Second stage of labour

The second stage of labour is when the pushing happens and your baby is born.

This stage begins when the neck of the womb (cervix) is fully open and lasts until the birth of your baby. It can take 1–2 hours to push out your first baby.

The need to push

As your baby’s head moves down you will begin to feel the need to push. Your midwife (or specialist doctor) will encourage you to try different positions.

Stretching or tearing

The skin and muscles around your vagina need to stretch so that your baby’s head can come through. Sometimes the skin tears. After baby is born your midwife (or specialist doctor) will check to see whether you need to be stitched.

Your baby!

Your baby will be put onto you as soon as they are born. Skin-to-skin contact is the best way to keep baby at the right temperature and it encourages your baby to start breastfeeding. Your baby will be checked within a couple of hours of being born to make sure that they are healthy and well; find out more about the birth check.

Related website

Stages of labour – National Women’s Hospital (Auckland District Health Board)
About the three stages of labour.

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