The Push During Childbirth, How Is It Done?

The Push During Childbirth, How Is It Done?

Last update: 04 March, 2018

The push during childbirth is a natural act that mothers perform in the expulsion phase. Depending on whether or not there is medical intervention, the push may be either spontaneous or directed.

There are different phases that form part of the childbirth process. The push in labor is when the mother exerts effort during the expulsion phase.

It is responsible for facilitating the delivery of the baby through the birth canal.

After dilation, the pushes occur spontaneously. The mother begins to feel the urge to push when the fetus starts looking for a way out.

In new mothers, this period can last for up to 3 hours. This phase is shorter in mothers who have previously given birth; for them it takes about 1 hour.

“Vertical posture facilitates dilation and spontaneous pushing”

Ways to push during labor

There are two ways to push during labor. While spontaneous pushes occur naturally and they are guided by the mother, directed pushes take place when medical staff assist childbirth. In this article we will explain the two ways in detail.

Spontaneous pushing

Spontaneous or physiological pushes occur when the mother feels the need to push out of natural instinct. Experts agree that they prefer the push during childbirth to occur naturally and for it to be guided by the mother.

They say that it does not alter the process nor the duration of the delivery. In addition, studies show that they can reduce the need for instrumented deliveries. It is also of benefit to the pelvic floor and it minimizes the risk of perineal trauma.

Directed pushing

The directed push is carried out when medical staff guides the birthing process. In other words, it occurs when they tell the mother to push based on her contractions.

The decision is usually made to perform directed pushes when the mother does not naturally notice the need to push. This could be due to the administration of epidurals.

The Push During Childbirth, How Is It Done?

Disadvantages of directed pushing

  • It increases the risk of damage to the pelvic floor structure.
  • Increases stress and maternal fatigue.
  • There are greater possibilities of perineal tears and episiotomies.
  • Abnormal fetal cardiac patterns can occur.
  • It can cause urinary incontinence.
  • Higher rate of assisted births using forceps or suction cups as well as cesarean sections.
  • It prevents the mother from giving birth naturally.

How to push correctly during birth

While it is natural for a mother to feel the need to push, it is important to match the push to her contractions. When the two forces combine, the baby is able to descend quickly. The push instinct is caused by the head of the baby putting pressure on the mother’s pelvic floor.

In order to perform the push correctly, you must exert force by contracting your abdominal wall while pushing down at the same time. Whenever possible it is important to combine the pushes with contractions.

Breathing plays a very important role. A mother can be a lot stronger if she learns to control her breathing.

Here we will explain to you the steps that need to be followed:

  1. You should associate the push with the contraction
  2. During labor you should contract your abdomen while at the same time push downwards.
  3. Control your respiration. Breathing is important in order to preserve your strength.

“Experts recommend pregnant women to attend childbirth preparation courses”

What is the best way to push?

Some experts believe that the conventional approach to pushing during delivery should be rethought. They emphasize that the most important thing is for the mother’s body to let her know when and how to push.

They agree that directed pushing can be very helpful but they also believe that it should not be resorted to simply carrying out a routine.

The Push During Childbirth, How Is It Done?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) it is best to allow mothers to push spontaneously. They also warn that mothers should not be allowed to hold their breath while pushing for a prolonged period of time.

The process also depends on the mother and if she correctly notices the signs of childbirth.

In conclusion, the most recommended push during labor is the spontaneous kind that is not forced. It is important to wait for contractions in order for the mother to regain her strength.

During your prenatal visits you can ask your doctor about any concerns you may have.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.