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Pushing During Labor

Before we talk specifically about pushing during labor. Let’s talk about you: BIRTH IS ABOUT YOU.

At Tennessee Family Doulas, we believe it is important that you decide what you want your birth experience to be. Only you can decide what is right for you. 

Whether that includes an epidural, a surgical birth or the awareness of every contraction and feeling the sensation of your baby moving through your birth canal, we know how to support you.

Your Tennessee Family Doula is available to you 24/7 and will come for one prenatal visit to help you create a birth plan, review any options that you have questions about, and discuss comfort measures that can be used during labor to help reduce pain and stress.

When you feel the first signs of labor, your doula would love to connect with you and talk about how you’re coping. Once you decide you’re ready for support, CALL your doula and she will join you. She will be there offering physical and emotional support, and help you navigate your options as you move through labor. 

One important part of this process is pushing.

Common fears about the pushing stage

Common fears include not knowing when to push, feeling the need to push too early, eliminating (pooping) while pushing, vaginal tearing, or being too tired to push effectively. 

Your partner, medical team, and doula can assist and encourage you during active labor, transition, pushing, and delivery.

Suggestions for Pushing Positions

You can try certain positions for more comfortable and effective pushing.

Reclining is the most common position for women in labor. This position is comfortable and an option for women who have had an epidural or a spinal block. It also uses less energy than some of the other positions.

Side-lying is also good for women who have had an epidural or spinal block. It takes the pressure off your back and can help prevent vaginal tearing more than some positions.

Another option is squatting, which takes advantage of gravity to help deliver the baby. This can be a tiring position and not an option for a woman who has had an epidural or a spinal block.

On all fours gives you stronger support than squatting while keeping a wide pelvic opening. 

Kneeling is similar to on all fours but you use a birthing bar or headboard for support.

A Couple of Questions to Consider

Which of these positions sounds the best to you? You can “practice” a variety so you have options during labor.

Will you push spontaneously when your body feels the urge? Or will you have your doula or medical provider coach you?

We encourage you to talk through these options with your doula or medical provider, so that you have a plan in place when it comes time to push.  And, remember that Tennessee Family Doulas would love to provide labor support for you! Contact us today.



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