How dilated can you be without being in "active" labor; other dilation ?s - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 31 Old 04-16-2009, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What's the limit to cervical dilation without significant contractions? Meaning, can you walk around at 5-6 cm (or more) only experiencing irregular, insignificant ctx? ("Insignificant" meaning just the early, breathe-through-it ones that don't even necessarily wake you up and whatnot) If so, has anyone ever experienced this?

Also, when measuring the early stages of dilation (like 1-3 cm), is the cervix actually open that much, or is it just able to stretch to that wide on your fingers? If I'm 3 cm, should my cervix necessarily be actually 3 cm open at all times? Because I'm allegedly at 3, but it doesn't feel like it's actually more than maybe 1/2 - 1 cm open, so it's confusing!

TIA!
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#2 of 31 Old 04-16-2009, 06:26 PM
 
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During my 3rd pg, I had my first cervical exam at 40+5 and I was 4cm stretchy to 8cm. Because of my BP issues and lots of prodromal labor, I gave consent to have a stretch and sweep and my baby was in my arms 12 hours later after 2 hours of "this is real" labor.

When I do an exam and tell someone they are 3cm, I mean they are 3cm... if they are stretchy to 4cm then I say so.

I've heard of clients who have been 8cm for days before going into regular, active labor (which is usually quite short ) which is why my preceptor doesn't do VEs before active labor.

We have a client that we know is at least 5cm because she's called us to her home twice and labor stopped (she's actually having a couple hours of labor every 3 nights so I'm betting she's closer to 7cm dilated by now since she's having a lot of prodromal labor). I sure hope we don't miss her birth, she's 2 hours away.
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#3 of 31 Old 04-16-2009, 06:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by busybusymomma View Post
We have a client that we know is at least 5cm because she's called us to her home twice and labor stopped (she's actually having a couple hours of labor every 3 nights so I'm betting she's closer to 7cm dilated by now since she's having a lot of prodromal labor). I sure hope we don't miss her birth, she's 2 hours away.
My money is on you making it for the birth of the placenta, but not the baby

A friend of mine was at 5cm (her first pregnancy) and I saw her at a morning Bible study with no noticeable contractions (no signs of discomfort or stopping conversation). She had her baby that night after a very short labor. I don't think there's any magical number where contractions have to become intense, they just typically do around 4-5cm.
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#4 of 31 Old 04-16-2009, 06:48 PM
 
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sorry if im commenting uninvited buuut.... i was 7cm's when my midwife came and i'd rung her and said i thought i might be in labour... other things must be a factor like your tolerence to pain etc?

my boobs are eeeevil.................eeevil i tells ya....
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#5 of 31 Old 04-16-2009, 06:51 PM
 
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I'm sitting at a 5 and 90% effaced. No sign (other than loosing gobs of mucus plug) that I am close to labor.

Blessed with two BEAUTIFUL little girls: Kylie (09/06) and Maggie (4/09) :
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#6 of 31 Old 04-16-2009, 06:56 PM
 
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I just had my third baby and was 8cm without painful contractions - I was hanging out with my hubby and midwives, chatting, watching a movie, etc. I was having contractions, somewhat regularly, but I could talk through them, they weren't painful, etc. Same way with my second baby. My water bag was bulging as well and baby was a 0 station.

same thing happened with my second labor. One push and they were out once it was time for that, about a 45 minute 'active' labor.
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#7 of 31 Old 04-16-2009, 06:57 PM
 
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(I'm not a birth professional, just saw this in the new posts)

I was induced with my son, 4 days past my EDD. I showed up at the hospital in the morning, and up to that point hadn't felt a single contraction. When they checked me (prior to starting any pitocin) I was already 5cm! Don't know how long I had been that way. Two weeks prior I was checked and was 2cm. Once the pit started, my son was born 2 hours later.

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#8 of 31 Old 04-16-2009, 07:23 PM
 
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I was 4-5 cm five days before I went into labor (baby was born after 8 hours of labor). I was at 3 cm at 36 weeks. I don't know what I was at right before labor.
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#9 of 31 Old 04-16-2009, 07:38 PM
 
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As a doula I've had a few clients walk around at 5CM with nothing but a few BH contractions here and there. They didn't necessarily have shorter labors, but they were first time moms. Their 2nd babies they repeated that trend of early dilation with no labor and the 2nd babies were MUCH faster.

We had one clien walking around at 7CM with no contractions to be seen.

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#10 of 31 Old 04-16-2009, 07:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by amandaleigh37 View Post
(I'm not a birth professional, just saw this in the new posts)

I was induced with my son, 4 days past my EDD. I showed up at the hospital in the morning, and up to that point hadn't felt a single contraction. When they checked me (prior to starting any pitocin) I was already 5cm! Don't know how long I had been that way. Two weeks prior I was checked and was 2cm. Once the pit started, my son was born 2 hours later.
I have a similar story. I was induced for pre-e and was surprised to learn that I was 6 cm dilated. I was able to avoid pitocin because when the Dr. broke my water, labor started in full force and DS was born 3 1/2 hrs later.
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#11 of 31 Old 04-16-2009, 10:55 PM
 
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wow 7cm and no contractions? I've not seen that one before! craziness! (I believe it though)

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#12 of 31 Old 04-17-2009, 04:23 PM
 
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With my second I was walking around at 7cms for a while. Of course, I started dilating @ 20wks. I didn't have any "active labor" until the actual birth though... The mw was worried I wouldn't make it to the hospital in time so I went in, had AROM and had my baby 2 hours later... The nurses were all shocked at my dilation.
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#13 of 31 Old 04-17-2009, 04:34 PM
 
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With my youngest, I was 5 cm for about a week before I had consistent contractions. They never did get very painful until my water broke. I only had 2 contractions and got to 10 cm.

I'm glad to see others have been through that. People were shocked I was able to walk around at 5cm.
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#14 of 31 Old 04-18-2009, 08:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cfiddlinmama View Post
With my second I was walking around at 7cms for a while. Of course, I started dilating @ 20wks. I didn't have any "active labor" until the actual birth though... The mw was worried I wouldn't make it to the hospital in time so I went in, had AROM and had my baby 2 hours later... The nurses were all shocked at my dilation.
wow that really is incredible! did you ever VE yourself? Maybe this is the geeky "birth professional" in me, but i would be so intrigued what it would feel like to be 7cms and not in labour!

transtichel.gifMom of three - (2.5 yrs, 7yrs, and 11yrs). Birthing Doula, editor, and wife to my soulmate. I've had a c/s, hospital VBAC, UC and not yet decided what I'll do about this next little one

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#15 of 31 Old 04-18-2009, 11:46 PM
 
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With my first I was dilated to 5 two weeks before birth and that last week I was dilated to 6. I finally had to be induced due to pretty severe pre eclampsia 11 days past my due date. With my second I have no idea because I didn't have any VEs until my midwife got to my house for my homebirth and I was 7 cm. But had been in active labor for several hours by that point. I've always had a really touchy uterus, any little poking by me would bring on BH contractions. I'd have 30 an hour lol. But apparently they really did help out towards the end.
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#16 of 31 Old 04-18-2009, 11:51 PM
 
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Not a birth profes. but I had chime in. My sister-in-law had her baby two days ago. She was a very stretchy 4 1/2 cm for about a week. She went in two days ago and was at a 5, -1 station and 90% she had midwife break her water.
She walked around to get contractions going. She had only 10 (or less) contractions and she was holding baby. It was fast. (about one hour 20 minutes after water being broken)
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#17 of 31 Old 04-19-2009, 01:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by 1stimestar View Post
With my first I was dilated to 5 two weeks before birth and that last week I was dilated to 6. I finally had to be induced due to pretty severe pre eclampsia 11 days past my due date. With my second I have no idea because I didn't have any VEs until my midwife got to my house for my homebirth and I was 7 cm. But had been in active labor for several hours by that point. I've always had a really touchy uterus, any little poking by me would bring on BH contractions. I'd have 30 an hour lol. But apparently they really did help out towards the end.
I have a very "touchy" uterus myself (as you say) I get contraction from everything. ugh. but I don't dilate much... I'm maybe 2cm? (if that).

transtichel.gifMom of three - (2.5 yrs, 7yrs, and 11yrs). Birthing Doula, editor, and wife to my soulmate. I've had a c/s, hospital VBAC, UC and not yet decided what I'll do about this next little one

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#18 of 31 Old 04-19-2009, 02:21 AM
 
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yeah, i've read that some women just have more stretchy cervixes than others. I was at 4, stretchy to 7 and still waiting for labor to start for a few days. It was nervewracking!

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#19 of 31 Old 04-19-2009, 07:04 AM
 
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I have an aunt who went to her regular prenatal appointment at 38 weeks and the doc about lost it- he couldn't decide if he should deliver the baby in the office or take her to the hospital- she was complete and she said she was having some loose BM but no contractions so the doc actually drove her in his car to the near by hospital! and the ROM had her push and she had the baby- so who knows how long she was walking around dilated---
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#20 of 31 Old 04-19-2009, 08:24 AM
 
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Wow, mwherbs--that definitely takes the cake! I've heard these stories of 'walking around at 7cm' stories, which I already thought were amazing enough. But fully dilated??? Wow.
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#21 of 31 Old 04-19-2009, 10:27 AM
 
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With Caroline I walked around at 7cm for about a week before she was born. My labor was super quick - 1.5 hours total and an hour of that was pushing.

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#22 of 31 Old 04-19-2009, 11:02 AM
 
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I just had my third baby and was 8cm without painful contractions - I was hanging out with my hubby and midwives, chatting, watching a movie, etc.

My story is similar. I was actually walking around Target & simply felt pressure, no pain. After walking around for awhile I decided it was best for me to get home (still no pain, something inside me said to get home) So I called my midwife, she decided to come over (she's 45 min away)

By the time she got to the house I was breathing deeply & thought I *might* be in active labor. She asked to checked & I said "yes, as long as you don't tell me where I'm at." So she checks & then says I have to make a call. I hear her tell the other midwife, "you won't make it; she's at 9cm." I was beyond shocked My DS was born 20 min later. Never in my life would I have thought that I could walk around & shop while being 7-8 cm dilated.

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#23 of 31 Old 04-20-2009, 01:36 AM
 
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With my second I was a good 5-6 cm. and had no contractions when i went to doc. started contracting that day, got to 7 cm. Went to hospital that night, contractions stopped. We started pit to get them going the next morning. With my last baby, i was 6c.m. from 36 weeks on, and not in active labor...
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#24 of 31 Old 04-20-2009, 02:53 AM
 
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I've certainly had clients walk around at 4-5 cm as multips. The most I've seen was 7 cm, and she went to 41+6 and we induced her with AROM. She really, really, really wanted that baby to come. It's really hard to stretch and sweep a 7 cm cervix. The mechanics of sweeping are not the same at 7 cm! She was doing every single natural induction legend she'd learned of and wasn't getting anywhere, even at 7 cm.

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#25 of 31 Old 04-20-2009, 03:17 PM
 
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At 41 wks, I was 7 cm dilated & was stretchy to 9cm. Just BH contractions. Showed up at hosp at OB's suggestion b/c didn't want to have the baby in the car. Didn't feel contractions until after AROM was done.

I've been walking around at 6 cm for a whole week prior & not bothered at all except for occassional BH. This was my 3rd birth & I tend not to feel my contractions during my labors, even though the contraction machine shows my contractions peaking. It doesn't really start bothering me until the pushing stage.
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#26 of 31 Old 04-20-2009, 03:22 PM
 
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This thread is making me loose hope that my baby will come soon LOL.

Blessed with two BEAUTIFUL little girls: Kylie (09/06) and Maggie (4/09) :
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#27 of 31 Old 04-22-2009, 03:10 AM
 
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My mother and grandmother had superfast labours. (Alas, I broke the pattern, at least with my first.)

I don't know if she had any cervical checks, but with her third my mom went to the toilet before bed one night and thought to herself "that's not a bm, that's a baby!" They went off to the luckily nearby hospital where she had my brother 20 minutes later.

I've always wondered whether she could really have gone from 0 to baby in 20 minutes or whether she was walking around significantly dilated before that evening. She says she was feeling labour from the bathroom point onward, but not before.

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#28 of 31 Old 04-22-2009, 04:22 AM
 
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I walked around at 5 cm and fully effaced for 2 weeks before finally going into active labor - it still took 48 hours from then until I had DD though... I sure hope #2 is a little bit faster!

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#29 of 31 Old 04-22-2009, 04:52 AM
 
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I had really short labors (averaging 2 hours) but I never had VE until I was complete so who knows where I started from. Based on the pain from my first labor I'm pretty sure I started from nothing, lol.

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#30 of 31 Old 04-26-2012, 10:24 AM
 
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I am 38 weeks with my second son, and yesterday was at 5-6 cm.. More than a month ago, I was at 3 cm and 80 percent and have progressed from there, going to 4-5 then to 5 and now 5-6. I have had some BH contractions that, as the doc says, are obviously dilating me, but never turn into actual labor.

A similar thing happened with my first son. I was at 3 cm a month before. A week before his due date I was at 4-5. They finally induced me when I went in two days past my due date with more BH contractions.

This time, I am scheduled to be induced in 8 days, unless I go into labor before then. That is 4 days before my due date. I am afraid of not making it to the hospital in time if I do go into labor; my doc says to call even if my contractions aren't regular but last an hour.
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