The Involuntary Nature of Pushing

Photo Credit: Jennifer Mason

There comes a time when pushing is involuntary. If you never had a single cervical exam in labor, you would still know when it was time to push because you would not be able to not push.

It is normal to feel eager to get to the pushing part of things as it can feel good to push. It also makes us feel more in control of what is happening, and we do have more influence at this point.

BUT, we can push too soon, and we can push too hard.  And sometimes we can push our baby too quickly resulting in damage to our pelvic floor, tears in the perineum or even contributing to poor position of the baby by pushing them through the cardinal movements of birth too quickly.

There is nothing wrong with, and a great benefit to, allowing your baby to naturally labor down or passively enter the second stage (pushing stage) until you can no longer not push.

In fact as we reach full dilation our body often gives us a long pause as it prepares to gear up for this next stage.  Sometimes this is minutes and sometimes hours.

Just allow it to happen. There is no need to rush it, no need to direct it, no need to hold your breath and make it happen.

by Trisha Ludwig @downtobirthshow