View Full Version : How does Dr/midwife check cervix dilation?
I have quite a basic question:
How does the Dr/midwife check how far the cervix has dilated during labour?
In birth videos I've seen they seem to just have a quick peak between the woman's legs. Is this the reality? Or do they use that thing the Dr uses when you have a pap smear to see the cervix? Or some sort of internal examination?
As you can tell, I'm expecting my first.
Hi there Mea
I've had two natural labours and both times the midwife used her fingers to check how much I had dilated ...
They basically gauge it on how many fingers they can fit in there ... and they also check the softness/ripeness of it at the same time (effaced). Not only does the cervix have to dilate - it also has to ripen.
Not sure if anyone else had other experiences? Mine were born at different hospitals so I kind of figured it was a universal thing.
I found it uncomfortable - not painful.
I'll be honest, my OB checked with his fingers when I went in to have my waters broken (he had also checked a few days before in his surgery and found I was 3cms already). It was not painful just uncomfortable as it had been a while since anything had been in that area :)
My labour progressed fairly quickly and I actually wasn't checked again as I had the urge to push within 4 hours and by then if they had checked I wouldn't have known about it (too much else on my mind). They did regularily check bubs heartbeat but not my dilation.
Don't stress too much about it you really don't care too much about what they are doing when your in labour..its all for a good cause.
Best of luck and enjoy your new bundle when he/she arrives.
I found it was only uncofortable, not painful, besides when i was in labour i didn't care what they did!
I was 6cm dilated when they first checked and had been in labour for 12 hours by that stage. I can honestly say I did not even notice MW's fingers at all and I did not feel when they broke my waters either- think the labour pains were way too distracting!
Thanks for the info everyone, it's good to know what to expect.
I'm not worried about it, but was confused about how they could apparently tell from just looking. :)
You can also choose to not have VEs :D You might like to read this! This midwife writes about why she doesn't really give VEs any more :D
My midwife did not check how much I had dialated with either of my births. Both midwives claim they can tell by how much a woman is yelling how much she is dialated. Saying that, with my first birth I was pushing way to early and ended up having a really long 2nd stage. With my second however it all went really well and my body just seemed to know when it was time to push.
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