For first time moms (and even 2nd timers), pushing can be intimidating. What does it feel like? How will you know if you’re doing it right? How do you even push?


Let’s start with …. How will you know when to push?


Depending on your provider and your circle of influence, you may have heard lots of different things about pushing, such as... “Your doctor will tell you when to push,” or “don’t worry, you’ll just know,” or “once your 10cm dilated, it’ll be time to start pushing.”


None of these suggestions are wrong; however, they’re also not telling the whole story. Most important... they're not very helpful in preparing you for pushing during labor.


So here’s the deal - like everything else in birth, when and how to push is not a one-size-fits-all thing.


There are several factors and decisions that you'll make that will affect when and how you push.



Questions to consider in regards to pushing:


  • What’s your preference on pushing method? Meaning... would you prefer to push when you have the urge, coached pushing, or breathing the baby out a bit more gently?

  • Have you had any pain management medications (i.e. epidural)? Yep, this impacts when and how you'll push.

  • Where are things at in the birth process? We're talking dilation, effacement and baby's station.


  • Here's THE #1 question… How and when should I push to avoid vaginal tearing? (Check out the free Vaginal Tearing class for everything vaginal tearing, including pushing options)



Here's YOUR plan for knowing when to push:

Step 1:

To best prepare you for pushing during labor, it’s ideal to begin with an understanding of physiological birth (i.e. the natural birth process). YES, even if you’re planning on getting an epidural!


Start with a foundation of knowledge about what’s going on inside your body during labor and how these processes impact the pushing stage.


Step 2:

Incorporate your knowledge of how pain management medications can impact labor and pushing (if you are considering going for the drugs).


Step 3:

Now that you understand how all of these factors work together during labor, you can make informed choices about how YOU want to push.


The important thing to know is that YOU get to choose how and when you push.


Assuming there are no medical emergencies, it’s your choice babe.