The pushing stage occurs after the cervix is completely dilated and no longer in front of the baby's head. A smooth passageway now exists through which you can push your baby from the uterus and down through the birth canal to delivery.
Your contractions may decrease just prior to getting the urge to push. You should take this time to rest prior to pushing. The length of this stage varies with the position and size of the baby and your ability to push with the contractions. For first-time mothers the average length of pushing is one-to-two hours. In some instances, pushing can last longer than two hours if mother and baby are tolerating it. Normally, the baby is born with his face looking toward mother's back (referred to as an anterior position). However, some babies are facing the mother's abdomen (referred to as a posterior position). Posterior babies may have a more difficult time passing through the pelvis, which may cause pushing to be more difficult or require more than two hours of pushing.