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One Word That Could Make All The Difference In Your Labor

 “I’m in labor!” one of my friends recently texted me. And as I started to pray for her, I immediately had the thought, Why do we call it labor? What if we called it co-labor instead?

Like what if she texted me and said; “I’m in co-labor!” Because truly that’s what God created it to be. And that’s the frame of mind we want to have as we enter the wild journey birth.

Labor is what came after the fall; a labor and toil that God never intended us to experience. But co-laboring is what we were truly designed for; what the Garden of Eden was all about. God gave Adam and Eve work to do but it was to be done in a joyful, intimate co-laboring with Him.

TOGETHER they named the animals.  In perfect fellowship with Him, they tended the garden and ruled over the earth. In Holy partnership with Him, they would be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. As Adam co-labored with God while tending the ground, there was joyful fellowship and fulfillment. As Eve would co-labor with God in bringing forth children, there was to be a similar joyful fellowship and fulfillment.

In co-laboring there’s no striving. No fear. No toiling. No pressure. No lack.

It was only after the fall that Adam and Eve experienced separation from God and suddenly found themselves “laboring” in their work instead of the peaceful “co-laboring” they were created for.

But Jesus bridged that separation for us and restored God’s original intent for perfect fellowship and co-laboring. So that can now be our experience once again! But we can miss it if we still see ourselves in a season of needing to “labor, toil, and strive.”

So what if we changed our language to reflect the truth of what’s available to us now?

What if we said, “I’m going into co-labor!” And as we said it, it served as a powerful reminder to us that we are not alone in this beautiful journey of birth.

What if we used it as a declaration that we are going to peacefully co-labor with God, our husband, our baby, and with peace, rest, surrender, and trust.  

What if served as a reminder that we will end up co-laboring with something and that we have already made a decision that…

We refuse to co-labor with fear. We refuse to partner with control. We refuse to co-labor with discouragement or worry.

That with all our heart, mind, and body, we choose to co-labor with God. With joy. With peace. With our baby. With excitement. And with Heaven.

I’ve already decided that with our next birth, I’m going to call it “co-labor.” I’m going to ask my husband, friends, and birth team to use that word as well.

If a friend calls me, I want her to ask “Are you in co-labor yet?

I want to call my husband at work and say “I think I’m in early co-labor!

I want my midwife to say “Looks like you’re in active co-labor!” 

And I’m excited to see how that word and the frame of mind it puts us in will impact the “co-labor” and birth!

I encourage you to embrace and use this word too! Our words are extremely powerful and this one word could radically impact your pregnancy and birth experience!

Proverbs 18:1 says “The tongue has the power of life and death and those who love it will eat its fruit.”  So let’s use our tongues and the language we use surrounding our birth to bring forth abundant life, the Kingdom of Heaven and all that’s available to us!

To your beautiful “co-labor” and birth,

Kierra

p.s. If you want more tools to transform your mindset and prepare you for a beautiful birth with God, come join my online Kingdom Childbirth Class! You’ll be empowered to truly enjoy the gift that God created childbirth to be and learn how to birth your baby in His joy and presence! Plus, you get to connect with amazing moms all over the world who going after the same thing! Come join us!

 

 

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6 Reasons You Want a Doula at Your Birth!

doula-cropped

As you seek God’s heart for your birth and prepare for the type of birth you long for, make sure to pray about adding a doula to your birth team!

After experiencing one birth without a doula and one birth with a doula, I can honestly say that it made a HUGE difference and I can’t imagine giving birth again without one.

A birth doula is someone who provides physical, emotional, spiritual, and informational support to you and your partner throughout the labor and birth.

Here’s what that looks like…

  • She gives you amazing massages
  • Knows all the right pressure points to make you feel more comfortable
  • Gives you yummy drinks and snacks throughout labor to keep you strong and feeling good  
  • Suggests positions or activities to help labor progress faster
  • Helps you make informed decisions
  • Makes sure you feel empowered, heard, and that you call the shots for the birth
  • Makes you feel like the most loved, cared for, supported woman on the planet (so much so that in my case, I didn’t even want labor to end for a while)

From my experience both as a doula and a mom in labor, here are 6 reasons you want a doula:

1. Shorter labor

Um, yes, please! Statistically, birth doulas shorten labors by an average of 6 hours. For me, that’s worth the investment right there! They are able to offer suggestions throughout the labor to help the baby move down quicker and keep you at peace so that labor is able to progress faster. They also help you labor at home longer so that you don’t get to the hospital or birth center too early, which can slow or stall labor.

2. Less pain

Once again, yes, please! Through their comfort techniques, massages, pressure points, and position suggestions, they greatly help reduce any pain you are experiencing. Plus, they really help your mental game and help you stay in a relaxed place of peace – both of which play a big part in decreasing pain.

3. Peace of Mind

This is probably the most important thing for your labor experience. If you are able to keep your mind and body at peace, your labor will be much more comfortable and progress quicker. And you’ll be able to enjoy it for the gift God created it to be! A doula will offer the information and assurance you need to keep you at peace throughout the labor. She’ll help you know the best time to head to the hospital and help you make decisions throughout the entire labor that you feel confident and peaceful about. Her expertise and knowledge can provide the assurance and encouragement you need when anxiety starts to creep in.

4. Less likely to need any interventions

This is huge! Moms who have a doula have a 40% less chance of the birth ending in a C-section, and 30% less chance of feeling like they need an epidural. They also have fewer inductions, Pitocin intervention, and vacuum or forceps deliveries. Isn’t it amazing that the presence of a trained and caring doula can produce those types of results?

It’s because she is able to help you make better-informed choices, stick up for your rights at the hospital, labor faster so the hospital doesn’t pressure you for a C-section, help you arrive at the hospital later so that they don’t put you on a clock too early or pressure you for Pitocin early on, and feel comfortable and empowered so you don’t feel the need for an epidural or pain meds.

She helps you labor in the best positions so that your body is able to naturally birth well the way God designed without needing interventions.

5. You and your partner get to enjoy the birth more!

Don’t we all want that? I so believe that God designed childbirth to be a gift for us to enjoy. And having a doula present really helps both of you enjoy the whole process and gift. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed my labor with my husband and doula loving on me, worshipping with me, massaging me, affirming me, bringing me drinks & snacks, and hugging me through my strong contractions. It was truly heavenly.  And I can honestly say, I ENJOYED it!

But that’s because of the confidence and peace she brought into the room, the suggestions she had that felt so heavenly, and her tender care for both of us. I was able to trust her judgments and suggestions and turn my thinking brain off and just get in my birth zone and enjoy. I let her and my husband do all the heavy thinking and discussing while I just enjoyed being in my zone with God.

And my husband was able to enjoy the birth so much more. He didn’t feel pressure to be there for me every single second and always know the perfect thing to say or the perfect place to touch to make me feel more comfortable. He didn’t have to run from massaging me to getting me a drink to trying to get a second to pee and send a quick text. He could leave the room for a minute without feeling guilty because I was in great hands with my doula. It took the pressure and anxiety off him so he could just be present and enjoy the whole experience with me.

6. Enjoy the postpartum time more

Statistics show that moms who have a doula at their birth report a greater satisfaction in motherhood in the following months. They report that their babies cry less and report greater feelings of bonding with their babies. Pretty amazing!

We don’t know all the reasons for this, but some of it is because moms with doulas tend to have more satisfying and healthy birth experiences. And a great birth experience allows you to enjoy your postpartum time more. If you have a traumatic birth experience, it takes a while to emotionally and physically heal from that during the postpartum time.

Researchers also believe that having a female present throughout the birth to care for you empowers you as a new mom. If you feel extremely cared for in the birth, you get filled up with all you need to care for your new little one now. The confidence the doula gives you during the birth transfers into motherhood.

Less postpartum depression and more enjoyment in the first few months of mommyhood? Yes, please! Sign me up for a doula!

So there you have it, 6 reasons I highly encourage you to get a doula for your birth! 

If you want to learn more about what a doula offers, the difference between a doula and a midwife, and why I recommend hiring a doula, check out this video I made :). 

And if you’re looking for a Christian doula in your area, click here to check out my doula page. I’m starting to populate it with like-minded doulas around the U.S. (And if you know an amazing doula you think I should list on here, send her to my doula affiliate program where she can sign up!)

And if you are a doula who would like to be added to the list, you can read about my doula affiliate program here.

If a doula made a difference at your birth, I’d love to hear about it in the comment section below! Why would you recommend getting one?

To your beautiful birth,

Kierra

beautiful pregnant and flowers

How To Hear God’s Voice for Your Birth

Above all the research you do, the books you read, and the advice you get, the MOST IMPORTANT thing for you to know during your pregnancy and birth is what God is saying to you.

His wisdom far surpasses google, the documentary you watched, and your mom’s well-meaning advice. He knows you and your baby intimately and has a beautiful plan for your pregnancy and birth if you will trust Him and follow His voice.

I recently talked with a good friend who’s had three AMAZING supernatural births! I asked her what advice she had for moms who long to have births like hers, and she replied,

“Seek God’s voice! Journal throughout the pregnancy and write down what God is saying about your baby and your birth. We live by the voice of the Lord and we birth by the voice of the Lord. He gave me really specific words and instructions for each birth and I just followed His leading with each of them.”

For this last birth, that even meant following God’s leading to a hospital birth when she much preferred the home births of her other children. But she heard God asking her to birth this baby at the hospital with Him, and she laid down her fears and preferences and said yes.

And it’s so beautiful to hear of the hospital staff who were blessed and touched by God because of her yes and the witness she was to them during the birth! (I’ll be recording a podcast soon with her whole story in it, along with lots of other inspiring stories from moms – so stay tuned!).

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to listen to God’s voice throughout your pregnancy and birth. He is the BEST midwife, doctor, chiropractor, and labor coach. He knows exactly what your body needs, what your baby needs, and how He wants to spread His Kingdom through your story.

Before I dive into some tips for hearing God’s voice, let me give you a few areas I recommend listening to Him in:

1. Your pregnancy: How does He want you to take care of yourself during this season? What does He want you eating? What does He want you reading? What does He want your focus to be these 9 months? What does He want your schedule to look like? How does He see your body during this time?

2. Your baby: What is He saying about your baby? What they carry? Their personality? What they need from you as a mom? How is He calling you to interact with them in the womb? What is He saying about their destiny or calling? Does He have a name for them?

3. Your Labor & Birth: Does He have a specific place He wants you to deliver? Which caregiver would be best for you? Does He have a theme for your birth? A certain Scripture for the birth? A specific tip for your labor? A posture He wants you take during the birth (for example, a posture of worship, of receiving his love, of surrender, etc).

4. Medical Decisions: There can be a myriad of medical decisions that need to be made throughout your pregnancy and birth, and they can feel scary and overwhelming if you don’t take them to God and get his words and peace. Strep b, shots, induction, epidurals, breech babies, c-sections, bladder infections, VBACS, and the list goes on and on of things that might pop up. Your doctor may suggest things, but you can make decisions in peace by hearing God’s leading on each situation that comes your way. Ask Him what’s best for you and your baby. He’ll lead you!

5. The Postpartum Time: Bring your sleep questions to God, your nursing issues, your confusion when you don’t know why baby is crying, and everything else that comes your way during the postpartum time. How does God want you to take care of yourself? What specifically does your baby need? He will guide you through this transition and on through your whole journey of motherhood!

Ok, so how do we hear his voice in these areas? Here are a few suggestions:

1. Make time to listen to Him! It’s so much easier to hear Him when our minds are quiet and we’re not racing through the day. So put some soaking music on, quiet your mind and heart, worship Him, and then ask Him questions and listen! He loves to speak to you – so trust that He will meet you as you carve out space to talk to Him.

2. When you hear something, trust that it’s probably Him! Doubt is one of the biggest things that keeps us from hearing God’s voice. We ask God a question, an answer runs through our head, but we think, “Oh, that was probably just me.” But the Holy Spirit lives inside you now and the main way He speaks to you is INSIDE YOU. His voice often is a thought that runs through your mind. So I challenge you to trust, “That was probably God” instead of thinking “That was probably just me.” If you are seeking God’s wisdom and asking a question, then what runs through your heart or mind next is probably HIM! So go with it – especially if His peace accompanies it! And if it’s not Him, He’s big enough to correct you and make that clear later.

3. Start with easy questions. Start out by asking him every hour throughout the day, “Jesus, how do you feel about me right now?” Trust that the first thought that goes through your mind is probably Him. Let Him lavish His words of love on you every hour and you’ll start to realize how easy it is to hear Him throughout the day. You’ll start to recognize His still small voice. THEN, when you have a bigger question to ask him pertaining to your pregnancy and birth, you’ll feel more confident to recognize that same voice you’ve been listening to all day.

4. Listen for His voice everywhere! He might speak with His still small voice, in a dream, through another person, through nature, through a vision, through a deep peace, or any other variety of ways! Just keep asking Him your questions and be open to how He answers!

5. Join my Online Kingdom Childbirth Class where we dive into God’s heart for your birth and I empower you to hear His specific words and promises for your birth!

6. Get the Holy Spirit Labor Relaxation Album (this comes as part of the Kingdom Birth Class, but you can also buy it separate). This album includes a Jesus encounter to empower you to hear His specific words and promises for your birth! Listen to this encounter as many times as you want throughout your pregnancy and labor!

7. Lastly… declare what God has spoken about you and your birth! Click the image below to get a Free PDF Download of Birth Declarations you can print out and look at to prepare for your birth!

You got this, Beloved! God loves you more than you have any idea and He longs to guide you through your pregnancy and birth with his life-giving words! He lives in you and is so excited to speak to you and be a part of this entire journey!

Would love hear the things God is speaking to you about your birth! Share them in the comment section below!

Excited for your beautiful birth,
Kierra

 

 

 

Ben mowing.

Enjoying The Work of Birth! (Holy Spirit lessons through my 3-year-old)

As I watched Ben play outside today, God gave me a powerful revelation about labor and birth and all that He created it to be for us.

We played outside for 2 hours and the whole time, Ben just wanted to “do some work” as he calls it. He LOVES to rake, sweep, and mow the lawn (with a toy lawn mower). Even though we were at a park, he wanted to do yard work the whole time instead of playing on the playground.

Seriously ladies, he’s in heaven when he’s working. He loves the rhythm of raking, the repetition of pushing the lawn mower in lines across the whole park, and the satisfaction of seeing the fruit of his labor in a cleanly swept sidewalk. He loves using his muscles and the hard work of it all.

I love watching him “work” because he’s enjoying himself so much. He smiles, hums, and gets lost in his own little world. And then he gets so excited when he finishes one of his projects like getting all the grass mowed.

And the thing is, he’s working HARD! By the time he finished at the end of the 2 hours today, he was sweaty and out of breath, but grinning from ear to ear at a job well done and the park “looking all nice now!”

As I watched him, Holy Spirit whispered to me,

This is the way I intended work to be. Fun. Fulfilling. Enjoyable. Peaceful. Satisfying. When I gave Adam and Eve work to do in the garden, it was a love gift to them – a gift for them to enjoy. I meant for them to take pleasure in their work of ruling over the earth, working the ground, and bearing children and raising children.

Then sin entered the world, and along with it came shame, insecurity, broken communion with me, pressure, worry, fear, and self-reliance. And those things affected their “work” – both working the ground and bearing and raising children. Suddenly the work I meant for them to ENJOY felt scary, hard, stressful, painful at times, and full of pressure. Everything became so much harder and work felt like a burden instead of a gift to enjoy with Me.

But when Jesus died on the cross and took all the consequences of sin onto His body, He set you free from all of them. You no longer have to live imprisoned by the effects of sin. He came to restore my original intent on earth. To usher in my Kingdom again, on Earth as it is in Heaven. To set you free from fear, anxiety, pressure, stress, self-reliance, pain, sickness, poverty, insecurity, and shame.

Beloved, you can now experience work again in perfect partnership with Me, free from all of those things that steal the joy of it. This applies to all work! Providing for the family, working the ground, bearing children, and raising children.

You can experience work like Ben experiences “work.” He’s able to enjoy the menial tasks of yard work that others dread because he operates under no anxiety, no pressure to make money, no expectations of others, no time pressure, no self-doubt, no self-consciousness, etc. He’s just free to be present to the moment and enjoy the work.

Ben Mowing

This is what I long for you to experience during the work of childbirth. Because of Jesus, you can enjoy labor the way I intended for you to enjoy it… FREE FROM:

  • The fear of something going wrong
  • Worry about your health or baby’s health (Jesus took ALL your pain and sickness on His body and by HIS stripes, you are healed)
  • Self-doubt (I designed you perfectly for this and it is the work I gave you to do, so you must be able to do it well – I don’t set you up for failure or impossible tasks)
  • Self-consciousness about what other people are thinking about you
  • The pressure of any time-constraints or the need to deliver on a certain day or in a certain amount of time
  • Shame or self-consciousness about your private areas (remember, Eve felt NO shame about being naked before the fall, and you don’t have to either. You can be proud of every part of your body and the beauty of how I designed you as a woman)
  • Comparison to other people’s birth stories (you have freedom to fully live in and enjoy YOURS)
  • Pressure to meet the expectations of others
  • Concern about money or provision (I am your perfect provider ALWAYS and will always meet all of your needs)
  • Any pressure to feel like you have to look a certain way, handle labor in a certain way, sound a certain way, etc. You get to birth freely just as YOU!
  • Any feelings of helplessness or that it’s too hard or all in vain. (Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery? Isaiah 66:10)
  • Any sense of distance or disconnection from Me. Jesus destroyed all barriers that could distance us and I will be right there at your side, working inside you, empowering you, guiding you, and cheering you on. It can be one of the most intimate experiences you’ve ever had with Me.
  • Sickness and pain (Jesus took All sickness and pain on his body, including those related to childbirth)

Beloved, you can birth FREE! Just like Ben at his work. Like him, you may be sweating, working really hard, and out of breath; and it may feel like the hardest work you’ve ever done. But you can still enjoy this hard work; this labor of love. Like Ben, you can enjoy the rhythm of it and smile and hum as you get in your “work zone.” Like Ben, you can get so excited at the progress you’re making and the joy of seeing all your hard work pay off at the end and the completion of a job well done.

Hard work isn’t something to dread. Not the hard work that I created for you. No, the hard work I give you is a love gift. A gift to strengthen you, empower you, fulfill you, and bring a smile to your face and a deep satisfaction to your soul. And this is true for labor and birth!”

Wow, isn’t that SO POWERFUL?

So here’s what I want you to do – read back through the list above and ask Holy Spirit to highlight to you any areas have the potential to steal the joy of the work of childbirth from you. Maybe it’s all of them, or maybe there are a few specific ones that He wants highlight to you.

Then ask Him for the key to walk in freedom in each of those areas. The freedom IS available to you – Jesus already paid for it. So the question now is, What’s blocking you from walking in that freedom? Is it a lie you are believing? A wound from the past that you need Jesus to heal? Not having a scripture to stand on in that area? Baggage you need to get rid of? Unforgiveness?

Two great questions to ask as you go through this are, “Jesus what do you want me to know? And what do I need to do?”

He will speak to you and lead you down the path of freedom. He’s such a good Dad and is excited to empower you to birth your baby in total FREEDOM in Him!

You are loved more than you know. Jesus paid for more than you have any idea. And God is for you more than you can possibly fathom.

To your beautiful, FREE birth,

Kierra

p.s. If you’re feeling stuck in one of these areas and want some help to get to freedom, I now offer 40 minute phone/skype calls to do one-on-one birth coaching and would be happy to help you process and find freedom in one of these areas. You can purchase a birth coaching call with me here :).

And if you want more info on how to enjoy your birth with God, check out my Online Kingdom Childbirth Class!

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8 Ways To Prevent Tearing During Your Birth

A lot of moms have a fear of tearing during birth, so today I’m excited to share with you my top 8 ways to prevent tearing during childbirth!

I pray that as you put them into practice, you experience a wonderful, tear-free birth with God.

And just know that if you do tear a little bit, it’s also not the end of the world. Sometimes there are factors like baby’s position that are out of our control that can make a tear more likely. But lots of moms who tear don’t even feel it and recover very quickly and easily. So not to fret.

But I’m praying that your baby is in a perfect position and that as you partner with they way God designed your body to labor & birth, that you experience a beautiful, tear-free birth :).

Enjoy! You and Jesus are going to great together!

Much love,

Kierra

p.s. After making this video, a midwife also shared with me that she’s never seen a women tear who was pushing in the hands-knees position. So I’m adding that here to my list!

p.p.s. If you want more advice like this for a beautiful birth with God, check out my full online Kingdom Childbirth Class!