Have you ever wondered why it takes some moms hours to push out their babies and other babies seems to pop out in one push?
As a doula, this is one of the questions I hear often. How do I push a baby out fast?
Now, usually, I try to provide scientifically, peer reviewed evidence in my answers, but for this question, I turned to moms that have actually had really fast births and asked them about what they did to prepare, what was going on in their head and what they were experiencing during birth and especially pushing during birth.
So, if you want to push a baby out fast, or to learn from moms who have, this is the place for you!
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Before I get into the details of exactly what moms who push their baby out fast do differently in birth, I want to preface by saying that every labor is different. Having a shorter labor and pushing stage is caused by many things. For example, your baby’s position, your comfort with birth, your body and so many other factors can affect how long it takes to push out your baby.
I offer these tips as interesting observations, not a promise that if you do these things your birth will unfold in the same way theirs did. Unfortunately, the one thing I know about birth, is that it is not predictable like that. Yes, you can influence it, but after preparing and doing your part, developing a sense of detachment or a role of exploring and enjoying your own story and how it unfolds is healthy.
4 Stories of Moms Who Had Super Fast Births And Shared Their Tips With You
So who are these moms that I got these tips from?
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Mandy arrived at the hospital ready to have her baby. Once she was checked in, the nurse suggested she get in the tub because she ‘might have a while.’ Mandy was only in the tub for an hour when she said “I’m having the baby now!” The nurse said, “no, that’s not possible, you need more time.” Mandy isn’t one to listen to what she’s told, so she started pushing and delivered her baby in the tub at the hospital before the OB could even get in the room!
Sarah had her first baby in under 5 hours from start to finish. She was expecting a quick second birth when she reached out to me. She was overwhelmed by how fast it as the first time around and was prepared for the second, which happened even faster in three hours!
Mel was having her 3rd baby. Her first two came quickly. I was there putting together her labor tub when she said she thought she must be close based on her previous experiences. Her midwives told her they thought she had a ways to go and they would come back in the morning to check on her and to call if anything changed. Mel thought she was in active labor, the midwives thought she was way to calm and only dilated to a 3. Less than 2 hours later she gave birth with her husband catching the baby as the midwives rushed back to her.
Abbey called me to come to her birth saying she thought she was in active labor. Upon joining her, I realized she was not just not in active labor, but in transition. I called the midwives who joined us less than 30 minutes later, just in time to be there as Abbey pushed a baby out in 3 contractions.
These are the moms with super fast labors from whom I got this advice.
*Please note, these are atypical and very fast births, most women to not push their babies out this quickly. I personally had to push for 4 hours, not one or two contractions, and that is totally fine as well!
I asked each of these moms what was going through their head during their birth. Did they do anything to help their labor along? THe following tips come directly from moms who did push their babies out fast!
How To Push A Baby Out Fast – 5 Tips From Moms Who Did It
Tip 1 – Mind the time between contractions
The time between contractions is less time than the time during contractions. So while contractions take a significant amount of energy and focus, making the most of the time between contractions can help. This can look like connecting with your partner, receiving a gentle massage, enjoying something to eat, or focusing on something you love that lets you enter a place of surrender more easily.
Tip 2 – Don’t focus on what the contraction feels like
Knowing what a contraction feels like and how to cope is important work BEFORE birth. But, once birth starts, these moms focus on what the contractions is doing for them. They pay attention to how the contraction is opening their cervix, and even more importantly, how they can feel their baby shifting and moving down with each contraction.
Tip 3 – Develop a deep belief of birth’s safety before it starts
This one may take some emotional and educational work. These moms all came to a place where they felt safe birthing. This meant developing knowledge of birth and how it is physiologically sound through reading birth literature, watching birth videos and taking birth classes.
But they also internalized their belief that they could do this well before birth started. This second part is often glossed over by basic classes, as it requires internal and emotional work that many of us just don’t have guidance on. You’re in luck though – helping moms sort through the emotional side of birth is exactly why I wrote my book Divine Birth.
Tip 4 – They focus on affirmations surrounding baby
Building on the last tip, the words these moms use during birth are different than the words most moms I work with during birth have. Most moms are focused (and rightly so!) on affirmation like “I am strong enough to do this” or “just one more.”
These moms with super fast births focused on affirmations like “I want my baby now!” “I can feel my baby moving down” “I’m having my baby!”. Every labor sensation brought them closer emotionally to the point of holding their baby and they had a strong focus on the fact that the sensation of labor meant that it was working and that the contractions were bringing them their baby.
Tip 5 – They do their Kegels
Kegel exercises are pelvic floor exercises that help tone and shape the vaginal canal. Women who do kegels during pregnancy are at lower risk for tearing and at least anecdotally, from the moms I’ve spoken with, can help the pushing stage be more efficient.
However, what most women are taught about Kegels is almost entirely incorrect. If you are going to start practicing Kegels, do them in an exercise program like Every Mother, where you will learn how to engage your entire pelvic floor and find out about the most common Kegel Myths and what you need to know instead to benefit from these surprisingly effective exercises.
Will An Exercise Program Really Help Me Push My Baby Out Fast?
The truth is, there are far too many factors to your birth to say that doing one thing on it’s own is guaranteed to change how quickly you will birth. However, it is a fact that a properly cared for pelvic floor is less likely to tear during birth, and if you do your kegels, you are less likely to need an episiotomy.
I personally love recommending the Every Mother System to moms who want to strengthen their pelvic floor and protect their abdominal system as the program is made by a physical therapist who has really done her work to help you learn functional movement and how to use these muscles the right way. Which, in my book, is a total win.
It will likely help you have a better birth, and will definitely help you be more comfortable during pregnancy. Have any questions? Send them my way!
How To Actually Push When You’re Pushing Out A Baby
Okay, so you may be thinking, wait, none of those things actually talk about how o push a baby out. It’s all about mindset and your body just doing it. And yes, for these women, their body took over and just did it. Many women experience this and it is called the fetal ejection reflex.
However, not all women experience the fetal ejection reflex. And many women need to be told how to push.
When you are pushing your baby out, you need to find the inner layer of your abdominals. (remember how I mentioned every mother above – that exercise program will 100% teach you how to do this!)
These are the muscles that are the deepest layer or your abs, and help you have good posture. If you breathe out and pull your belly button to the spine with your breath, you are using the right muscles.
Second, you need to find your pelvic floor muscles that you use during a kegel exercise.
These are the muscle groups you will be pushing your baby out with.
Essentially, you are going to use these muscles, in your gut, and your pelvic floor to push.
So, when you push your baby out, you will relax your neck, jaw, shoulders, and all your energy will go down into your gut and then imagine shooting your breath and your baby out.
I know, it sounds weird, but the best way to do it is to imagine all your energy going down and out. You are pushing with your abdominal muscles and your pelvic floor is relaxing and releasing or helping with the push.
It sounds hard, and you can lightly practice before labor, but the truth is, once you’re in labor and baby is pushing down on your vaginal canal, you will be able to feel this clearly.
The TL/DR Of How To Push A Baby Out Fast
While you cannot gaurentee a short labor, learning how to relax and release during birth is imperitive. Know that every contraction is bringing your baby to you and fill each contraction with that intention. Have you forus be on the real fact that your baby is moving down and pay attention to that as much as possible instead of the sensation of the contractions.
Overall, approach your birth with a sense of curiosity and discovery. It may unfold just as you wish, and it may have twists and turns that will keep things interesting and give you a great story to tell your little one in the years to come.