Labor & Delivery

How Long Will I Push During Delivery?

How long will I actually have to push to deliver baby?

There’s really no single answer that will suit everyone. The “push” phase of your delivery depends on many different factors, including what kind of shape you’re in, how big the baby is, if you’ve received an epidural, and so on. Some women push for as long as four hours straight, and some deliver a baby on their second push.

There are a few rules of thumb that can help you estimate whether you’ll push for a little or a lot of time: In general, you’ll probably push longer with your first baby than subsequent deliveries. Smaller babies are quite logically easier to deliver than large ones. Of course, when you’re in this final stage of labor, every minute may feel like an hour, so you can help prepare yourself mentally and physically through childbirth classes and other educational tools. That way, when the moment comes, you’ll be ready.

Plus, more from The Bump:

Pooping During Childbirth?

What Are Some Creative Ways to Deal With Pain During Labor?

What Are the Stages of Labor?

By Robert Wool, MD, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Tufts University