Travelmumma posted an excellent article over on the fb group about cervical dilation and why NOT to do it in the upcoming weeks and during labor. I was thinking that this thread could be a sharing ground for other information and articles on this topic, & any first hand stories, as so many women and care providers still do this routinely and have no idea that it really should not be done.
Here's the article: http://www.natural-pregnancy-mentor.com/vaginal-exams.html
Personally, with both of my girls, I didn't think anything of it, and the nearer I got to my due dates, the more I was okay with being checked. Those numbers told me NOTHING! When I was in labor with dd2, I asked to be checked after being in labor for about 8 hours and was super excited to learn that I was a 7 and my mw thought I only had another hour or two to go before dd would be born. 4.5 hours later, I was totally discouraged and exhausted, mostly because I was hung up on that number and was sold on the idea that I was going to have her sooner than I did. Then I was checked again only to find that I had a "lip" and that was holding me up. ( I later learned that most women get a cervical lip at some point in labor and that they smooth out on their own.) In hindsight, my MW did not need to painfully hold that lip back while I pushed. I should have tried to rest while my body opened and should have never checked.
This time around, I have had 0 checks and will not have anyone even be looking down there until after my baby is birthed, (to check for tears.)
So, yeah- it's just a number, and there is no reason to put anything up there!
If anyone knows of the article that shows the way we really dilate- in an oval, not a circle, can you please post it? I'm having a hard time locating it!