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In the second stage, the baby's heartbeat and your contractions are monitored. If the second stage is becoming prolonged, with the possibility of you becoming tired from pushing, an assisted delivery may be suggested with forceps or vacuum.
The birth passage, far from being straight, involves a series of rotational maneuvers known as the "mechanisms of labor."
This curve, known as the "curve of Carus," is thought to result from the evolution of humans from being on all fours to being upright. This caused the spine to curve, the pelvis to tilt, and gave a curve to the birth canal. Your pelvic floor muscles help the head rotate through the birth canal.
Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
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