Why Do Doctors Tell You Not to Push During Labor?

by | Sep 29, 2020 | Health Featured

After carrying your child for what seems like an eternity, when labor finally starts, you want to meet them as soon as possible. Before you can do that, you’ll need to push the baby out. If you’re like most women, you might think that pushing is the hard part, but it’s not. The hard part of the birthing process is knowing when to stop pushing.

The thought of prolonging labor may sound like a terrible idea, especially since you are ready to hold your baby in your arms. However, there are some very good reasons why the doctor or nurse might be telling you not to push during labor.

Reasons Why Doctors May Tell You Not to Push During Labor

A doctor watching over pregnancy and birth has full responsibility for the safety of the mother and child, so you trust that they are giving you the right advice when they tell you not to push. There are many different reasons why they might tell you to stop pushing during labor. Here are a few.

You’re Not Ready

Once contractions start, you may take this as a sign that your baby is ready to come out, but this is only one part of the birthing process. In addition to your muscles working to push the baby out, your cervix has to dilate to 10 cm. This almost isn’t a wide enough opening to push your child out of, but trying to push before it reaches this stage will make the process even more difficult.

If your doctor tells you to stop pushing because you aren’t ready, this could mean that your cervix hasn’t opened wide enough. All pushing will do at this point is wear you out. It could also cause your cervix to swell, which could result in a cesarean section.

Increased Risk of Tearing

Not only does the cervix need to be open wide enough for the baby to come out, but the skin around the perineal region also needs to be able to stretch during the process. If it doesn’t, this could result in massive tearing.

Your doctor may tell you to stop pushing so that this area can be massaged so that the birth can go more smoothly. If there is a chance tearing may still occur, the doctor may tell you to stop pushing so that they can cut this region. A straight cut is much easier to stitch than a jagged rip.

The Baby Is Breech

The hope is that once labor starts, your baby has positioned itself with its head down so it can be born quickly and easily. However, that doesn’t always happen. If the baby is breech, the doctor may ask you to stop pushing so that they can reposition the baby.

Issues With the Cord

The umbilical cord is in place to ensure that your baby gets the nutrients it needs to develop in your body. During the birthing process, there’s a chance that the cord could come out first or may potentially be wrapped around your baby’s neck. If either of these situations occur, it could put your child at risk.

Should your doctor notice that there are issues with the cord, they may tell you to stop pushing so that they correct the problem. This will ensure that you and your baby are safe during the delivery.

Talk to Your Doctor

The last thing you want to be told during the birthing process is that you have to stop pushing. This could delay the moment you get to meet your baby. However, if the doctor tells you they need you to stop, there’s probably a good reason for it. Don’t be afraid to ask what is going on. It’s your body and baby, and you deserve to know what’s happening.

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