What happens if I get so exhausted in labour that I can''t push the baby out?

It is very unlikely that you will be so tired that you can''t push with contractions. Modern care of labour means that you can usually eat light snacks and drink clear fluids whilst in labour as long as everything is progressing normally (bearing in mind that if you feel sick it is probably better not to!). You may decide to have pain relief such as an epidural, which may even allow you to sleep for a few hours. When your cervix is open (fully dilated; 10 centimetres diameter) you may be ready to push with the contractions as long as the baby''s head is far enough down in the pelvis. This is the second stage of labour, and normally lasts half an hour if you have had a baby before, or one to one and a half hours if it''s your first. It is very unusual to feel so tired that you ''give up''. Of course it may be technically possible to deliver your baby using forceps or ventouse (vacuum cup), but it is better if you can push the baby out yourself.
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