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Can you check yourself to see how far you're dilated?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
One of my biggest problems last pregnancy was internal exams. I won't do it this one. I'm only 19 weeks so I'm just planning ahead. I was wondering if it is physically possible to check yourself for dilation? I had a hard enough time with my huge belly just being able to wipe after peeing so ... And what are you looking for? Is there a site that can help? If I can't check myself then I'd rather have DH check than some stranger, how much training do you actually need?

Thanks! Kelly
post #2 of 14
I have done it but it can be tricky and risky if you don't what you are doing. You could potentially dislodge the mucous plug, introduce bacteria, or rupture membranes. So if you decide to try, be very careful.

You don't ever want to stick your finger into your cervical opening. You just feel gently around the cervical ring. You want to wash your hands very well (nails too) beforehand. Some women are not ever able to check themselves and some are. I got good at it during my conception phase.
post #3 of 14
I did with my first,which was a UC. It was not hard to do.I really don't think there is a need to constantly do it.Maybe one time after a few hours of labor.
post #4 of 14
You can, but you don't need to.

Here's instructions from Gloria Lemay:

Quote:
This is not rocket science, and you hardly need a medical degree or years of training to do it. Your vagina is a lot like your nose- other people may do harm if they put fingers or instruments up there but you have a greater sensitivity and will not do yourself any harm.

The best way to do it when hugely pregnant is to sit on the toilet with one foot on the floor and one up on the seat of the toilet. Put two fingers in and go back towards your bum. The cervix in a pregnant woman feels like your lips puckered up into a kiss. On a non-pregnant woman it feels like the end of your nose. When it is dilating, one finger slips into the middle of the cervix easily (just like you could slide your finger into your mouth easily if you are puckered up for a kiss). As the dilation progresses the inside of that hole becomes more like a taught elastic band and by 5 cms dilated (5 fingerwidths) it is a perfect rubbery circle like one of those Mason jar rings that you use for canning, and about that thick.

What's in the centre of that opening space is the membranes (bag of waters) that are covering the baby's head and feel like a latex balloon filled with water. If you push on them a bit you'll feel the baby's head like a hard ball (as in baseball). If the waters have released you'll feel the babe's head directly.
post #5 of 14
Heck yeah... and you just need to find the postion that works for you. Like Gloria Lemay says if you pick your own nose you won't jam your nose or hurt yourself... but if someone else did it... well there would be more opportunity for minor injury.
Check up a storm... you will think it is so neat when you are in labor and you can actually understand "first hand" what you normally wait for someone else to tell you....
Tricia
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Triciabn
Like Gloria Lemay says if you pick your own nose you won't jam your nose or hurt yourself... but if someone else did it... well there would be more opportunity for minor injury.
So THAT's where that saying comes from... "You can pick your friends... You can pick your nose... But you can't pick your friend's nose."
post #7 of 14
Or you could go your whole pregnancy and labor without anybody checking you

Keri
post #8 of 14
Could you accidentally break your water? This is why I haven't tried it yet... maybe that's an ignorant question, but I'm really curious if its possbile to break your water by checking your cervix? I've been having a ton of prodromal labor and I'd like to know if its done anything to my cervix, but I don't want to force/induce labor either.
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by grace's voice
Could you accidentally break your water? This is why I haven't tried it yet... maybe that's an ignorant question, but I'm really curious if its possbile to break your water by checking your cervix? I've been having a ton of prodromal labor and I'd like to know if its done anything to my cervix, but I don't want to force/induce labor either.
Well, you could strip your membranes, I imagine that maybe if you did it rough enough you could break your water. If you decide to do it just be very very careful and follow the directions listed earlier in this thread.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks fourlittlebirds, that is exactly what I was looking for! Now that that is sorted, I can't think of a single earthly reason why I would have to deal with anyone I'm not married to sticking things in places I'd rather not have strangers sticking things! And DH will only be doing it if I can't reach... doesn't sound like should be a problem... I may have to get creative and use some of Tricia's suggestions, if I get much bigger
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by pumpkinsmama
One of my biggest problems last pregnancy was internal exams. I won't do it this one. I'm only 19 weeks so I'm just planning ahead. I was wondering if it is physically possible to check yourself for dilation? I had a hard enough time with my huge belly just being able to wipe after peeing so ... And what are you looking for? Is there a site that can help? If I can't check myself then I'd rather have DH check than some stranger, how much training do you actually need?

Thanks! Kelly
Quote:
Or you could go your whole pregnancy and labor without anybody checking you
:
The main reason medical ppl check is to figure out how long their time is needed. It has nothing to do with the mother and the birth of her baby.
Even the idea that another person has to manually help the cervix open, just change position! Listen to your body, it will tell you what to do.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by pumpkinsmama View Post

One of my biggest problems last pregnancy was internal exams. I won't do it this one. I'm only 19 weeks so I'm just planning ahead. I was wondering if it is physically possible to check yourself for dilation?
I had a hard enough time with my huge belly just being able to wipe after peeing so ... And what are you looking for? Is there a site that can help? If I can't check myself then I'd rather have DH check than some stranger, how much training do you actually need?


Thanks! Kelly
please do dont do it your self i was the same way i look and found a website that told me how to check and i did and i got an infection in my utrus and my baby died i washed my hands before i did it and was very clean an i still caught an infection and my baby passed away i was 28 week 2 days i have to live with the fact that i killed my baby everyday please dont do it
post #13 of 14

Okay, this is a really, really old post, but ... the previous response doesn't quite compute. Assuming you don't jam your finger in your cervix hard enough to cause bleeding or membrane damage, and your water doesn't break/isn't already broken, I don't see how doing your own cervical check could introduce any more contaminants than, say, sexual activity. And (again assuming your water isn't broken) sexual activity isn't considered to be risky for the majority of pregnant women, and in the cases where it is advised against, it's typically not because of the chance of infection. 

 

Thoughts?

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by erigeron View Post
 

Okay, this is a really, really old post, but ... the previous response doesn't quite compute. Assuming you don't jam your finger in your cervix hard enough to cause bleeding or membrane damage, and your water doesn't break/isn't already broken, I don't see how doing your own cervical check could introduce any more contaminants than, say, sexual activity. And (again assuming your water isn't broken) sexual activity isn't considered to be risky for the majority of pregnant women, and in the cases where it is advised against, it's typically not because of the chance of infection. 

 

Thoughts?

 

I totally agree with this. The only way I can see it being a bigger problem than standard sexual activity is if someone had particularly long fingernails or if they tried to force things for some reason and ignored pain signals.

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