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Pushing Overview


Dr. McGuire

The second stage of labor is the pushing stage. At this point, you are 100 percent effaced and you’re dilated to 10 centimeters. Your contractions are strong, and coming every two to five minutes. At last it’s time to push! For a first-time mom, this will usually last one to three hours. If this is not your first baby, you may only have to push for 30 minutes to an hour. In fact, some moms push for less than 30 minutes!

Though pushing your baby out is hard work, you may feel better in the second stage because now you can work with the contractions, instead of against them.

As you push, remember to trust your own instincts. Your body knows what to do, and will help you push more effectively. However, with an epidural, you may need more coaching and pushing typically lasts a little longer than for women without epidurals.