When and How to Push: Providing the Most Current Information About Second-Stage Labor to Women During Childbirth Education

Childbirth educators can have a significant impact on safe care for mothers and babies during labor and birth. Pregnant women and their families need accurate, science-based information to advocate for themselves and their care in full partnership with nurses, nurse midwives, and physicians. In addition to focusing on what to expect during labor and how to handle contraction pain and discomfort, pregnant women are often concerned about their ability to push their baby out when the time comes. They may hear from friends and family of long, exhausting hours of pushing while, in contrast, they observe television portrayals of women who usually give birth after only one or two pushes. Information presented in childbirth preparation classes provides a foundation for expectations of how care will be provided and what women need to know to safely complete the last part of labor before birth.

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