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  • Writer's pictureStefanie McMillin


When your baby’s head crowns you will feel a burning or stinging sensation, often referred to as the ring of fire 🔥 This occurs as your baby’s head stretches the vaginal opening. As soon as you feel this sensation, STOP pushing! 🛑 At this time, the largest part of baby’s head is passing through the vaginal opening - the tissues are at a maximal stretch. It is important to stop pushing at this stage, because continuing to do so increases your risk of tearing.


Instead of pushing and bearing down at this time, I remind my clients to “blow out the candle” 💨🕯To push the air out in a slow, steady stream versus exhaling with a big releasing breath. Breathing and slowing down your reactions at this tense point gives your perineum more time to stretch and open. I encourage my clients to focus on relaxing the pelvic floor and allowing the contractions to do the work during this time ❤️

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