Coached pushing is all too common in hospitals. It definitely happened to me with my first baby. I had done Hypnobirthing and had heard of ‘Coached pushing’ but never thought the private obstetrician I had chosen would do it to me. He knew I wanted an uninterrupted physiological birth. I had a vaginal exam done and I was told by my obstetrician that I was 10cm and could start ‘pushing’ and he would be back in 1 hour and he left the room.

I had no urge to push and struggled to know where exactly I should be pushing? I told the midwife I wanted to wait for the urge and breath my baby out. She said we could ‘try that’ but the obstetrician would be back in 1 hour and he would want to see progress. I was shocked but tired and vulnerable. I followed their instruction and pushed for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

I wish I had of followed my body’s lead. But I was lucky that I was so stubborn and pushed with everything I had on my own without intervention. When that urge finally came in the last 20 minutes it felt so much better, all my practice on ‘bearing down’ now felt effective.

Did I just waste energy where I didn’t need to? Absolutely! I also popped all the blood vessels in my face from pushing so hard. It completely unnatural pushing on demand. Imagine someone yelling at you to poo when you didn’t need to poo!

When it comes to this phase of birth there is so much pressure on time. Hospitals start pressuring for instrumental delivery once a woman has been pushing for an hour or two. Often commenting that mum and baby are becoming tired or distressed.

But what if we waited for the bear down instead, rather than prompting a woman to push involuntarily just because she is 10cms dilated? Just because you are fully dilated it does not mean the body is instantly ready to push, the contractions are not just opening the cervix but pushing the baby down further into the pelvis.

Avoiding cervical examinations is a great way to avoid coached pushing! It is also time to use your voice and stop them in their tracks if they start coach pushing!

If you would like to learn more about breathing and bearing down naturally and birthing on your own terms, click here to book into one of my upcoming classes in 2023