How To Quicken Labor During Birth
Judy Miders|
Quicken Labor during birthIt's easy to let yourself get so focused on figuring out the best ways to reduce labor pain that you forget another important aspect of ensuring that your labor and delivery goes smoothly – speeding it up. Nobody wants to be trapped in labor for 20 hours or more, and learning steps that can quicken labor during birth will be well worth doing. This is different from speeding up labor when you're pregnant and trying to induce, and the different methods used to hurry your labor along will mainly focus on keeping you from spending what can feel like an eternity in labor.
There are a lot of different ways to quicken labor during birth that are worth knowing. Your midwife or doctor may offer to help speed it along, and they'll do so with steps like manually breaking your water, delivering drugs that strengthen contractions, or manually manipulating the cervix to help speed things up. But these are all options that you may not have to rely on, and learning the natural methods that quicken your labor during birth are often easier to master than you probably realize.
There are a lot of different things that you can do to speed up your labor and delivery and get your baby here as quickly as possible. The following are just some of the best, and have all been noted by experts as effective ways to speed up labor and get your baby here quickly.
•         •          Change Positions – You aren't going to be chained to the bed, so don't act like you are. Lying flat on your back is actually one of the worst positions you can be in for labor since it essentially closes the pelvic region, making it harder for baby to come out. To speed up labor, try things like lying on your side, kneeling, or getting on all fours.
•         •          Stand and Walk – To go even further than just changing positions, get up out of the bed and walk around. Walking and even standing will have a big impact on your labor speed since you'll be letting gravity help you out. The downward pull that gravity will place on your baby will help them move through your body far quicker than they otherwise would. This is a process that you should really use during early labor, but that is great for speeding things up throughout labor, right up to the moment you go into the active delivery stage.
•         •          Calm Down – It sounds ridiculous, but the more relaxed you are, the better your labor will go. Try to relax and calm down, and chances are good that things will speed up a bit. Whether you need some quiet time to center yourself, a little bit of music to relax to, or some help from your partner in the form of a massage, be sure to get what you need to relax.
•         •          Stimulate Your Breasts – If you can get some alone time with your partner, letting them rub your nipples and massage your breasts is a great way to speed up labor. If not, using a breast pump to stimulate them will work as well. The reason is that this kind of breast stimulation will actually help trigger the release of oxytocin in the body. Oxytocin is the hormone that helps drive contractions, and by triggering its release you'll quicken labor during birth.
•         •          Have Sex! – Obviously you can't do this if you're in the middle of labor, but women who are in very early labor but who don't seem to be progressing any further may want to think about it. Sex can really jumpstart labor, and if you're in early labor but want to move forward there are few methods that can match this one.
•         •          Drink Water – Dehydration can reduce the effectiveness of your contractions. Be sure that you drink plenty of water – some experts recommend having a little sip between each contraction, while others will suggest chewing on ice. Either way, be sure to stay hydrated.
•         •          Use Acupressure – Acupressure is actually effective at speeding up labor according to several studies. It's important that the person applying the technique knows what they're doing, however, or it could backfire and weaken contractions. A quick class is the best option, but watching some videos online can help as well. If you have a doula present, odds are good that they'll be able to provide the acupressure for you.
It's also worth noting that these are all steps you can use to quicken labor during birth. There are some simple steps you can take during your pregnancy that will lay the foundation for a faster labor, most notably staying healthy, exercising, and following a proper diet. By combining the right planning with the best steps to speed up labor and delivery, your child will be here before you know it. 

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Photo credit: limaoscarjuliet / Foter / CC BY