Pushing & the Second Stage of Labor: Voicing Birth Preferences with Confidence



Nine months of mental and physical preparation for this one moment. You’ve devoured birthing resources, written a solid birth plan, and considered your options in labor, but have your pushing preferences been overlooked?

Why Discovering Your Pushing Preferences Matters

Think of pushing as the culmination of your pregnancy journey. It’s a powerful moment where clarity about your wishes empowers a birth experience that feels true to you. We’re not talking about rigid control but about confidence in your body’s ability.

Prioritizing the Conversation with Your Doc

Your doctor or midwife is already heavily involved in the birth of your baby, so don’t hesitate to get specific! This isn’t just another prenatal visit; it’s a deep dive into pushing preferences. Imagine asking them to walk you through the birthing process, from the moments just before pushing to bringing your baby earthside.

Here are some statements and questions to help make your voice heard 

  • “I prefer to avoid pushing on my back, I plan to move into an intuitive position that feels right in the moment”
  • “I prefer a warm compress on my perineum”
  • “I am most comfortable with intermittent monitoring during the pushing stage”
  • “I want an undisturbed birth: Do you typically intervene in baby’s positioning or movement?”
  • “I would like for my husband to catch our baby”

Beyond the Delivery: Planning for Stage 3

But wait, there’s more! Let’s talk about the incredible moment your baby arrives. Here are some statements for your provider:

  • “I prefer to avoid uterine massage unless an assessment shows cause for concern”
  • “I want to allow for the natural birth of my placenta (without the use of Pitocin)”
  • “I want to clamp and cut the cord after it stops pulsing and turns white”

Knowledge is the Ultimate Birth Tool

The more you know, the more confident you’ll feel about birthing your way. Take it a step further and ensure all of the doctors in your group are on board with your plans. The key to a truly empowering and personalized birth experience is speaking up.

-Coach Lisa

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