Birthowl’s natural childbirth

Push the baby out?

Releasing Your Baby From Your Body

Once you are dilated to ten centimeters, and perhaps even before ten centimeters, your body may begin involuntary pushing efforts. Some women never get this urge to push at all. Whether you do or don’t, it is NOT necessary to add your own pushing efforts to that of your body. By staying totally relaxed and upright, the combination of gravity and the contractions of your uterus can birth the baby.

Women who have heart conditions are not allowed to push to birth their babies because of the strain this puts on their hearts. Yet, their bodies still birth their babies without help.

As the baby makes its way down the birth canal, this is a very intense time. Many women find that they have very primal feelings. They feel the need to make vocalizations, and some even report feeling like wild animals trying to get free. At this point, the intensity of the contractions is calling the shots. The intensity dictates your position, your breathing, everything.

As the baby’s head nears the opening of the birth canal, the perineal tissues will start to bulge. If you have remained upright and allowed gravity to bring the baby down and fan the tissues out naturally, there is very little chance you will tear. However, some women prefer to massage the tissues with oil and warm the tissues with warm, wet washcloths. A good way to keep these hand is to have two crock pots – a small potpourri size pot for the oil and a large one for water and washcloths so they can be ready any time needed. Both should be set on low.

The perineal area is the area below the vaginal opening and above the anus. As this tissue starts to bulge, the birth partner can, at the request of the woman, support the tissue with firm pressure from a hand covered with a warm washcloth. The warmth usually feels very comforting. Pressure against those tissues as the head is emerging can often prevent tearing and can guide the head gently out. However, if you have remained upright, and are giving birth in an upright position, you will probably not have a need for support and there is little chance you will tear. Birthing in the squatting position gives the baby the maximum amount of room available. The position also maximizes the pressure of the diaphragm on the top of the uterus so that the baby is literally propelled down the birth canal without extra pushing. The position pulls the tailbone out of the way so that there is no obstruction of the birth canal. The position normally provides 2 to 3 extra centimeters, which is more than enough room to birth any baby. A standing supported squat also will allow the baby’s head to fan out the birthing tissues so that there is no tearing.

As the head emerges, the perineal tissues will be stretched around the largest diameter of the baby’s head. At this point, some women experience a burning sensation that has been termed the “Ring of Fire.” This burning sensation is only momentary and passes as soon as the baby’s head moves past this point and the vaginal opening closes around the baby’s neck. Once the head is out, the body should be born within the next couple of contractions.

Once the head is out, the baby’s body must rotate so that the shoulder is released from under the pubic bone. Once the shoulder is released, the whole body is immediately born.

I encourage the birthing woman to be the one to catch her own baby. Once the head is out, the woman can reach down and guide the baby out as the body is release from the birth canal. If she does not feel able, the birth partner can be the one to “catch” the baby. As soon as the baby is out, he/she should be handed directly to the mother. If the baby does not take a breath immediately, the mother should stroke the baby, rub his/her back, speak softly and gently to him/her, and soon the baby should begin to breath and his/her color should pink up.

Babies born to mothers who have remained upright throughout their labors rarely need to have nose or mouth suctioned because the fact that they have been head down the whole time means mucous has been draining from the nose and mouth throughout the entire delivery. As the baby descends through the birth canal, his chest and lungs are tightly squeezed so that any fluid or mucous is naturally expelled.

Judie C. Rall and The Center for Unhindered Living


2 Comments so far
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Hello- found this site yesterday on my quest for more information about birthing #2… so glad I did- I’ve already learned a lot! Makes Homebirthing more and more apealing, and less scary of an option to me. 🙂 Thanks.

Comment by Leslie

Thank you Judie for this enlightened blog. You described basically the birth of my third baby. I enjoyed all three births (yes, that’s right, I actually enjoyed them – all three were natural, powerful experiences). Thanks to my midwife Barbara Charles who participates on TLC’s “A Baby Story”, by the third time I gave birth I had the knowledge that indeed it makes more sense to allow the uterus to do its work, stay upright and breathe and vocalize through it. Pushing or straining then is (in most cases) absolutely unnecessary, and most likely counter productive. I gave birth without straining in exactly five minutes from the time of complete dilation. I am positive that my baby’s body was already shifting and bearing down before complete dilation, because nature itself does not care about the 10 cm rule 😉

We had a waterbirth, supportive music, used essential oils and yes, at the point of transition I did feel like a lioness. Even though my tall body felt confined in the birthing tub, I never felt caged or stuck. My husbands loving arms were there, providing some welcome coolness for my heated brow with a wet compress. I felt completely in my power and belted out deep, triumphant roars during the ring of fire. I felt at one with my baby, at one with all there is, the entire universe in support of my opening womb, effortlessly propelling my baby into the salted water. Nature’s intelligence at work, with effortless ease as usual. Never in my life did I feel more vibrantly alive and loved.

Thank you for evoking this memory, and for sharing this empowering knowledge.

Comment by Nell

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