Cervical Self-checks - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 05-13-2007, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OKay, so I'm not actually going UC,: (although we are discussing it) but I _definitly_ don't want to do what my friend did and turn up at the hospital only 3cm dilated. So how do I check by myself? My doula doesn't check, so far as I know, and i'd like to be at least 8cm before getting into the medical world.

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#2 of 11 Old 05-13-2007, 11:45 PM
 
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This website is the best I've found so far...

The general method...wash up really well, try lying on your back with your hips up a little (pillow) or squatting (these work best for me, anyway). Insert your fingers - maybe a little lube if you need - until you feel it. Depending on where your cervix is, you might be able to feel with only your middle and pointer finger. Mine tends to stay posterior, and I need to get all four fingers in (sorry TMI!!) to be able to reach. You might measure your fingers before hand, so you have an idea of how many fingers wide is X cm.

I would imagine that more important than how many centimeters dilated you are though, is how you are feeling at the moment. Your doula (if experienced) should be able to gauge pretty well how far along you are in your labor if you aren't feeling confident in your decision. I would suggest you go by that more than dilation...the thing is, if you're laboring well at home, just stay! If all of a sudden you just feel it's time to go somewhere...well then, it probably is. And what's the worst that could happen? Your baby comes fast and is born at home

And...if you do end up arriving at the hospital early in labor - just leave! They can't make you stay...you can go for a walk, return home, etc. You're in charge

Good luck.

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#3 of 11 Old 05-14-2007, 12:36 AM
 
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if you're planning a hopsital birth the thought of leaving home at 8cm seems scary to me, things can move FAST .... also, you'd be nearing transition and I would hate to go through that while stuck in a car.

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#4 of 11 Old 05-14-2007, 02:00 AM
 
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Goodness, I'd never be able to reach that far! I tried the other day (measureing 36wk) and there was no way I was flexible enough to do it. I taught DH how to check and it's been easy for him to figure out dilation.

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#5 of 11 Old 05-14-2007, 04:02 AM
 
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I have exceptionally long fingers, so I didn't have too much trouble checking. I would check while I was in the shower, squatting down and sort of tilting my hip/abs a little bit. I would use two fingers and see how far apart they were.

It also helped that I had DH feel it during my pregnancy a couple of times, so he knew what to feel for. I think twice in labor I asked him to check me when I wasn't feeling particularly up for it. He did a great job, but I think it helped him that he had felt for it beforehand, so he knew what changes had actually taken place.
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#6 of 11 Old 05-14-2007, 12:45 PM
 
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Don't forget too that you can go from 3 cm to 10 cm in a matter of minutes too! Most woman don't realize that cervical dilation isn't even a worth while thing to do because it can change so fast. It is just an attendants way to cover their butts so to speak. And for the hospital to decide to do a c-section for failure to progress. It really doesn't tell one anything at all.

And I do have a friend that dilates from 3 cm to 10 cm in just 15 minutes!

~A
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#7 of 11 Old 05-14-2007, 10:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, thanks for all the help. If I really feel that I want to stay home I will, no worries. We aren't far at all from the hospital, maybe 10 min, so I'm not too worried about getting caught in the car. What prompted all this was friend who was in labour for 12 hours and went from 3 cm... to 3 cm. She ended up with an epi and a really horrible birth and I just want to avoid the hospital til the last minute to try and avoid it.

The thing about trusting my doula on that is , she was also my friend's doula so I don't really just want to take her word for it! Thanks for all the instruction ladies, and if I end up Uc'ing, I'm sure I'll be back in August... probably during labour!

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#8 of 11 Old 05-14-2007, 11:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthmothergypsy View Post
And I do have a friend that dilates from 3 cm to 10 cm in just 15 minutes!
I went from 5cm to 10cm in about the same with both of mine Labor is totally tolerable (crampy, but nothing too bad) for me until I hit transition.. so if I waited until I "felt" like I needed to go anywhere, it would likely be way way too late.
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#9 of 11 Old 05-15-2007, 03:09 AM
 
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FWIW most medical types don't even measure centimeters. They measure finger widths, multiply them by two, and then call them centimeters sounding very precise and scientific. And, yes, the fingers of my old 4'9" midwife are considered as much 2cm as the fingers of a 6'8" male Irish ob-gyn I met.

Personally, I found it easiest to check squatting in the tub or shower. How easy it is depends on your body and hand measurements, flexibility, and how the baby lies. When I was pregnant with my first I could barely reach down to pat the urine dry... while I was fatter with subsequent pregnancies, the babies were positioned in such a way I could easily reach my fingers up for a cervical check.


I second (or third or fourth) that dilation can change rapidly. With my last I had two contractions over a five hour period. When I went to the bathroom from the corner of my eye through the mirror, I caught a glance of a bulge in back above my pelvis. I checked and I was at 4cm. I told my dh who told his work buddy on the phone. Stupid father of two told my dh, "Don't worry. You have hours to go." Foolish dh repeated it to me and I snapped for him to get off the phone. Two contractions and ten minutes later we had our sixth child.

(BTW, I'm justified in saying *foolish* dh because my previous two labors were 7 and 2 minutes.... foolish dh!)

~BV, always feeling justified in ragging on dh during labor
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#10 of 11 Old 05-15-2007, 02:02 PM
 
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I personally find it easiest to check while sitting on the toilet with knees apart. I don't think there's ANY WAY I could check it whle laying down at full term, lol.
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#11 of 11 Old 05-15-2007, 03:06 PM
 
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Yes, it can go quickly, but it can also go as slow as mud. I can walk around for weeks at 3cm. I can be at 7cm and still be hours or days away from delivering the baby. I think your plan to wait is great. I would do the same. It wouldn't be fun, but I wouldn't go to the hospital until I was in transition. And I would prepare myself to deliver UC if it happened faster than anticipated.
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