Dilation & Drug Decisions: How Cervical Dilation Can Impact Labor

Many thanks to Emily for sharing her beautiful birth story of her first baby, Ava. Emily had planned for an unmedicated birth, but when she learned that she was only three centimeters dilated after a day of hard labor, she opted for pain medications. Although the epidural provided relief, it led to severe hypotension and thus more medical interventions. Read on to learn how dilation informed Emily's decision-making during labor and her insightful reflections after the fact. Thank you, Emily, for sharing your story with us all.

Ride the Wave: Floating Through the Centimeters

Special thanks to Bailey Gaddis for sharing her transcendent birth story with us. Like many mothers, she was desperate for labor to start after she passed her due date. But once things got started, cervical dilation measurements played a major role along the journey: from determining if it was time for admission to the hospital to causing her doctor to decide to break her bag of water to determining that her dilation was too far advanced to get an epidural.  Read on to see how she harnessed her inner strength throughout her birth experience. You can find the full story in Bailey's book, Feng Shui Mommy: Creating Balance and Harmony for Blissful Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood, available on Amazon. Inspired by her beautiful story? Check out her website, Your Serene Life, where you can learn about hypnobirthing and childbirth classes.

To Be in the Hospital or Not to Be: Jen's Natural Birth & When to Go to the Hospital

One of the biggest questions moms face as they head from early to active labor is: Is it time to go to the hospital yet? Once they're at the hospital, clinicians will check cervical dilation to determine whether it's time to be admitted to the hospital or it's safe to keep laboring at home. We are so grateful to Jen for sharing her birth story below, in which she experiences both sides of the spectrum of the "Is it time yet?" conundrum, from "Definitely go home and labor" to "We can't move you from this bed!" Jen is an inspirational blogging mom and author, and her website Fit Lovin' Mama has incredible resources for moms interested in fitness. She's even authored a book for post-pregnancy fitness! Read on to learn more about this fit mama's beautiful birth story.

Jessi's VBAC Dreams: Cervical Dilation & Spontaneous Labor

Many thanks to Jessi Joachim, author of The Coffee Mom blog, for sharing her inspiring VBAC birth story with us. After her first baby was born via cesarean delivery, she educated herself about VBACs and planned, wished, & hoped to go into labor spontaneously with her second. However, when her cervix hadn't dilated at all by 40 weeks, her OBGYN started to doubt whether a VBAC would be possible and scheduled a repeat cesarean "just in case." Physicians and midwives often use cervical dilation to help predict when a woman might go into spontaneous labor. Read on to find out if Jessi's lack of cervical dilation got in the way of her VBAC dreams. And, for a wealth of practical #momlife tips and tricks that you'll find as useful as that morning cup'o'joe, check out The Coffee Mom blog!

Don't Dillydally: 10 cm Means It's Baby Time

Thank you to Dawn Yanek for sharing her hilariously-recounted birth story for her second baby, who was almost born in the back of a New York City cab. With her cervical dilation already at 4 cm before she went into labor, Dawn's doctors were convinced she'd have a quick labor. True to predictions, Dawn's labor moved quickly. Read on to find out where she was when she hit 10 cm and if she arrived to the hospital in time for the big birthday! And, to read more entertaining stories of momlife that are sure to make your sides hurt from laughing so hard, check out Dawn's blog, Momsanity.

Stuck in the Middle With You: What Happens When Dilation "Stalls?"

We send warm thanks to Meredith Herrenbruck for sharing her birth story with us this week. Meredith is a Transformational Life Coach and author of Becoming Ridiculously Awesome: A Self-Leadership Blueprint to Completely Transform Your Life. Meredith had prepared for an unmedicated labor, but after many hours, her cervical dilation got "stuck" at 8cm. Cervical dilation "stalling" or "labor not progressing" is the most common reason providers recommend interventions like oxytocin/pitocin augmentation in labor. Read on to learn how things progressed for Meredith and her baby Elyse. You can learn more about Meredith or buy her book on her websites here and here.

Colleen's Positive Hypnobirth: Cervical Dilation & Timing of Admission

This empowering birth story is sure to put a smile on your face. Many thanks go out to Colleen Elliott for sharing her uplifting birth story. For more information on hypnobirthing and other great pregnancy resources, visit her website Harmony Hypnobirthing. For Colleen, a cervical dilation measurement upon arrival at the Labor and Delivery unit played an important role in enabling her providers to decide if it was time to continue laboring at home or stay at the hospital (read on to see which...) Research has shown that admission in the active part of labor, often defined as greater than 4 centimeters dilated, lowers the risk of many interventions. In one study, women admitted before active labor were 39% more likely to receive oxytocin and 9% more likely to have a cesarean delivery.

My Second Miracle: Zoe's Birth Story

We want to extend a special thank-you to Betty for sharing her birth story with us. Betty is mother to Alex and Zoe and generously shared Zoe's birth story with all of us. Betty is a blogger and author of the website www.theterrificfive.com. Check it out for great #momlife tips and a good laugh about all the quirks of motherhood. As many seasoned mothers know, labor is marked by measurement of cervical dilation to monitor labor progress. Read on to learn what happened when it seemed that her cervix "was not dilating fast enough"...

A Close Call: Dilation, Preterm labor, and Admissions Decisions

Our first #DilationMatters birth story is generously shared by Karyn, who had quite the surprise with her second baby, Jackson. After noticing stronger-than-normal contractions a full month before her due date, Karyn checked in to the Labor and Delivery Triage. She was almost sent home after one dilation examination was read as 2 cm dilated. But everything changed when another provider re-checked and found she was 5 cm dilated. Read this amazing story of how a difference of 3 cm in dilation measurements completely changed her care plan and ensured that she was in the hospital when her preterm infant was born.

Share Your Birth Story!

We want to share your birth story! Every birth is a miracle and often an adventure. If you would like to share your story with other mothers, please fill out the form below.

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Please tell us a little about your birth. (For example: Grace was my second baby and she was delivered by cesarean because my dilation didn't change.)