When & How To Push During Delivery?

When & How To Push During Delivery

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Do you think of labor and the first picture that comes to your mind is pain and contractions? Don’t worry, as this is normal in every expecting mother.

In the first stage of labor, the cervix is opening to allow your baby to descend to the birth canal. The second stage is pushing, characterized by contractions that occur less frequently compared to the first stage.

Yes, we understand how much you want to know about the right way of pushing during labour. But, before that you need to first eliminate all pictures of a woman panting, holding her breath or turning purple in the labor room. Here is a simple and effective guide to lessen your worries about when to push during labour and how to push in labor.

A Guide On How To Push During Labor:

Here is all you need to know in detail on how to push during childbirth.

a. Right Ways Of Pushing:

When you are aware of the correct procedure to push, the whole affair gets a lot simpler for you. Take a look below:

  • Do not lie on your back
  • Do not hold your breath
  • Do not push when you do not get the urge
  • Do not allow someone to hold your legs

[ Read: Labour Pain Management Techniques ]

b. The Right Position:

The upright position is considered highly suitable for the second or pushing stage of labor. This position offers gravity that makes it easier for you to push. Other favorable positions are available in the following ways:

  • Foot pedals
  • Squat bar
  • Modern birth beds
  • Out of bed positions are getting very popular these days especially if women have trouble pushing during delivery in the bed.
  • Side lying positions help in slowing down rapid labor and are considered highly suitable for protecting the perineum in raid birth.
  • Semi reclined position is commonly suggested in the hospital settings. This is particularly suggested if you have opted for regional anesthesia or if you are preparing for vacuum delivery or forceps.

[ Read: Shaving Before Labor ]

c. The Urge To Push:

This is something that you feel while in labor. Here we shall take a detailed look:

  • You get the urge to push when your baby is pressed into the Ferguson Plexus of nerves.
  • You feel the urge when you cannot do anything else. You must also make a note of the fact that some women never get the urge to push.
  • Sometimes the urge gets affected by epidural or regional anesthesia and you may fail to respond to signals of your body.

[ Read: How To Speed Up Labour ]

d. Other Types Of Pushing Ways:

Apart from the above mentioned ways, there are some more which is followed across the world. Here they are:

  • Purple Pushing: Sometimes you may be asked to hold your breath and count till ten. This process of holding your breath during a contraction is known as purple pushing. This process has come into being with increase in epidural rates. Here are some of the options that you must be aware of:
  • Laboring Down: It is the method of allowing your body to push out your baby on its own. In this case you assist the pushing efforts of your uterus only when you get the overwhelming urge to push. This is suitable if you have chosen epidurals because you are not pushing against a baby who is mal-presented.
  • Spontaneous Bearing: It down is the method where you allow your body to decide when to push. In this process you generally hold breath for less than 6 seconds, allowing more oxygen to your baby.

[ Read: Best Position To Induce Labor ]


  • You need to remember that once you are dilated, you may not respond the same way like another woman in the second pushing stage.
  • While some have short pushing stages, others need to push for quite a while.
  • Bearing down techniques, positioning and some of the essential techniques can make you feel comfortable in the second stage.
  • Your baby too plays an important role in how your labor progresses. Your baby keeps turning and twisting to find the most suitable position.

Hope this article helped you know how to push during labor. The end of the pushing during labor stage feels incredible. You can now hold your baby in your arms and keep staring at your little bundle of joy. Moms share your experiences in the labor room with us in the comment section below.

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