What To Expect During Labor: Stage 2

Last week we discussed Stage 1 of labor, which includes early and active labor. Tubal reversal surgeon and OB-GYN Dr. Morice can attest to the fact that every woman has a different experience during labor. He knows it is helpful, however, if you can recognize the different stages of labor. This helps you know you are progressing through the stages and what to expect.

Labor Stage 2Stage 2 of labor occurs once you are dilated to 10 cm and are ready to start pushing. Stage 2 ends once you have delivered your baby. Stage 2 can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. If you have had a baby before, it is more likely that stage 2 will be faster than your previous experience. The average time for first-time deliveries is about an hour. Subsequent deliveries average about 20 minutes for Stage 2.

As your baby descends, more and more pressure will be felt on your pelvis, causing the urge to push. Some women choose to push only when they feel the urge. They feel this allows nature to do its work without rushing the process. In a hospital setting, it is likely you will be encouraged to push every time you have a contraction to speed up the delivery process. Discuss with your doctor which method you prefer before you go into labor. If you have had an epidural, you may need to be instructed to push because it will be harder for you to feel the pressure on your pelvis.

With each push, you are helping your baby descend further down the birth canal. When pushing, concentrate on this idea and be sure you are pushing in the pelvic area. Some women report holding a lot of tension in their jaw and face when pushing. Try to relax and focus on pushing through the pelvis. Also try different positions, such as squatting or being on your hands and knees, during this process to see what feels best for you.

As your baby moves down the birth canal, the first glimpse of the top of your baby’s head will appear. This is a very exciting moment, and it also shows that delivery is near. If you like, ask to see the baby’s head using a mirror. This can help motivate you to keep pushing through the last contractions. At this point, your doctor may advise you to stop pushing in order to allow your tissues to stretch and prevent tearing.

After more pushing, your baby will crown. This is when the widest part of your baby’s head is out of the birth canal. Soon, the baby’s face will become visible and the doctor will clear his or her airways. Once the shoulders have emerged, the rest of the delivery happens rather quickly.

Once your baby has been delivered, he or she will be wrapped in a blanket to be kept warm. If the delivery went smoothly without any complications, you will be able to hold your baby now. This is an incredible moment, and despite all of that hard work, you won’t feel the least bit tired!

Do you want to welcome a baby into this world? Dr. Morice offers low cost tubal reversal surgery with high success rates. He is also a renowned OB-GYN in Morgan City, LA. Schedule an appointment today at (985) 702-BABY or drmorice@mybabydoc.com

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