How to Push Your Baby Out WITHOUT Tearing a Damn Thing.
Head, vagina, breathe and PUSH!
Most first-time moms are nervous about the pushing stage.
The idea of pushing an 8- pound human being out of that hole can leave even the bravest of mamas awake and worrying at night. And while it’s not quite as easy as playing a game of “Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes”, it probably won’t be as bad as you think. And if you read on to the end, you’ll find ways to make your second stage of labour even better!
Whether you’re currently in your first, second or third trimester I’m going to lay down the three stages of getting your baby out.
First- let’s just re-cap the first stage of labour:
The first stage of labour is all about getting your cervix to dilate. This is typically the longest stage of birth, because it can take a minute to get your body into regular, useful contractions. I always imagine this stage of labour unfolds like a first date: at first, there’s the awkward meeting and finding a groove of conversation. After the wine hits and the chemistry is obvious, you start to get more and more excited to get out of that restaurant. That’s what the first stage of labour is like. Slow and awkward at first, then finding a groove and getting exciting!
Once the contractions get going, the uterus squeezes the baby in a big hug and the baby’s head presses on the cervix to soften and open it up. (To give you some perspective: the cervix dialtes from the size of the hole at the head of a penis to the size of a small dinnerplate- so it takes a bit of time.)
It’s usually at the end of this stage when most women are like, “HELL no to this happening- I'm so over this." But to nurses like me, this is a sign that your body is ready to push!
Here’s some evidence-based tidbits that AWHONN (the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses) also thinks you should know:
- Be realistic about the second stage of labour- it can last longer than you realize and it’s perfectly normal.
- Pushing in an upright position is better than pushing on your back
- Pushing is better when you have labour support, like a doula
- You should be allowed to rest until you feel the urge to push
- You should try a variety of different upright positions during the second stage: squatting, sitting, standing.
- Noises like grunting and groaning are GOOD for labour (it means you’re not holding your breath!)
(If you've been seriously considering #3 but you're just not convinced, check out this post:)
Whether you decide to have a natural birth or an epidural, there are things you can do to protect your hoo-hah. Make your pushing phase part of your birth plan, talk to your doctor/midwife/nurses about your wishes and ask them to suport you. Trust your body-it knows what to do, Mama.
And you know I care about you reading only the best, right Mama? Check out this post that has gone viral:
Seriously? Women are LOVING this info and I've even included some amazing free downloads to make your birth better. Enjoy!
Joanne Ilaqua - CEO of MamaSoup
Hey there, I’m Joanne.
I’ve spent about 20 years serving women as a nurse, doula and Lamaze educator. I have 4 kids and I know firsthand how lonely and isolating motherhood can be, so I created MamaSoup. I'm mostly known for my love of red wine, spontaneously singing and my confidence in being my true self on social media. When I’m not busy building women up, you can catch me taking Instagram stories of my bulldog Ruby, watching The Handmaid’s Tale, playing MUber (Mom Uber) to my kids or vacationing in my favourite town: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
I love serving the world by providing a space for moms to connect and support each other. In my opinion, moms are the backbone of communities because they are (literally) raising the future!
As the founder and CEO of MamaSoup, I’ve been featured on CHEX TV Morning Show, KawarthaNOW, Economic Development- The City of Kawartha Lakes and MyKawartha.
Still with me? Join me over at MamaSoup to keep the conversation going!