What can you expect? Once a nurse, midwife or OB has confirmed that your cervix is completely dilated, they will inform you that it is now time to start pushing. Some women prefer to opt out of this practice and request to be allowed to push with the urge instead. These are some advantages of coached pushing during labor, for some women at least.Studies have shown that coached pushing reduces delivery time by a grand total of 13 minutes on average. Your birth might be over more quickly, and you'll get to see your baby! If epidural anesthesia left you unable to feel your lower half altogether, you will not know when and how to push. In this case, coached pushing has a definite advantage. Even so, your body would probably do the work all by itself even women in a coma have delivered vaginally, and they were certainly not actively pushing! If you are giving birth for the first time, you may be frightened and not sure that you know what to do. You may feel reassured by your healthcare professional telling you what to do, and cheering you on.
If you decide that you do not want to be told how and when to push, because your body will let you know, keep in mind that this is basically routine in most hospitals. Even the midwife who attended my homebirth did the whole "PUSH, PUSH!" performance on me. With my second child, I pushed with the urge. It was a more peaceful experience, and I could feel perfectly fine when I needed to push.