Labor and delivery

What are the stages of pushing during a vaginal delivery?

Stages of Pushing During Vaginal Delivery

Pushing during labor is a difficult process and can be quite painful. At the same time, the right type of pushing can help the baby make his/her way through the birth canal, so it is an important part of the birthing process. Here are the stages of pushing during vaginal delivery.

Stage One: Uterine Contractions

The first stage of pushing happens when your uterus contracts and the baby’s head begins to move down into the birth canal. This is your body’s natural way of helping your baby to be born. As your contractions become stronger and stronger, your baby will move lower and lower until the head is out of your pelvis.

Stage Two: Strong Urges to Push

At this point, you will feel a strong urge to push. This is a normal and natural feeling caused by the pressure of your baby’s head on your pelvic floor muscles and the uterus. You can help your baby along by bearing down during a contraction.

Stage Three: Period of Pushing

Once the head is out of your pelvis, it is time to begin the pushing stage of labor. In this stage, you will be pushing the rest of your baby’s body out of the birth canal. This stage can take up to an hour, depending on the size of your baby and the position he/she is in. It is important to let your body take the lead in this stage and to follow the directions of your healthcare provider.

Stage Four: Delivering the Placenta

Once the baby has been delivered, the next stage of labor is delivering the placenta. This is done by gently pushing on the abdomen and carefully guiding the placenta out of the body. It is important to let your body take its natural course in this stage and not to pull on the umbilical cord as this can cause uncomfortable and even dangerous tearing.


Pushing during labor is an important part of the birthing process and can be painful and difficult. Knowing the stages of pushing and following the instructions of your healthcare provider can help make the delivery of your baby go as smoothly as possible.

  • Stage One: Uterine contractions
  • Stage Two: Strong urges to push
  • Stage Three: Period of pushing
  • Stage Four: Delivering the placenta

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