The second stage of labour is often termed the 'pushing stage' of labour, however, this in itself is debated terminology as some sources (such as Marie Mongan of Hypnobirthing fame) are of the view that women only feel an urge to push when influenced to by their caregivers and surroundings.

Did you feel an urge to push in the second stage of labour? If so, what did this feel like? Do you feel that it was wholly involuntary or influenced by your midwife or doctor suggesting you should be feeling the urge to push?

Some women go through a 'resting phase' between the first stage of labour (where the cervix is dilating) and the second stage of labour. In this resting phase, contractions can reduce or even stop completely, temporarily. It is often the case that the baby is re-positioning itself in this resting phase before the actual birthing of the baby. This resting phase also allows a mum time to get some more energy before the second stage of labour.

Did you experience a resting phase in labour? How long did this last for?

Many sources such as this midwifery article show that mother-directed pushing (or mother-directed bearing down) is best for mum and baby and ultimately leads to less medical interventions (and the risks associated with these). However, best practice is unfortunately not always followed and coached pushing seems to be more common than is medically necessary.

Did you use mother-directed pushing, or even no active pushing, during your labour? Did you experience any coached pushing by your midwife or doctor - did you find this helpful or unhelpful?

We look forward to hearing your experiences of the second stage of labour and helping to support mums-to-be on our forum.