What is Crowning: and What Does it Feel Like?

There’s a lot of worry surrounding crowning. However, crowning signals that you are about to meet your baby, that labour is almost finished, and that in a few pushes’ time you'll be in recovery with your new babe in arms.

The issue is, in our modern day crowning is often described as the 'ring of fire' which is an entirely unhelpful term. Some women do describe it as that but out of context, hearing 'fire' and that being associated with your most private parts is going to install fear in even the most hardy of birthers!

So, what actually is crowning? Well, it’s essentially a stretching of your perineal muscles as your baby’s head prepares to be born. Crowning can feel like a sting or burn as your muscles stretch. That is all that is happening - your muscles are stretching. This sensation happens for a reason: to alert you that your baby is about to make their entrance, and soon! In addition, it reminds you to take it slowly and to bring your legs closer together to minimise tearing. This is the stage of labour where you may be asked to lay on your back, legs open wide. The only people this benefits is the healthcare staff who want a better view of what is going on. Really, you need to be upright, on your knees and try and keep your legs close together so your perennial muscles aren't stretching more than they need to.

During this stage of labour, just remember to continue breathing so your muscles stay nice and loose and stretch to allow everything to happen smoothly. And after the head has been born, you’ll be compelled to push one more time to birth the body…and then hey presto, it’s baby time!

If you’re feeling anxious in the run up to labour and are in need of some reassurance from a healthcare professional, why not reach out via the butterbean email helpline? It’s monitored by our resident midwife so you can access support as and when you need it. When you’re part of the butterbean community, you’re never alone!

Untitled (391 × 391px) (7)

What is Crowning: and What Does it Feel Like?

Untitled (391 × 391px) (7)

There’s a lot of worry surrounding crowning. However, crowning signals that you are about to meet your baby, that labour is almost finished, and that in a few pushes’ time you'll be in recovery with your new babe in arms.

The issue is, in our modern day crowning is often described as the 'ring of fire' which is an entirely unhelpful term. Some women do describe it as that but out of context, hearing 'fire' and that being associated with your most private parts is going to install fear in even the most hardy of birthers!

So, what actually is crowning? Well, it’s essentially a stretching of your perineal muscles as your baby’s head prepares to be born. Crowning can feel like a sting or burn as your muscles stretch. That is all that is happening - your muscles are stretching. This sensation happens for a reason: to alert you that your baby is about to make their entrance, and soon! In addition, it reminds you to take it slowly and to bring your legs closer together to minimise tearing. This is the stage of labour where you may be asked to lay on your back, legs open wide. The only people this benefits is the healthcare staff who want a better view of what is going on. Really, you need to be upright, on your knees and try and keep your legs close together so your perennial muscles aren't stretching more than they need to.

During this stage of labour, just remember to continue breathing so your muscles stay nice and loose and stretch to allow everything to happen smoothly. And after the head has been born, you’ll be compelled to push one more time to birth the body…and then hey presto, it’s baby time!

If you’re feeling anxious in the run up to labour and are in need of some reassurance from a healthcare professional, why not reach out via the butterbean email helpline? It’s monitored by our resident midwife so you can access support as and when you need it. When you’re part of the butterbean community, you’re never alone!