks for listening to the birth, baby and Life podcast with Kristen Burgess for great resources and tons more info visit WW W visits WW w

pregnant mom holding baby

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