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Thread: Dilation and Effacement

  1. #1

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    Question Dilation and Effacement

    Another question from the first timer!!

    I had my 40+ OB appt today- she was apparently very surprised to see me as she thought I was going to 'go' on the weekend- as did we for a second!

    She did an internal and has written that I'm 3cm dilated and 1/2cm long. I understand the dilation measurement, does anybody know what 1/2cm is in percentages? Or does it vary for each person?



    I'm booked in for induction on Tuesday, but again, she said she'd be surprised if I carry til then. I'm hoping to avoid the induction- what do you think my chances are???

    Thankyou!

  2. #2

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    3cms as a first timer - I would expect you to avoid induction. On effacement, grab a ruler and check out how short half a cm really is! It really does sound like there is some thinning going on there.

    Hoping you are in labour really soon!

  3. #3

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    Internals prior to labour don't mean much. In fact, in general, they don't mean all that much during labour - each woman will dilate the way their body dilates. Each woman is different. Some can be walking around at 4cm for weeks before they go and some can be closed shut in the morning and go into labour that night. Just like during labour, some women could be at 5cm for hours and go to 10cm with 3 monster contractions. The Friedman's curve is ideal, it's not even average. If you dilate exactly the way "they think" you should you've won yourself a golden ticket. You'll go into labour when your body and your baby are ready - and I know how frustrating that can be, but it's generally true.

    Why are they inducing you when you're only 40 weeks, or 41 when booked in? Is there any specific medical reason? I personally would be questioning this until I was at least 42 weeks and doing everything I could to avoid an induction as it's usually the first step in a cascade of interventions, like instrument births and episotomy's. Estimated due dates are just that - estimated.

  4. #4

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    Your body is doing a super job of preparing for labour!
    I am also wondering why you're booked for an induction so soon. It really sounds like your body and baby will be able to sort it out for themselves pretty soon - why not cancel or at least push it back another week unless there's some medical reason for it?
    I was induced and it's not something I'd like to repeat. Your cervix is already pretty favourable for induction, admitedly, from the sound of things, but given that you're only just post dates I'd take that as even better reason to wait for spontaneous labour.
    It's impossible to know how much longer it might be - bear in mind that the average gestation for first-time mums is actually something like 41weeks + 2days, not 40 weeks.

    All the best!

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the replies and encouragement!

    I guess I'm trying to get an 'image' of what's happening in my body at the moment, I like to visualise these things!

    We discussed timings of induction- there are a couple of reasons why we've decided on an earlier date and my OB has explained that it *is* flexible. One of the major reasons for an earlier booking is I've been having contractions for 5 days now and am getting physically and emotionally very tired from lack of sleep. They're not strong, but they're consistent and are taking their toll (obviously in a positive way as well, I'm certainly not discounting the positive!). My doc isn't pushing me into the induction at all, we've made the booking as an option. I'm certainly hoping to avoid it.

    Thanks again xx

  6. #6

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    I was dialated 4cm when I went to the hospital...in labour

    1/2 cm means your cervix has nearly thinned out you're on your way there by yourself anyway

    Alot of people get induced at 40 weeks because as due dates are often wrong, the placenta can stop working properly..... and the baby is more likely to go into distress after 40 weeks....

  7. #7

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    Everyone is so different it's hard to say. I went in for my 40 week check up and was closed up tight (I was disappointed thinking that meant it would be ages before baby came) but I went into labour the next day. My friend went in for her 40 check up and was 3cm dilated, and she still had to be induced a week later. Fingers crossed you don't need to be induced and all goes smoothly.

  8. #8

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    Ah, it must be frustrating! Totally understand - hopefully all this good work your body is doing now will place you in good stead for when labour finally happens.

    Sorry about the hijack here, but placentas can stop working at any point. There is some evidence to suggest that extra monitoring is warranted after 42 weeks and that with this proviso it's safe to continue to 44 weeks, all else being well. As for due dates being wrong - well they're only estimates anyway and the average is 38-42 weeks, so a bit hard to draw a line in the sand anywhere.

  9. #9

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    Thanks Marcellus, everything has amped up considerably today, so hopefully we're well on our way!! Contractions are A LOT stronger, and have finally moved from every 10 mins (5 days of 10 minutes!!!) to every 6 or 8. That's a definite mood lifter- makes me believe we CAN do this ourselves! After the last week though, I won't believe it's real until I can feel his head!

  10. #10

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    Hi Krystals, Just wanted to lend you some support! I know what its like to have contractions every 10 mins for over a week! eeek....
    Your'e doing a fabulous job hon, looking forward to seeing your BA SOON!!

  11. #11

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    Ohhh Krystals sounds like things are definitely kicking in..... you ARE doing this yourself and doing a fantastic job! Sending you lots of beautiful birthing vibes and look forward to seeing your BA soon

  12. #12

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    OH goodie. I'm excited for you - hope all goes wonderfully for you (and hope you're too busy elsewhere to read this post too)

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