Discover the Ultimate Guide to Natural Birth and Labor Preparation from a True Expert

Krisha Crosley Doula Interview

Krisha is the founder of the natural birth workshop, Train for Birth. She is a certified birth doula with DONA International, a childbirth educator, lactation educator, belly binding specialist and natural birth trainer. Since she was young she has had the passion to help others live a happier life and encourage them to accomplish their goals through action and accountability. 

Being a division one collegiate athlete and earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology, has given her the life skills to be a leader, coach/train others, encourage others, be punctual, be accountable, use time wisely and learn how to adapt to unwanted situations fast to change into positive situations. Krisha’s passion lies with first time moms and women with a heart of an athlete who desires a home or birth center birthing experience. Her goal is to educate you on your birthing game day play options so you can make educated decisions about your body your birth your baby, train you in the natural birth skill set to condition your body and mind to step up to the starting line of your birthing marathon with confidence to labor your baby across your finish line.


Interview – Hormone University

Welcome Krisha! Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. 

1. ​Tell us your story and why you created Train For Birth

My story leading to my Train for Birth workshop unfolded over several outpoints I observed in the birth world.

There was a major difference in how birth was being handled in a hospital system and out of hospital

I personally enjoyed being a doula at home and birth center births. It was all about what the birthing family wants for their experience.

Second, I noticed that professional women athletes were birthing their babies via cesarean. Made me curious as to why? Then I realized athletes train their core up and tight for power, dexterity and quickness in their sport. Giving birth was the opposite, low and loose for a baby to navigate the pelvis.

Third, after observing women laboring naturally, I noticed they all had the same labor pattern with their hip movements as the baby navigated the pelvis. The variable was time. Many laboring moms are put on a clock and not given enough time leading to unnecessary cesareans.

And fourth, what pushed me over the edge was that one birth I had that was 80 hours! My trained doula skill set techniques were all used up and there was still no baby across the finish line! I reached into my athletic skill set and biology degree to help this baby cross the finish line, nothing but natural! No woman should have to be in labor for 80 hours! I decided to do something about it! I started training my doula clients the last month of pregnancy for their birthing marathon. 

They had a training program of exercises and techniques to practice, practice, practice daily to condition their body and mind for natural birth. The average amount of time my client’s were in labor drastically reduced. My doula clients’ birth average was under 10 hours; start to finish for my first time moms at their home births or birth center births. My repeat clients were even faster, under 4 hours. Then the midwives in my area started to notice that my clients were birthing faster consistently than other doulas in the area. One home birth midwife asked me “what are you doing?” My reply “I train my clients for birth.” 

She said “you need to teach that!” Train for Birth workshop was born in 2019.

2. How do hormones, such as oxytocin, play a role in the progression of labor?

Birth is a hormonal process. 

What isn’t widely known is that the baby starts the birthing process by releasing a hormonal enzyme, prostaglandin, that sends the signal to mom’s hormone center of the brain telling the oxytocin levels to rise and the uterus to start contracting.

Oxytocin, the love hormone, is just one of the hormones that plays a vital role in the birthing process. It is the hormone responsible for the uterus to contract. 

There are oxytocin receptors in the uterus that receive the oxytocin hormone that communicates to the uterus to contract during the birthing process. Oxytocin levels will build during the birthing process and be at maximum levels right as baby crosses the finish line. Having the most optimum hormone chemistry is what helps transform the laboring mom into super woman and shortly follows the fetal ejection reflex. It is truly a Godly phenomenon!

3. Can you explain the impact of hormone levels on pain perception during labor? -

The anticipation of childbirth raises the cortisol and catecholamine hormones that have to do with fear, stress, anxiety, fight or flight mode and more intensity.

In our society, there is so much talk about childbirth being painful, having a baby is painful, contractions are painful from birth stories shared person to person, social media posts and how Hollywood portrays birth on film. Plus all the restrictions we have like you can’t go past a certain date or you have to be induced, your baby is too big or your pelvis is to small a cesarean needs to be scheduled, your body is showing no signs of dilation so we need to schedule your induction and the list goes on.

This is telling women their body has failed them and then panic sets in because they are in a time crunch. The wrong set of hormones are firing, not allowing the body to go into labor naturally. Overall society puts an extreme amount of pressure on getting the baby out. I am over here like “LET’S KEEP THE BABY IN!” Do what you love and make yourself happy, like go into a dark closet, listen to your favorite music and eat a bowl of ice cream. Disconnect from society completely and lose yourself in your peace, calm, dark, quiet, joyful environment.

Truth…inevitably the baby will come out with the spontaneous onset of natural labor. This happens when the most perfect hormone chemistry begins the innate process between baby to mom and mom to baby. Our body has this beautiful hormone called endorphins which is the body’s natural pain reliever which increases pleasure with the help of dopamine release. It is advertised, childbirth is always painful, but is it for everyone?

Our human bodies are phenomenal. Trust the process. 

4. How do hormonal changes during labor affect the emotional well-being of the mother?

It will affect each of us differently and you don’t know the effects until you are in the throes of labor. Train for Birth workshop covers the hormonal aspect of the birthing process. When it is uninterrupted, intervention-free and mom is in her birth zone, birth progresses rapidly and a baby is born. Those who experience interruptions, interventions, medication, stress, fear, etc have a much harder time with a baby coming out of their body.

The natural rhythm of the birthing process and all the hormones involved go into confusion. They know their job but interventions cause resistance and interruptions of the hormones trying to do their job so it takes longer because they have to refocus and try to get back on track. Flowing power to the hormone system during the birthing process and trusting it is crucial.

The body knows how to birth the baby and the baby knows how to be birthed. Lose yourself in the field of labor in a dark, safe place you can feel vulnerable and a baby will come out of your body.

Emotional well-being of the mother depends on if she felt in control of her birthing experience or not. Women who feel they made all the educated decisions about their birthing experience feel empowered and untouchable afterward. Women who feel controlled and forced into something they feel was not right for their birthing experience will feel like a failure and traumatized.


5. Are there any natural ways to support hormone balance during labor, such as through nutrition or specific techniques?

Early labor conserves energy mode so you have energy reserves for the end of labor when you are utterly exhausted and still need the baby to cross the finish line. Rest/sleep is vital during this time. 

Keeping the environment dark and off your phone helps increase the proper hormones needed for labor to progress. We want to keep the cortisol and catecholamine levels down low. Eat full meals during early labor so you have the proper fuel to run your birthing marathon.

You can still eat meals in the warm-up phase. Lastly, hydration is crucial! The body needs proper hydration for all the systems of the body to function properly, this includes the hormone system. As labor progresses, food and hydration will decrease but is still very important.

Movement helps wiggle baby through the pelvis during contractions but also continues to help the birthing hormones to increase and find that exact chemistry for a baby to cross the finish line. The faster you lose yourself in labor, the faster baby will cross the finish line. Birth is 80% mental.

Train for Birth trains the mental aspect of birth. Expecting moms are stepping up to the starting line of their birthing game day with confidence!

6. What exercises do you recommend for preparing the body for labor?

If you already have a workout routine, keep going. Add in mobility work to find internal and external rotation of the femurs, myofascial chain work and modified the closer you get to meeting your baby.

If you don’t have a workout regimen, work up to 30 minutes of brisk walking daily, curb walking, up to 300 squats daily, variety of lunges, pelvic tilts, crawling around on hands/knees, mobility exercises to find internal and external rotation.

Train for Birth has an exact training program written for elite athletes or for those who have never worked out a day in their life. It is the repetition of the exercises that is important. We are training the body for a baby to go through the pelvis and we can tighten it back up later.

Train your body, train your mind, labor your baby across your finish line.


7. ​Are there specific exercises or breathing techniques that can help minimize pain during labor?

I tell my training birthing athletes to not take breathing for granted.

Practice breathing during pregnancy on the toilet with feet up on a squatty potty or yoga blocks. It is the natural place where we drop our pelvic floor. I want moms to raise their awareness feeling the pelvic floor drop with breathing.

In my workshop, I train diaphragmatic breathing. I encourage those who already have skilled breathing techniques to use what they feel works best for them and practice it. Train for Birth also has train your mind drills that practice breathing with discomfort and intensity. Breathing provides oxygen to your body and to baby during labor. Proper breathing during labor helps keep one low and loose which decreases the intensity and discomforts of labor.

8. Are there any specific positions or movements that can help progress labor and shorten its duration?

YES! Warming up (early labor) staying horizontal as long as possible. Keeping the body relaxed, calm, low and loose. When you start running in labor (active labor) it’s all about staying upright using gravity and moving through the contractions. The more movement along with gravity the faster a baby will cross the finish line.

Use the dilation station (toilet) as a laboring tool. It’s the natural place we drop our pelvic floor and the pelvis opens up about 30% more in this position creating space for the baby to descend in and rotate through the pelvis.

9. Are there any specific exercises or techniques that can assist with perineal stretching and reduce the likelihood of tearing during delivery?

I am old school on this one. I don’t recommend perineal stretching techniques during pregnancy. Sex is a great natural way to prepare the perineum. I am a firm believer in what gets you pregnant gets you unpregnant. It’s that love and connection between the couple.

Mainly to minimize tearing, laboring mom’s should chose body position during birth in that moment, finding internal rotation of the femurs to open the outlet of the pelvis, letting the uterus finish its job by pushing the baby out with controlled breathing, like short quick pants, allowing the baby’s head to stretch the perineum along with the ultimate relaxin hormone our body provides greatly reduces the likelihood of tearing. Being on our backs, knees wide and aggressively bearing down increases tearing.

10. Can you recommend any resources or classes for learning more about prenatal exercises and labor preparation techniques?

Train for Birth has a virtual academy with a variety of online courses covering the entire family dynamic. Spinning Babies and Mamastefit are great resources for additional education on how to prep for labor with techniques and exercises.

11. Are there any exercises or techniques that can help with the recovery process postpartum?

Exercising during pregnancy helps with postpartum recovery. I encourage in or around your bed for the first 2 weeks postpartum with lots of skin to skin with baby, breastfeeding, rest and warm meals to recover faster. Start with breath work, adding in thoracic flexion and extension mobility exercises to compensate for that hunched over breastfeeding back ache.

Anytime after 2 weeks or when postpartum mom is ready, depending on her birthing experience, we start from the ground activating the core and pelvic floor muscles and work our way up slowly. This can look different mom to mom on how her recovery is going postpartum and her goals she has to return to her exercise level.

12. What are some common mistakes to avoid when it comes to prenatal exercises and labor preparation?

Waiting until the last few weeks of pregnancy to start exercising.

I encourage exercise throughout pregnancy. Our bodies are created to move and we shouldn’t stop moving just because of pregnancy. A moving pelvis in pregnancy is a moving pelvis at birth. Lack of daily hydration can lead to early contractions simply because the uterus is dehydrated. Drinking half your body weight of ounces in water daily is advised. Pushing through the pain just to exercise. If you are in pain your body is trying to communicate to you that may not be the proper exercise at that moment. Try a modification.

Listening to your body during pregnancy trains you to listen to your body in labor.

Healthy Mommy, Healthy Baby, Labor On!

Thank you Krisha!

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