Just because a woman reaches 10 cm dilated it doesn't mean it's time to push.
Think of it this way. I can make a great meal, put it on the table and yell “Dinner is ready!” And you can come and eat if you choose. Or I could make a great meal, put it on the table and yell “you are ready to eat now!” You might question what the heck I just said. . Yes, it might be evening and it may have been lunch 5 hours ago and it seems as though you would probably be hungry, but it sure doesn’t give me the right to tell you that YOU are ready to eat now.
We can all be excited at different stages of labour, early signs leading to anticipation. Moving on as surges get closer and stronger, we think about a time line.
What would you rather hear?
‘ok, you are 10 you can start pushing’
‘ok, you are 10 you might feel the urge to push’
‘It sounds as though your body might be pushing, what are you feeling?’
It may actually be quiet a long time that a woman experiences no surges after being fully dilated Some may feel that labour has stopped and it’s time to interfere, but the body is at rest and is gathering strength to use for the most primal part of birth.
This whole process is called the Fetal Ejection Reflex. It was a term used first in the early 60s and explained further by Dr. Michel Odent later on. It sounds so lovely doesn’t it? Well, actually it can be. Basically, with the right conditions the woman’s body will automatically ‘expel’ the baby to get it out. Think of a dimly lit room, the mother is comfortable in her surroundings; the attendants are calm and remain quiet. There are no internal checks and mother’s space is respected. This allows Mom to lose her inhibitions and behave how her body needs to. Hormones have been dancing to create the best recipe to fall in love with her baby. Only a few ‘pushes’ will allow baby to enter the world!
So when you are told that you are 10 cm and it’s time for baby, consider not wasting your energy trying to push as instructed by ‘coaches’. Instead use that time to listen your body.