Post # 1
My OB started to check for dilation last week (at 37 weeks) and there was no progress. As of now at 38 weeks I’m barely 1 cm. She did mention that this doesn’t really mean much, as you can be 3 cm and walking around for two weeks with nothing happening or 1 cm and then go into labor that night.
For all the momma bees, what were your experiences with these? Should I just stop having them done if they don’t really mean anything, and they aren’t the most comfortable thing in the world?
Post # 3
You don’t have to get them done, but I’d rather know than not know. I personally liked knowing. I was overdue, and knowing that I hadn’t progressed the week I was due to the week after, helped me make a decision to either wait it out or get induced. I did skip one though because I found it incredibly painful. I believe at a certain point, you have to be admitted. Please correct me in I’m wrong though.
Post # 4
I’m not planning to have dilation checks done at all. Maybe if I reach 41 weeks and they are wanting to induce, but definitely not before if I can possibly avoid it. They don’t mean much, so it doesn’t seem like there is much point to it.
Post # 5
I had contradicting feelings about them. At first I really wanted to know. I was 37 weeks and dialated 1cm, but 0% effaced. The next week…no progress. Which sucked because I’d had so many BH contractions I thought for sure my body would have done something. It was discouraging. But when I went into labor, it was fast and furious, and the checks never helped to predict if I was close or not. Aside from being able to tell the baby was head down (which I already knew) I felt afterwards that the checks were silly and useless. (Although while I was pregnant I was secretly hoping the checks would cause me to go into labor…never happened.)
Post # 6
My midwife didn’t check me until she came to deliver my baby! If I had wanted to know before then she said she was happy to check- but I didn’t see the point because it’s not a good indicater of when you’ll go into labor.
Post # 7
I was 1 cm and a fingertip dialated the day before I went into labor, and I had been that way for at least two weeks! Obviously, dialation isn’t a good indicator of when you’ll go into labor, but I liked knowing anyway. It reminded me that I really was at the end, even though I felt like I was going to be pregnant forever. Also, I didn’t find it particularly painful; uncomfortable, but not painful. Maybe if they were painful I would have declined.
Post # 8
I didn’t oppose them because I was honestly interested to know if I was progressing. Many women do decline them, however.
One thing I would make double sure of is if your caregiver continues to check you, make sure they don’t sweep your membranes without A) your permission and B) prior notice. I know of a few women who thought they were simply being checked for dilation and their membranes were swept.
Post # 9
I had dialation checks.. but mine were uncomfortable not painful so I didnt mind. Even tho It doesnt predict when your going into labor I liked to know how much i was dialated and effaced because it gave me hope that pregnancy was ending soon!
Post # 10
I wasn’t given the choice to not have them, but didn’t really mind. It was uncomfortable, but my doc is amazing. I would trust him blindly no matter what. I liked knowing how things were going because mine actually progressed over time. A couple days before my due date he said the next couple days and if not we’ll meet back on Monday, but I would bet the next couple of days. I went in the day after my due date.
Post # 11
I was steadily progressing from 36 weeks on. I wanted the checks because they have the potential to encourage progression. I think it wasn’t discouraging for me becaues each week there was a little more going on.
Post # 12
Sweeping of the membranes is really uncomfortable/painful….just ask if they are going to do this. Also, if the cervix is pointing away from the examiner (what we call a posterior cervix–which pretty much means she is far from giving birth still), it’s also more uncomfortable. There’s really no reason to check for dilation unless the woman is possibly in labor (i.e. having regular contractions). The definition of labor is regular contractions AND cervical change so the cervix needs to be checked to see if the woman is actually in labor by definition.