You have seen this scene in several movies and series. The pregnant woman arrives at the hospital after losing water. She settles down in the labor room, and suffers until she hears the words of the midwife: “You are dilated at 10 centimeters, get ready to push ! “Indeed, the dilation of the cervix is done gradually, and when it reaches 10 cm, the collar disappears, creating a kind of “tunnel” to get the baby out.
What if the woman pushes with all her might when she doesn’t feel the need, and her uterus is not ready ? A priori, she will feel apain important because her uterus may swell or tear. Healthcare professionals believe that this type of injury can block labor, and increase the risk of tearing of the collar, thus causing a hemorrhage. So it seems logical that a woman’s body is designed to make her feel an overwhelming urge to push. only when the cervix is fully dilated. False!
Listen to your body
In an article published by the site Midwifery Today in 2008, the American midwife Lydi Owen explains that many women feel a strong need to push or squat when cervical dilation accelerates, between 4 and 8 cm.
When the cervix is dilated about 5 cm, it is stretchy and thin, and can no longer hold the baby in flexion, in rotation, and in descent. That is why the future mother can notice a pressure that prompts him to push. For the midwife, pushing at this time may help spin the baby, accelerate dilation, decrease pain, and reduce the duration of childbirth.
Moreover, a study published in 2018 by the journal JAMA confirmed that listening to your body during childbirth is always beneficial. Researchers say a woman can push at any time after cervical dilation is complete, regardless of whether it is under epidural or not.