Nearly There


This is the last of four posts that will follow your journey through labour. Labour tends to move through these four stages fluidly; there are no sudden breaks or stops between phases. 

Nearly there – 2nd Stage

The birth of a new human marks such a transformation to a woman’s life and to that of her family.  This blog will look at the birth of the baby.

…the birth of a child not only marks the transition of a new soul into the universe, but the journey of a woman into motherhood, or a man into fatherhood and of the family into a new design.’

Dr Sara Wickham


The second stage begins when the cervix is open and when expulsive contractions start.  However, without performing a vaginal examination it can be difficult for midwives to define the actual point of when a second stage begins. Women can feel the urge to push before the cervix is completely open and this is known to help the baby rotate and push the remaining bit of cervix out of the way.  

What is happening

Sometimes not a lot, expulsive surges build up as the fetal ejection reflex is triggered.  Surges change in nature from tightening to pushing to tightening again, over time they become more expulsive and less tightening.  As they become more and more expulsive, the baby will move down through the vagina until the baby’s head (or bottom) becomes visible.  

What it feels like

So the surges may lull for a short time at the end of the ‘Getting There’ stage and then return, the surges will start to feel ‘pushy’ and then this feeling will go and the surge will start to feel as they did before.  You will feel the urge to push, deep down in your being, it is not something that you can control.

What should I do?

You should smile, your baby is almost here!  Go with what your body is telling you to do.  If you are in a pool then you will be able to move easily between surges, if you are on dry land then it is a good idea to try and change positions after every 2 or 3 surges. This will give your baby the best chance of moving easily through the pelvis.  Be led by what your body is telling you to do.  Some women like to sit on the toilet, others to squat, or kneel, or stand, or lay on their side.  It is better to stay off of your back so that the bones on your back can move freely. Really concentrate on your breathing.  Your birth partner can help you with this.  When the baby is visible you will find that you need to stop pushing and let your body take over the birth of the baby’s head.  This will help you protect your perineum. You may find that blowing out gently can help with this.

But what if?

You will be monitored much more closely by your care providers at this point.  If there are any concerns with either you or baby then they will seek the support of the obstetric team.  Listen carefully to the options that are being presented to you.  Most of all try to stay as calm as you can, change position and keep doing what you are doing.  Remember your easy breathing to stay calm.  Your baby will be here soon.

And then what? 

When you are ready you can lift up your baby to your chest.  This is the birth of a mother as well as a baby.  Congratulations! 

Now is the time to spend some quiet time with your partner, and your new baby.  The oxytocin boost will be replaced with some adrenaline which will help you placenta release in the next half an hour or so.  This is a wonderful time and will want to enjoy this new experience in private.  Once the placenta is birthed then the mum and baby will be checked over.

What now?

Hypnobirthing is a tried and tested way of helping you reduce anxiety and get into the right headspace to labour without fear.  The Calm Births course will show you how to relax into your labour both physically and emotionally.  If you would like a copy of my free 7 frequently asked questions booklet please click here do just drop me an email or to book on to one of my classes click [here].  I’m excited to meet you and to share your journey.

Published by Medway Hypnobirth

My name is Gill and I am the founder of Medway Hypnobirth. I am a former Midwife with over 15 years experience in antenatal, labour and postnatal care. I have a passion for birth and hope to share my passion for birth with you. I have 3 grown up children (the first of whom followed a long journey of infertility and IVF) who were all born in hospital. I followed my birthing plan which literally stated that I wanted a 'homebirth in hospital'. Throughout my Midwifery journey, I have been present at a fair few homebirths and seen many more babies birthed in hospital and in theatre. Birth follows its own course and I have seen hypnobirth techniques helping many women stay in control of their birth however it happens. I absolutely love teaching hypnobirth, as I can see how it positively affects my clients birthing experiences. The personal support that I can give you at your birth is another key service that I provide. My doula clients get to appreciate that extra level of emotional support that having a doula give you. If you want to find out more about any of the services I provide. Do not hesitate to contact me.

One thought on “Nearly There

  1. This is so fascinating.
    I remember feeling the first tightening of it felt like it was pushing, then that went away.

    Soon after I was in the transition phase and yes I could not control the urge to push. I was 9cm when they checked.

    It’s incredible how the body just knows. As this happened to me as a first time mum. Never done it before.

    Great post!

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