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How long is the second stage of labour?

Hi Evony,

My second stage of labour lasted for 15 to 20 minutes, I remember thinking (for some reason, perhaps something I'd read or something the midwife said) that I needed to push her out fast - and wonder if this may have contributed to my very minor tear.  

I know everyone is different but I just wondered if it's safe to have a long second stage? and if so, how long?  And if there is merconium(sp?) in the waters, is this a reason to panic?

Thanks xxx
Evony

How long is a piece of string?!!  Well the answer to your question is different dependeing who you ask!

If you have an epidural, when you are fully dilated you wait an hour for the baby to come down (descent), and hour for pushing...and a bit more than that if everythings ok.  Research has shown that its ok for a 2nd stage to last up to 3 hrs, with an epidural in place.   So if thats the case...then surely 3 hrs is ok for everyone?

In reality if you havent got an epidural in place, you'd be wanting to see a baby within a couple of hours.

In my humble opinion, if birth is going well and you're undisturbed, then you often get urges to push which nudge the baby down; the feeling gets more intense - lots of little nudges with each contraction, until you see the top of the baby's head!  Then soon enough a baby pops out!

If your baby is well and you are well - why rush it?!

Women who are undisturbed dont push frantically, they nudge their baby down gently, they don't get tired and red faced, and sooner or later they have a baby!  That sounds good to me!

Evony x
Nature's Mother

Thanks for that...now I know for next time!!  Very Happy

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