Chapter 12: Pushing – Stage 2 of labor
Support the mother’s pushing
When the cervix is open, the mother’s body will push the baby out. Some
midwives and doctors get very excited during the pushing stage. They yell at
mothers, “Push! Push!” But mothers do not usually need much help to push. Their
bodies push naturally, and when they are encouraged and supported, women will
usually find the way to push that feels right and gets the baby out.
Let the mother choose the position that feels good to her
Lying on the side
This position may be the
most comfortable, and
makes it easier for the
midwife to guide the
birth of the baby’s head.
This position is
relaxing and helps
prevent tears in
sitting on a pillow
This position is good when
the woman feels her labor
in her back. It can also help
when the baby’s shoulders
get stuck (see page 210).
Sitting on lap
or birth chair
These 3 positions can help bring the baby down when the birth is slow.
Note: It is usually not good for the mother to lie flat on her back
during a normal birth. Lying flat can squeeze the vessels that bring
blood to the baby and the mother, and can make the birth slower.
But if the baby is coming very fast, it is OK for the mother to lie on
A Book for Midwives (2010)