At some point you will feel like you have to push during a contraction. At first only when the contraction is at a peak. The baby is pushed deeper and deeper in your pelvis. When the baby’s head is almost visible to bystanders, or to yourself in a mirror, you will experience an overwhelming urge to push. You can’t do anything but push.
The pushing reflex is the transition from the first stage to the second stage of birth. If you are not complete, you don’t have an urge to push. Similarly, it is not wise to encourage a woman to start pushing because she is complete. Pushing without an urge to push costs a lot of energy with generally little result. Just wait for the urge to push. Perhaps go to the bathroom to make sure your bladder is completely empty.
Many women experience a short break in contractions when they are complete. This is known as ‘the rest and be thankful phase’. It gives you an opportunity to get your second wind for the last part.
Pushing is generally the most easy and effective in the position the mother likes best at that moment. When you have taken a class the best way of pushing will have been discussed. Some midwives and doctors strongly believe in coached pushing where others are a bit more laid back and just whisper words of encouragement . Listen to your body, your body won’t let you go wrong.
When the baby is born the midwife will determine the Apgarscore. The cord will be clamped and cut. The placenta generally follows within 30 minutes. You will be checked for ruptures, perhaps an episiotomy was cut, so stitching may take up 20 minutes while you hold the baby. Skin to skin contact between mother and baby for at least one hour is very important. And after the last stitch it is time to relax and enjoy. Mission accomplished!