When you complete the first stage of labor, you are completely dilated and your second stage of labor begins. Pushing during labor should begin when women feel an urge to bear down. This is referred to as “laboring down.” Pushing may begin sooner if there are concerns with the mother or infant’s health status.
HOW LONG SHOULD PUSHING TAKE?
- Pushing can begin immediately in the second stage of labor with strong feelings of rectal pressure. You could push only minutes or for hours before meeting your baby.
- Mothers with an epidural for labor or those having their first baby may take longer to push their baby out.
- Unless there is a concern, pushing should begin when there is a strong maternal urge, in the way she feels comfortable. This is termed maternal lead pushing.
- Attempt to find a position that you like while pushing, and be sure to attempt several different positions to do so. Try side pushing, squatting, pushing on all fours, pushing on your back, and with a squat bar. This will help encourage your baby to rotate into a favorable position.
- There will be a time when you are pushing that you are asked to slow down and breathe. At this time it may be difficult to do, but slower pushing make help the vaginal skin and muscles stretch better around your baby’s head helping to avoid vaginal tears.
- It may help to have a mirror to see the top of your baby’s head crowning while pushing. You may like to feel the top of the baby’s head with your hands while pushing for motivation.
- Once baby’s head is out, the rest of baby’s body is born. This happens for most women with little effort or time. Your little one will then be placed upon onto your chest. The cord is clamped after it has stopped pulsating and then cut.
The placenta typically follows with minimal effort, mild pressure, and cramping felt by most women. Again, labor, pregnancy, and birth are unique to each and every woman beginning the day her pregnancy is confirmed. You will be gazing at your baby for the very first time, in awe of your child and the miracle of birth.
Proper prenatal care can help you to prepare for childbirth. Contact us or use our chat to schedule an appointment. As you get closer to your child’s birthday, we can answer questions about pushing during labor and any others you have.