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what does being 2 centimeters dilated mean? January 22, 2007

Posted by guinever in babies, birth, labor, pregnancy.

So you’re nearing the end of your pregnancy and your doctor or midwife “checks you” and you find out that you’re 2 centimeters dilated. What does it mean? When will you have your baby?

Well, your labor could start today, tomorrow or not for another month. Cervical dilation is not a good indication of when exactly you will have your baby.

You can be 36, 37, or 38 weeks pregnant, 2 centimeters dilated and not have your baby for several weeks. Or you can be 2 centimeters dilated and be in very early labor or pre-labor having a couple contractions an hour and maybe have a baby within the next couple days. Or you can be 2 centimeters dilated and be having very long, hard contractions that are close together. In this last scenario, you will have your baby very soon. You can actually be in late labor or in transition, but your cervix hasn’t caught up yet and is showing early labor.

I’ve heard a few women say that they got the epidural, but it didn’t take effect until after the baby was born. The contractions were overwhelming and they just couldn’t handle labor anymore especially when they got checked and their cervix was found to only be 2, 3, or 4 centimeters dilated. They ordered the epidural and as they waited for the anesthesiologist to show up, they had the baby.

So remember, you can’t predict when your baby will be born based on the dilation of your cervix. Dilation doesn’t happen in a standard, uniform way.

For more on dilation, read
How long does it take the cervix to dilate 5 centimeters?

Feel free to ask a question and then check back later for an answer, but please don’t ask me when I think you are going to have your baby or if your doctor will induce you because I don’t know. (these questions will be deleted and will not be answered) You will find additional clarification of when your labor may start by reading my other two articles on dilation linked below.
How long does it take the cervix to dilate 5 centimeters?

cervical dilation 101:frequently asked questions
For more articles about pregnancy and birth, please refer to my welcome page.

If you enjoy reading birth stories, you might like
diary of a primipara
my second birth: a lot quicker than my first
the labor that kept on stopping
born in our living room


1. Lynda Lynch - April 14, 2009

I am 39 wks and 4 days with baby number 2. I had my second stretch and sweep done this morning and he said I was a ‘good’ 2 cm which is one more cm than last week. Do you think that I could go into labour today, I am losing what I think is my plug since this morning but no ‘bloody show’ I was induced with my 1st at 10 past due and did not experience anything natural like the show or my waters breaking. Will this be the same, I am just not to sure what to expect. I know that you don’t have the answers to everything as everyone is different but I would appreciate your opinion very much.

Lynda, a lot of times with a sweep, a woman has many hours (sometimes 2 days) of light, persistent contractions before active labor kicks in. *If* your baby and body are ready for labor, the sweep might put you into labor today or in the next couple of days. It’s also possible that you could have a day of light contractions and then they stop….only time will tell. ~blessings, Guinever

2. Sarah - April 4, 2009

Hello, This is my third pregnancy, I am 37 weeks and 2 days pregnant, I am 2 cm dilated and I am cramping and having pressure. Does it mean that I could be going into labor?

Sarah, it sounds like you could be in early labor. It is also possible that the pressure and cramping will stop for now and then you’ll have your baby later. Only time will tell. ~blessings, Guinever

3. Kareemah - March 15, 2009

so i guess my question is the only one that gets no response

I’ll go look for your question. Trust me, your question is not the only one that hasn’t gotten a response lately. I have over 75 questions built up right now. I am only one person with a lot of personal responsibilities.

4. NATASHA SNELL - March 14, 2009


Natasha, You didn’t say how often your braxton hicks are coming. If you have been having several an hour for awhile, then you could be in labor and therefore should go to the hospital immediately since you are only 30 weeks along. But if you’re just having a 40-50 second long contraction a couple times a day when you’re active or hungry, then there’s nothing to worry about. ~blessings, Guinever

5. Layan - March 10, 2009

Hi Guinever,
I am presently at 38wks 2days and today my doc said that I was dilated 2cm and the cervix was very soft and the babies head is very low. I had some contractions over the weekend but that’s about it. This is my first and I would like to try to do things as naturally as possible even though I will be in a hospital. However I am worried about the pain. I have been taking my a pregnancy tea again since the contractions started on Saturday. It contains raspberry leaf as the first ingredient. I’ve also been eating dates and plan to use natural coconut water for hydration during labor instead of Gatorade or other fake stuff.
What other herbs and foods would be good for me to take at this time and also during the labor? PS I am in no rush to naturally induce I just want it to go well.

Layan, it sounds like you have a good plan in place…Just keep eating and drinking healthy for a strong pregnancy. ~blessings, Guinever

6. Kareemah - March 1, 2009

hi, i am 30 weeks pregnant and having cramping like eriods they hurt worse by the day… i went to the do. a couple of weeks ago they said i’ve dilated 1.25 and the baby has dropped into my pelvis area he says i’m soft but not too soft…and i ave no idea what he means… i have ightening and cramps sometimes to the point were i start sweating and somedays i’m nauseated… i look at the least two months smaller than i did before she dropped… i drink plenty of water and eat healthly but i keep thinking she’ll come early! i’m always cramping and sick now do you think i am still dilating or are these painfull cramping braxton hicks?!

oh yeah i think i lost my mucous plug – something gross that my nurse described to me was floating in the bath… i know that’s nasty but she said it’d look like snot and it did… i also feel kinda moist down there and wanted to know if you thought my water bags was leaking…and lastly(hopefully)…if i am still dilating and go into active labor will it be too late to get the steroid shot to help her lungs… p.s i’ve been like this for a month or so…the cramping i should say but now it’s worse

Kareemah, yes, it sounds like you lost your mucous plug. The mucous plug sometimes will re-make itself over time if you don’t go into labor when you lose it. Your water may have broken, but that would be more of a trickle here and there rather just being moist–you’d be leaking once in awhile, during contractions or if you move. You can get that checked for sure at the doc’s office.

You asked if you were dilated or having braxton hicks. It’s not an either/or. Braxton hicks contractions DO soften and dilate your cervix. Sometimes, though, you can have lots of contractions and “nothing happens.”

In order for the steroid shots to effectively work, you need 2 doses at least 3 hours apart with enough time for that second dose to work. So it would really depend on how long your active labor is and whether or not you would have time for the steroid shots.

Are you getting enough calcium in your diet? Calcium can help to relax your muscles (including the uterus.)
~hope you stay pregnant a few more weeks, Guinever

7. monique - February 27, 2009

Hello my I am 31 weeks and this is my 3rd preg. I had my frist one at 38weeks and the second one at 37 weeks. I was wondering could i have this 3rd baby at 36 weeks or earlier. I have been losing a lot of mucus, Just wonting to know.

Monique, anything is possible. You could go full term or you could have your baby early. If you’re worried, maybe you should go get checked out. If things are happening, then you can take it easy–take the pressure off your cervix and try to remain pregnant as long as possible. And if your cervix isn’t dilating yet, then it will put your mind at ease. Increased mucous during pregnancy is totally normal, or are you having bloody show-which would be more of an indication that your cervix is dilating a little and the plug is starting to break away. ~blessings, Guinever

8. Nicole - January 22, 2009

I’m 28 weeks and 2 days pregnant with my third child. My First pregnancy ended at 15 weeks due to PPROM, my second pregnancy i started having preterm labor at 25 weeks and had him at 35 weeks. With this pregnancy i went to the hospital at 26 weeks because of contractions ( i’ve also been on 17p shots since 25 weeks as well as a terbutaline pump) Well 2 days ago, I Iost my mucous plug and when i got to the doctor’s office she told me I was 2 cm dilated, my cervix measured 1.4 cm and I had alot of funneling. What are my chances of delivering full term and what is funneling? Thank you very much for your help, I appreciate it.

Dear Nicole, funneling means that the side of your cervix closest to the baby is starting to open (rather than the other side that is closest to your vaginal opening.) I really don’t know your chances of carrying your baby full-term, especially with your history of pre-term labor.
~blessings, Guinever

9. arlita - November 14, 2008

hi! my due date by my LMP is on dec.5 but my ultrsound is on nov.15
why is it doesn’t match.I had my last ultrasound oct.20 and says that my EDD is on nov 15.Am I due or what?what should i prefer when is my due date?

Dear Alita, early ultrasound done during the first trimester is accurate for dating a pregnancy, whereas, later ultrasounds aren’t always good at predicting the due date. Using LMP is fine and is usually ok, but every once in awhile a woman ovulates earlier or later than usual even if her cycle is like clockwork. What is your doctor or midwife saying your due date is? Here is a due date calculator that you can type your LMP into and it will figure out your estimated due date. (page down and look on the right side for a little box.)
~hope this helps, Guinever

10. katie - November 8, 2008

hi there iam almost 38 weeks and this is my third child with no miscarriages , or still births , i just saw my docter 3 days ago he told me i was 2 -3 centimeters dilated with a soft cervix and the head is really low, iam not sure how enfaced , i have had these globs of white mucious come out for the past month , no blood or water breaking , or no bloody mucious plug come out/any spotting , and the docter and nurse said i wont last till my due date which is nov.23rd 2008 i have had little contarctions but alot of pressure , tightning and cramping , will it mean i will labour soon , or what does all this mean as even though this is my third child this pregnancy has been so differn’t .thanks.

Katie, the pressure, tightening and cramping are contractions–braxton hicks contractions. This pressure that you’re feeling is what has caused you to be 2-3 cm dilated. As the cervix dilates, the mucous plug can break away slowly–that could be what your mucous is. You may go early, but you’re just as likely to go past your due date. ~blessings, Guinever

11. ruby - October 22, 2008

i am 33 weeks today and i went to the doc and he told me that i am 2 cm is that normal at just 33 weeks

Ruby, most likely, everything is ok. A lot of women dilate a little but then go to full term. Just be aware of it–if you feel lots of pressure or what you know to be contractions, go get checked out.

12. Jazmen T - October 20, 2008

I went to my doctors visit, at 28 weeks, and my doctor said that I was measuring small. she said when I come back 2 weeks later if I’m still measuring small then she wonted to do an ultrasound. what is wrong with my baby? why am I measuring small? I am 15 years old, can someone please help answer my questions!!!!!

Dear Jazmen, let me put your mind at ease. There are so many reasons that you might be measuring small and most of them are nothing to worry about. Some possible scenarios would be that at the time of measurement, the baby was lying sideways in your womb, you could be carrying the baby low, your level of amniotic fluid could be low (the amount ebbs and flows and is constantly being replenished). If your doctor were worried, she would have sent you for an ultrasound right away. Just wait and see and try not to worry about it. Also, if you and the father of the baby have small frames, you may have a small baby. ~blessings, Guinever

13. lisa West - October 16, 2008

Hi all. I had my baby on 10th September (exactly 41 weeks) after trying everything to start myself off in labour I had a curry on 9th 6.30pm and I had my baby girl Leia in my arms on 10th 0038 hrs…

I don’t think the curry did it though I just think they come when they’re good and ready & all these old wives tales just make you anxious because they are not working…

My advice is just relax, take things easy and get loads of sleep because you will be short of it for some good weeks after your new arrival is here….

Lisa, CONGRATULATIONS on your new arrival. And thanks for your good advice of waiting patiently for labor to start. ~enjoy your baby, Guinever

14. Carrie Zamora - October 15, 2008

The baby has been head down and in the birthing position for quite some time now. I had been in preterm labor since july. The pain I was feeling was in my lower back, lower abdomain and throbbing in my vagina so I guess maybe you could be right, but they did get me to 4cm. Since I’ve stopped majorly contracting is it possible that my cervix will go back to 1cm again or even close back up? I’m already 80% effaced.

Carrie, backwards dilation is a possibility if the baby is no longer putting pressure on your cervix. It is doubtful, however, that you would close all the back up to 1 cm again. Even if you were to close a little, your cervix would be “stretchy” during contractions. It is truly nothing to worry about! Once you start contracting again, active labor may kick in and you’ll have your baby. ~birthing blessings, Guinever

15. Carrie Zamora - October 15, 2008

I am 36 weeks pregnant and dialated to 4cm. I went to hospital yesterday with unbearable contractions. They started at around 1:30am and they admitted me saying that I was is labor. I started out at 1cm and with a shot of morphine/phenergan I got up to 3cm. I walked around alittle and got to 4cm. They had me rest for a bit and eat some lunch and before I could walk anymore they checked me saying that there were no changes and decided to send me home. I was extremely upset because they poked, prodded, and checked me a zillion times- each time causing extreme amounts of pain. Do you think they should have sent me home? If so even though I am 4cm dialated can my husband and I still have sex to try to kick start things since my water hasn’t broke yet even though I am spotting a little?

Carrie, I don’t think that a woman who is not in labor should be in the hospital so personally, I think its a good thing they sent you home. It seems a little odd that you describe your contractions as “unbearable” when you were only 1 cm dilated. I wonder if the baby isn’t in a great position and you’re having a lot of back pain?

It’s fine to have sex unless your water has broken, so you’re still ok to do that.
You’ll have your baby soon! ~blessings, Guinever

16. Ginnie - October 14, 2008

I am 39 weeks pregnant with my second daughter. I just got back from a doctor’s visit and she said I was 2 cm and 25% effaced. She put me on the monitor because I was having contractions. It turned out that I am but they are not 5 minutes apart. More like 10. My question is how long does the effacement process normally take to be fully effaced. I am getting impatient : (

Ginnie, no one was pregnant forever. You will have your baby soon. There is no definite time table for the effacement process. Please read this for more information. You may have your baby today or maybe not for a couple of weeks. ~blessings, Guinever

17. Sam - October 10, 2008

Hi my name is sam and im 38 weeks and im 2cm and 50 percent thind what dose this mean

Dear Sam, reading my articles on dilation should answer your question. All this means is that your cervix is getting ready for labor. ~blessings, Guinever

18. Shaggy - October 10, 2008

Hi! name is Shaggy, I am 22 weeks with my fourth pregnancy. I delievered my first child full term – normal birth. My second at 39 weeks was a stillbirth. The doc told me that the amniotic fluid had reduced tremendously and I lost him. My third I went into pre-term labor at 34weeks with the same problem of less amniotic fluid. I delivered my daughter thru c-section. Now with my fouth pregnancy at 22 weeks, I am feeling a tightening around the sides of my stomach, no pains or discharge. Do you think I could be going into early labor? Does the tightening of the stomach affect the baby in anyway? Please advise what these signs could probably lead me into.
Thank you

Dear Shaggy, I am so so sorry for the loss of your previous baby. I know how hard that can be.

You’ve been in labor before. Do your “tightenings” feel like contractions? Do they occur all the time or only when you’re active or lifting your other kids? Also, do you drink plenty of water and other fluids? That can help with your fluid level. ~wishing you all the best this pregnancy, Guinever

19. Terah - October 9, 2008

I am 38 weeks to the date! I went to my Dr. on Tuesday. She said I’m about 2cm dilated (same as last weeks visit), and cervix is still pretty thick. She can feel the baby’s head but it’s still kind of floating around up there. This is my 2nd…my 1st i had at 26 weeks & 4 days (my precious miracle child), so the fact that I’ve gotten this far is a blessing! I’ve been having regular contractions for about a month now…getting more intense as the days go by. I’m due on October 23rd, but my dr scheduled me to be induced on the 24th if I hadn’t already had the baby. I have gestational diabetes, I’m slightly anemic (though my CBC looked good the last time I had labs drawn), my pregnancy induced asthma seems to be getting worse, and I can’t seem to shake this vaginal infection that I’ve had since the start of this pregnancy! I’m on iron twice a day, flagyl twice a day, Probiotics 4 times a day, and what else can I add besides the prenatal vitamins? I have borderline low fluids that ranges from 7.8 to 10.5 (depending on where the umbilical cord is), which means I have to go for NST testing every 2-3 days. Is there some advise you can give me…I can’t help but feel my Dr. is missing something!

Dear Terah, I don’t really know what to tell you except it sounds like you’re doing everything that you can do. You’re getting plenty of water and fluids, right?
~wishing you the best for your new baby, Guinever

20. Lea - September 8, 2008

Hi. My name is Lea and my due date was 3rd September so that makes me 40 weeks + 5 days. On 3rd Sept I had a membrane sweep and the doctor said he could feel the head, I was 2 cms but the cervix was thick. I am booked on to get induced on 15th but really want to start off by myself. Any tips on making me start would be greatly appreciated???
Thank you.

Lea, walk, have sex, eat spicy food, relax, be patient. Soon you will have your baby in your arms. ~blessings, Guinever

21. Melissa H - September 4, 2008

What on earth was that pain? First I must say my doctor is the best, but she didn’t know what this pain was all about with my first pregnancy, and I’m having it again with the second. Directly underneath my ribs, on my right side, I often felt a sharp pain with my first child. when I touched the skin there, it was totally numb. I couldn’t even feel pressure or a pin poke. The pain got worse until I went into labor. The night I gave birth all I felt was the rib-pain and back pain. Then my water broke and I felt traditional contractions. So now I wonder, if others have felt much pain under the ribs, and what could cause it? Thanks for the posts. Reading them has helped a lot!

Dear Melissa, go to a chiropractor. Try to find one who works with pregnant women often. I really think your pain can be alleviated through chiropractic treatment. Let me know how it goes. ~blessings, Guinever

22. Cara - August 29, 2008

I’m 39 weeks pregnant, I just went to my Dr. Today, she said I’m thinned out, 70%effaced and 1.5 cm dialted.. and his head is very low.I’ve been having on and off contractions but they ease up and go away. Will I begin my labor process soon? I’ve been trying to walk every day..

Dear Cara, it sounds like you could go into labor at any time. ~birthing blessings, Guinever

23. Suzanne - August 18, 2008

I am 21 weeks pregnant and the ultrasound results came back as
“right hydrouretro-nephrosis,atrophy of the parenthyma.There is a dilation of the lower third of the ureter.The width measures 3.3 cm (ureterocele).
what does this mean?
How serious is it? and would i need surgery?

Dear Suzanne, I am sorry but I am not familiar with these findings. They’re not talking about dilation of the cervix or uterus (from what I can tell from what you wrote). I hope you find the answers you are looking for. Try looking at hydronephrosis and here’s the definition of parenchyma. ~blessings, Guinever

24. sherion - August 18, 2008

could a 5 month pregnancy be in dilation.and what are the outcomes

Sherion, it is possible to be a little dilated at 5 months and still carry your pregnancy to term. When you say 5 months, is that 20 weeks or 25 weeks? There’s a difference there in terms of viability. Have you been having contractions, have you been checked by your doctor? Your caregiver will be able to give you more definite information than I can pertaining to your particular situation. ~blessings, Guinever

25. Sandy - August 11, 2008

Hi, My daughter is 16 and almost 39 weeks with her first . She’s been having BH, Cramping sharp low abdominal pains but nothing is timeable. Like most women at 39 weeks, she is miserable. She’s also been crying with pain in her ribs. Is this normal?

Sandy, the pain in her ribs can be helped through chiropractic care if she doesn’t go into labor soon. Cramping like you’ve described is very normal for pre-labor. ~blessings, Guinever

26. Cindy - August 7, 2008

Hi, this is my first child. Im only 30 weeks. Im already having contractions. I have lost my mucus plug and am already dilated 2 cm. I have had lots of complications already. My EDD is Oct. 15th. Should I be concerned.

Dear Cindy, it is a bit early for your baby to be born so I would definitely take it easy for a few weeks. It is possible for your mucous plug to form again. Some women do have contractions early but don’t go into labor, and then go full-term. Hopefully, this is what is happening to you. ~blessings, Guinever

27. Jaree - July 31, 2008

Hi, this is my 3rd pregnancy.
My due date is on 8/19/08 and I am 2 cm dilated.
I’ve been having braxton hicks like crazy sometimes they would last for an hour every 5 to 10 mins lots of pressure n i could barely walk. Do you think if I do a lot of walking it might make the process of my labor faster???? My contractions also get worse when i walk as well….

Dear Jaree, oh yes, walking has been proven to shorten early labor. ~blessings, Guinever

28. netasha - July 8, 2008

Hi, this is my second child im 40 weeks now went to the hospital last night said that i was 2cm dilated also having very painful contractions not being able to talk or move legs but they are not timeable and only happen usually at night for the past 3 days my cervix is very soft, just wondering if anybody is feeling the same and if my baby might be arriving soon?

Hi Natasha, very definitely, you will be having your baby soon! could be sometime in the next few days. Take it easy and enjoy the rest of your pregnancy. –blessings, Guinever

29. huda - June 30, 2008

hi my name is huda

im 32 weeks have breathing difficulty and tightness around the stomach plus lower pelvic pain and bladder discomfort, whys this?

Huda, the breathing difficulty is probably because your baby is getting bigger and there’s not as much room for your lungs to expand. Bladder discomfort–same thing. The baby is pressing on your bladder. You might want to call your doctor’s office just to make sure everything is alright. ~blessings, Guinever

30. stacie - June 30, 2008

hiya am 38 weeks today,(monday) and last friday i was admitted to labour suite she said i was 1 cm dilated but very soft she said i was having a back to back labour and sent me home to return if things got worse. however today my back ache is murder i cant sleep, eat or rest at all contraction in my tummy are very mild but regular. i have lost my mucus plug. i just feel extremly uncomfortable what should i do?

Stacie, I think you should stay at home as long as possible. Go to the hospital when you don’t feel comfortable at home anymore. Laboring in forward leaning positions will help your back. Sit on a chair and lean forward. Get on the floor on your knees and lean over the couch or an exercise ball. These positions help with back labor. Have someone put pressure on the small of your back during contractions (called counter pressure). ~birthing blessings, Guinever

31. Marissa - June 23, 2008

I’m 40 weeks 5 days pregnant, 1 cm dilated, and 50% effaced. I have a few contractions everyday in a row, then they stop. I’m scheduled to be induced a week from now. I went in for a “stretch and sweep” today, but my midwife was only able to do the stretching part, and she was able to pull my cervix forward a bit. Is there any chance of labour starting just from the stretching alone? Also, what is the chance of an induction working just by using the gel (no pitocin) if I stay 50% effaced?

Marissa, of course, there’s a “chance” for you to go into labor. It would have been likely for you have to gone into labor even if your midwife hadn’t stretched you. Soon you will have your baby. ~birthing blessings, Guinever

32. ash - June 13, 2008

i’m 3 cm and 80% effaced. 40 weeks and 2 days pregnant. what is the liklihood i will have to be induced?

Dear Ash, an induction would most likely work if it were done, but as long as you and baby are doing ok, there’s no reason that you can’t just wait for labor to begin on its own.
~blessings, Guinever

33. debbie carveth - June 10, 2008

hi i am overdue by 6 days and have been having regular contractions most days and evenings for over a week but they always stop after several hours last week when i went to the midwife she said that the babies head is very low and i am due for a stretch and sweep tomorrow i was wondering if i am showing all of the right signs for it to work and if these false labour contractions are normal, this is my third baby, thanks.

Dear Debbie, it sounds like sweeping the membranes would result in you going into active labor within a day, or two. ~birthing blessings, Guinever

34. Beth - June 4, 2008

Hello Guinever,
I am 31 weeks pregnant with my second child, and this post is a bit graphic. I have an incredible amount of discharge which my midwife has assured me is fine. As I shower at night, I often “clean out” my vagina with only my middle finger so as not to wake up with a “gush” of discharge. Tonight, I noticed that my cervix felt especially loose, like a flower bud just beginning to open. It seems especially fleshy and maybe, a bit jagged. I have a midwife appointment next week so I will ask then, but I wonder how early the cervix might begin to dilate? My first child came two weeks early and was a bit small so I’d really like to make sure that this baby hangs out for as long as is needed to be nice and plump and healthy. Thanks for any advice you can offer.

Beth, the process of dilation can occur over many many weeks. I think its perfectly normal that your cervix is starting to soften this early and you could still go full-term. I would definitely ask your midwife and see what she says about it. ~blessings, Guinever

35. Heather - May 24, 2008

I will be 39 weeks with my 2nd child on Monday. I have been cramping off and on for a couple months now, but in the last week those cramps have gotten pretty bad. So bad, that it woke me at 2:30 this morning and I felt the need for a bowel movement, I went back and forth to the bathroom 4 times and nothing happened. Still the cramping continued, I cannot get comfortable in ANY position. I went to L & D and they said I am 2 centimeters and 50% effaced and at -2. While on the monitor I was having contractions at 4 minutes apart but apparently not hard enough to dilate me more.
I am not sure if I still have the mucus plug or not. Am I getting close to full labor or not? Cause honestly I don’t know how much more I can bear, I can’t hardly walk, sit or sleep. My sciotic nerve is being pinched horriblly, my hips are killing me. I asked if they could go ahead and induce me, and they said no, not unless I was 41 weeks 😦


Heather, it sounds like to me that you are in early labor. Active labor could kick in anytime. OR these cramps could stop and labor may not begin for a few days. ~blessings to you, Guinever

36. Rockell - April 27, 2008

Hi i’m full term and 10 days have past since my due date.On my last dr visit i was told i was 2 centimeters dilated and all i’ve been fine.Can you tell me what to expect on my next dr visit since i’m almost 42 weeks pregnant?

Dear Rockell, most doctors don’t even “let” their patients go to 42 weeks, so its great that you haven’t been pressured for an induction. They might monitor the baby for awhile with an electronic fetal monitor just to make the baby is strong and moving and how he’s handling your contractions. Its best to get plenty to eat and drink before your appointment so your amniotic fluid level will be adequate. Have a little OJ or other sweet thing right before the appointment so the baby will be active. ~blessings, Guinever

37. kera - April 17, 2008

hello i am 37 weeks and i am 4 cm and 100% effaced. i am having contractions all the time and sometimes regular and sometimes not but all day long. i really don’t have any pain with my contractions. i didn’t with my first either. i just wanted to know how long the average person in this state generally stays this way. ive been this way for a week solid now. i am getting tired of being miserable. if baby dont come on its own i am going in on monday the 21 to have my water broke. is it normal to have this all done this way and be this far along and no change in dilation in a week?

Dear Kera, although there are averages when it comes to being pregnant, you’re not an average. You and your baby are experiencing this unique pregnancy. It’s not a good idea to induce your baby this early unless there is a medical reason to do so. Being miserable isn’t a medical reason. Your baby needs to thrive and be nourished in the womb for as long as possible. Are you staying hydrated? Not getting enough to drink can cause contractions. Also, about getting your water broken, please know that if your baby is not low and engaged in your pelvis, then there is a risk of the cord prolapsing which would result in an immediate cesarean section if the doctor can’t push the cord back behind the baby’s head. Relax, take a bath. The baby will come soon. ~blessings, Guinever

38. Faiza - April 16, 2008

Hello, I am 38 weeks pregnant and 1 cm dilated. I am due on April 26th, 2008. What are my chances of going into labor before my due date?.

Faiza, all I can say is that iyou could have your baby any day in the next month! ~blessings, Guinever

39. DEBOEAH MORALES - April 15, 2008


It sounds like you are well on your way for cervix to start dilating. Hang in there. You have plenty of time. Keep doing what you’re doing. ~blessings, Guinever

40. Mandeesa - April 11, 2008

Hi my name is Mandeesa and i am 37wks 2days my baby is due on April 30.. this is my 5 preg. 3 living and one abortion.. I started this pregnancy At 160 pounds and right now I am at 142 pounds during this pregnancy i was stressed, worried and could not keep anything down.. My doc informed me that the Baby was doing fine and everything was ok i am dilated 3 cen. and having contractions but I am still worried about the choice i made last year to term. my last preg. will have a effect on this baby..I got preg. again 3 months after i made the worst choice in my life…Do you have any advice for me I am very Scared to Deliver this Baby I don’t want a mistake I made to harm my unborn child…I only have 19 days to my due date.

Dear Mandeesa, peace to you. I hope that you can forgive yourself and find reconciliation and healing. Allow yourself to birth the baby you are now carrying. Because of your previous abortion, there could be scar tissue on your cervix, but that isn’t anything that can’t be worked through during your labor if it is there (doctor or nurse massaging it and stretching it during contractions to help break the scar tissue up.) I think the biggest thing that will impact your baby is your emotional trauma and stress. I am so sorry that you are going through this. There is counseling available for post abortion. Call or go to your nearest pregnancy center (abortion alternative). If you tell me where you live, I’ll help you find one if needed. (((HUGS))) ~Guinever

41. amie - April 10, 2008

I am 36 weeks 1 day pregnant with my 4th child. the last one was born at 36 weeks 4 days. this one has given me alot of problems.. he has a single umbilical artery. today i went to the doctor and i have not gained any weight for the past 3 weeks actually lost a couple pounds. i get non stress tests done every weed because of the SUA.. they said his heartbeat was kinda fast today, that scared me a little, but doctor didn’t really say much. what do you think? they also said that babies with the SUA tend to be born early. do you know anything about that?

Dear Amie, do you know why you haven’t gained any weight this month? The amount of weight gained isn’t important as long as you are eating healthy for your baby. Are you doing that? A good diet would consist of whole grains, fruits, different colored veggies, dairy and plenty of protein. Since you’re already past 36 weeks gestation, I wouldn’t worry about having your baby early since the organs and lungs are fully developed now. What the SUA means during labor is continual monitoring just to keep a close watch on the baby. ~blessings, Guinever

42. Maribelle - April 9, 2008

My due date is April 14th. I went to the doctor on Monday and I was 50% and dilated to a 1-2. This is my 4th child. For the past couple of days, after going to the restroom I have been wiping alot of mucus away. Does this mean that my cervix is thinning out more? Or don’t get my hopes up? I have been having quite a few contractions, but more off and on.

My next question is, that I am concerned about not gaining alot of weight during my pregnancy. Only around 5 pounds. Everyone says including my doctor that I have lost weight but the baby is gaining. Should I be worried about the size of my baby? I eat all the time, but I still haven’t been about to put on the weight like I would have liked to.

Dear Maribelle, increase in mucous at the end of pregnancy is very common. It could just be an increase or it could be the plug breaking away, which would be an indication of dilating more. You will have your baby soon–any day in the next couple of weeks.

As far as your weight gain, I don’t think it matters how much weight you have gained. But what does matter is what you have been eating. Are you eating healthy? This would include whole grains, all colors of veggies, fruit, dairy, and plenty of protein are important every week. If you are eating a good, well-balanced diet, your baby should be ok. But if you have been filling up on junk food, lots of sugar, and your grains have all been white, then that’s not the best diet for you and your baby.

As far as your other question is concerned,(which has been edited out, fyi, in case other people reading this don’t see another question…) the hormone that can help with dilation is oxytocin. It is called the love hormone and it is released during labor, breastfeeding, and intercourse. I did a quick internet search to find a study that might have compared levels of oxytocin and didn’t find one for what you are talking about, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t out there. But what I do know is that for breastfeeding a baby versus using a pump to express milk, more hormones are produced while actually nursing the baby because your baby is with you and more “love” hormone is produced than when you’re just using a pump. Does that make sense and do you see how you could correlate that information to your question.
So to answer your question, yes it could be helpful, but not as helpful as the other thing. ~blessings, Guinever

43. denise - April 7, 2008

what month should you be in when the baby drops and can it take a long time before the labor start

Denise, when the baby drops is different for every woman and pregnancy. First babies tend to drop up to a week before labor begins. Subsequent babies sometimes don’t drop until after labor begins while other women carry the babies low for at least a month and so the “dropping” isn’t as noticeable. I’m guessing that maybe your baby dropped and now you’re wondering if labor will start soon? It could be soon, but dropping isn’t an indication that labor will start away.
~blessings, Guinever

44. Alex - April 1, 2008

My due date is April 3 according to ultrasound, but April 10 according to my menstrual cycle (last menstrual cycle was july 4).
I went for my check up today and was told that my cervix is soft but still closed. Next week my doctor will tell me if he would send me for induction.
My concern is that I would like to have normal birth, without induction and am worried that they would consult earlier due date, is it possible that my cervix can dilate by itself or do I have to prepare myself for induction. How doctor determines when i will have to be induced then?


Dear Alex, let me just encourage you to be assertive and make your own decisions. No one can make you have an induction against your wishes. If both you and the baby are healthy, then there is absolutely no reason to induce. I don’t know how your doctor will determine whether or not he wants to induce you; it varies by doctor. Lots of times, docs like to induce so they can control your labor and so that you will deliver the baby at an ideal time for them. (like before dinner).
Relax, enjoy the rest of your pregnancy. Have happy labor thoughts. Wait for your labor to start…~blessings, Guinever

45. DENISE KIMBROUGH - March 27, 2008


Dear Denise, we can’t know for sure when your baby will be born. Yes, your baby could come early, but your baby could also wait a few more weeks. At almost 36 weeks along, that’s pretty good. The baby’s lungs will be developed. ~blessings, Guinever

46. evelin - March 25, 2008

Hi, i am 40 and 3 days pregnant and am 2 centimeters dilated. this is my first child and they checked my baby yesturday to find it was perfectly in position. I have been having strong contractions every 5 minutes lasting about a minute each. I haven’t slept for 3 days and my contractions started friday night, 4 days ago and they’ve only been getting stronger. how much longer will it take for me to dilate another centimeter? When will it be over?

Dear Evelin, it sounds like you’re going to have your baby pretty soon-when exactly, only time will tell. Try not to focus on the contractions and relax as much as you can. Take a nice long bath and put on some music. before long, you will have your baby in your arms. ~blessings, Guinever

47. Confused and in pain - March 15, 2008

Hi I am 39 + 3 days and have had nothing but problems most of my pregnancy. I have suffered with Pubis Dysfunction pain and find it impossible to get comfortable in bed and to turn etc to get out of bed..I have noticed a lot of sharp knife like pains in my vagina and increased rectal pressure, I haven’t yet had an internal exam but wondered what these pains and pressures could be symptoms of..like cervix softening or dilation etc.
This is my first pregnancy and he is fixed in position, he was posterior but Ive manged to turn him with some suggestions from the Dr..I get mild period type cramps which I have been feeling more over the last 2 weeks ( I have had endo x2 and PCOS so I don’t necessarily notice cramping pains I just got used to them, is it possible to be in early labour with just an increase of back pains and tightening and knife like pressures….I have also been in extreme pain from my teeth and this has made the baby very very restless, but unfortunately cannot get any help til after he arrives…..any suggestions or assurances on what I’m feeling.

I’m so sorry that you’re in pain and I hope you find relief very soon. The pubis symphisis pain can be helped with chiropractic care. This pain is different than contraction pain and sounds like the “sharp knife pains.” Pressure would most likely be braxton hicks contractions leading to the softening and dilating of the cervix. I think there are probably some homepathic or herbal things you could take to relieve your tooth pain. I would like to refer you to the great group of knowledgeable ladies at the independent childbirth forum. Or use this link to take you directly to a forum where you can post questions. ~blessings, Guinever

48. Mylan - March 13, 2008

I’m just about 39 weeks and i went in to the doctors today to find out if i was dilated or not. She checked me and told me that i was 2 cm dialated. But thats not what i had the question about. After she told me i was dialated, she still was inside messing with my cervix and i was in a lot of pain. Then she said that i probably wouldn’t go into labor until my due date which is around the 21st. I have only seen her for the last 2 weeks (2 appts) because my normal OB went on maternity leave so how would she know when i will probably go into labor? but anyways I came home and was bleeding a little bit and have been cramping and having contractions all day. Is it possible that she stripped my membranes without telling me? If so, why would she strip my membranes and then tell me that im probably not going into labor for a week and a half?

Dear Mylan, I’m so sorry that this has happened to you. Yes, it sounds like your membranes were stripped. The doctor had no business doing a procedure on you without your knowledge or consent. And you’re right, she can’t know when you will go into labor. It could be today or not for another 2 weeks! With the stripping of the membranes, you can expect a few days of crampiness and contractions possibly followed by “real labor.” I can’t speak for the why of what your doctor did. I have no idea why she did what she did and why she told you what she did. I think that this is very sad when doctors do this to women. ~blessings, Guinever

49. Robin - March 3, 2008

I’m 38 wks w/ pregnancy-induced hypertension which my docs are monitoring very closely to make sure I don’t progress to pre-ecclampsia. My feet, ankles, and legs are swelling like crazy and I’m starting to get very uncomfortable both from the swelling and sciatica.
My question is, I would really love to take a nice warm bath to soothe the aches and pains, but am wondering if it is still safe to do so? My doc swept my membranes 4 days ago and I was 2 cm dilated at the time. I had a little bit of discharge, but don’t think I lost my mucous plug in its entirety and I don’t think I’m leaking fluid.
Is it safe for me to take a bath w/out risking infection, and if so, could it possibly help my cervix to ripen and/or help prompt labor?

Dear Robin, baths are wonderful for pregnancy and are even safe to do during labor and after your water is broken. Anything that will help you relax will help your hypertension. Please read Dr. Brewer’s website for info on preventing and treating pre-eclampsia. Diet can play a big role. Make sure you’re getting enough salt, water and protein in your diet. ~blessings, Guinever

50. Sally - February 28, 2008

I will be 38 weeks on monday and yesterday was checked by my midwife to see if any progress had been made. She was shocked to see that my baby is already at +1 station. I’m only 1cm dialated and 50% effaced though. With him already being at +1 does that mean I don’t have far to go? She believes I will go into labor in about 2 weeks. Does that seem accurate?


Dear Sally, it’s hard to predict when a baby will come. You could really go into labor anytime in the next 4 weeks. Your baby is low which is good, but your cervix still has some softening to do before you can dilate further. ~blessings, Guinever

51. iesha - February 28, 2008

thank for your help

52. mike - February 27, 2008

that a whole month different. the doctoe told her the baby was concieve on the first day of her period on may 10, 2007 and her due date was vaelntine day of 08. know can you see why im concern . if you do the calculation she would have been exactly three to four weeks overdue especially if she gave birth on the 12 of 2008

Mike, a woman can not conceive on the first day of her period. Go read any article about a woman’s menstrual cycle and you’ll see how it works. It is impossible to know exactly when a woman conceives (unless she is tracking ovulation), therefore, doctors use the first day of the last period (LMP) to calculate the due date. Your doctor is using her period to calculate the due date. He is not telling you that she conceived on that day. Even if you only had sex on a certain day, sperm can stay alive inside a woman for a week, sometimes even up to 10-14 days. This is why it so hard to determine when a woman conceives unless of course she knows exactly when she ovulates. Conception will take place within 24 hours after ovulating. (eggs, unlike sperm, don’t last very long). I just plugged your wife’s period into a due date calculator and it calculated her due date as February 14th. It’s right on. With that being said, healthy babies are born anywhere between 36 and 42 weeks (sometimes even longer but not under modern obstetrical care.) So a due date is only an estimate.

Mike, all the numbers here add up to me. Pregnancies are an average of 40 weeks which is 10 lunar months or 9 calendar months. ~Guinever

53. mike - February 27, 2008

is it possible for your wife to have a baby feb. 12 2008is we only had sex once that year in april on the 18 of 2007

Sounds right to me. There are so many variables going into when a baby is born…this definitely fits the timeframe. No trust your wife and love your baby.

54. Thanks, Miriam - February 24, 2008


I am 26 weeks pregnant. My last ultrasound was done 2 days ago and show that I was compleately effaced. I am1.4 cm dialted ( I been this dialted for over 3 weeks). I also need to tell you that have been recently diagnosed with incompetent cervix and I don’t have a cerclage. I lost a baby 1 yr ago when I was 17 weeks pregnant . Dr. have me at the hospital in compleate bed rest. I want to know how soon will labor start ? Which type of medication is recomended to stop the opening of the cervix ? Is there any side effects for the baby or for me?

Dear Miriam, no one can know when your labor will start. Only time will tell. I’m sorry that you lost your womb baby last year. (hugs)

I think the best thing for you now is to follow your doctor’s orders of bedrest. Research on doing a cerclage to prevent pre-term labor is not conclusive. Many times, it doesn’t matter. Your baby will come when your baby comes. It is very possible that you could go full-term or close to full term. The same thing with medications to stop labor. What they give you is a magnesium sulfate which relaxes your uterus so it won’t contract. The problem is that it relaxes everything so the effect is that you feel groggy. You feel very heavy and can’t move. Your heart also relaxes with this medication.

A good thing, though, is that you can get steroid shots (2 are needed a few hours apart) that will help to develop your baby’s lungs. So medications to stop labor can buy you a little time in order to get the steroid shots. ~blessings, Guinever

55. Kirsten Rivera - February 23, 2008

I’m 41 weeks and 3 days pregnant with my first. I’m dilated to 2cm and 80% effaced. My due date was valentine’s day and this coming week they are going to induce me if the baby hasn’t arrived. I have tried every natural induction method and nothing seems to work. Do you think there is a chance the baby will come before they induce?

Dear Kirsten, of course there is a chance that your baby will come. Your labor could start very soon! ~birthing blessings, Guinever

56. Julie - February 23, 2008

I just went to the OB today and he told me that i am 3 centimeters dialated… last week i was 1. I am scheduled a non fetal stress test and i am wondering what that is and how long the procedure takes. After he checked my cervix i went home with sorta like menstral cramps… Is this normal?? and when do you think i will be in active labor??? hopefully soon =)

Dear Julie, a non stress test is where you are put on the electronic fetal monitor (EFM) to see how the baby is handling contractions. How long it takes depends on how long they want to monitor you and baby for–an hour, maybe two? Having cramps after a cervical exam is normal. Whenever something messes with the cervix, hormones are released that can cause cramping and contractions. ~blessings, Guinever

57. jenna - February 20, 2008

hi i was wondering if you can help
im pregnant with my 2nd child my 1st was 5lb 6oz and was 5 weeks early as i had pre eclampsia.
now with this baby im measuring nearly 5 cm to big im 37 weeks 2day. i have had a scan and have to see the consultant on fri because they say his stomach is bigger than it should be what does this mean?
im starting to get worried am cant believe they have left me till fri i went the hospital on tues!
also because i never act went in2 labour myself i dont know what im expectin as my 1st was induced.
i am quite damp down there does this mean anything and will i have to have a c section as there sayin he weighs 7 n 1/2 to 8lbs now and i still got 3 weeks 2 go thanks jenna

Dear Jenna, I’m sorry that you have this stress about your baby. These are questions that you should be directing to your doctor. I will tell you that I know of many problems diagnosed with ultrasound during pregnancy, only to have the woman give birth to a perfectly healthy baby with no sign of the problems that had been seen weeks earlier on the ultrasound. No guaranteed that this will happen in your case, but just to give you a little hope that the ultrasound could be wrong.

You do not need to have a cesarean because of the size of your baby. Women birth “big” babies everyday vaginally. You won’t know until you try. ~blessings, Guinever

58. Kayla - February 18, 2008

good morning everyone,

I am 37 weeks and feeling miserable. My last check up the dr. told me that my cervix was very very soft and that I was 50% effaced. I keep having lower back pain and lots of lower abdominal cramping, like menstral cramps they lasts for a couple of hours then just stay as lower back pain. I was wondering if anyone could tell me how long before labor will start for me. I am also 1 cm dialated, I know thats not a lot compared to the stories I have read, but I really would like to have her soon.

Thanks, Kayla

Dear Kayla, I have no idea when you will have your baby. It could be any day in the next few weeks. It could be today or your cramping may stop for awhile. To ease your pain, try getting in forward leaning positions. To do this, get on your knees and lean over a chair, couch, exercise ball, or pile of pillows. ~blessings, Guinever

59. Mary M. - February 14, 2008

Hi there! I have two separate questions.
1) I switched doctors fairly early on (due to access to a much better hospital); the first doctor gave me a due date based on sonogram of March 4. The second doctor gave me a due date of Feb. 24 based on a later sonogram. I thought the earlier sonograms were much more accurate; is this true / why would he have moved the due date up earlier?
2) Also, I just went in at 38.1 weeks and I am 2 cm dialted. I know this is nothing to “freak out” about per se. BUT, the doctor asked me if I wanted to induce!!! I of course said NO because I believe in babies picking their OWN birthdays unless there is a medical emergency (38 is too early anyway!). He said he thinks babies should be delivered between 39 and 40 weeks because there are “less risks, the babies are smaller, and there is less chance for a c-section at this time”! Besides being ambiguous, I KNOW these words must be wrong. I think that he induces because it is convenient for his schedule, but why do you think he does it so early? I’m not giving in to this 🙂 but please advise.

Dear Mary, I don’t know why your doctor moved your due date. First trimester ultrasounds are much more accurate at dating pregnancies than third trimester ones. Good for you saying no to induction at 38 weeks. Why don’t you ask your doctor why he wants to induce. I can’t read his mind; I can only speculate. There is more chance of a c-section with induction, especially on first time moms. Ask him for proof (medical studies) to back up what he is saying if you want to. Trust in your body to give birth, to go into labor when you and your baby are ready. ~blessings, Guinever

60. shawna murolo - February 14, 2008

Hey I’m about 38 weeks with my first baby and for the last 2 doctor visits my blood pressure has been elavated for no reason, my labs have all came back clean. My question is what is a normal blood pressure when pregnant and why do they tell me to come back when I see spots when I have been, but all the labs are clean. please help shawna

Dear Shawna, there are several things that can affect someone’s blood pressure–it’s not always because something is medically wrong. Are you out of breath or nervous or upset that you had to wait so long in the waiting room? These could all elevate your blood pressure. Do you know what your normal blood pressure is when you’re not pregnant? If you usually run high, then it could be even higher while pregnant, but that would be your new normal.

When you say you see spots, you mean you’re dizzy and you’re seeing spots in front of your eyes? It could be low blood sugar. Are you eating when you should and getting enough water to drink? Being hungry or dehydrated could be a factor.

This is something to talk to your doctor about. I’m only pointing out a couple possibilities. ~blessings, Guinever

61. michelle - February 13, 2008

I am 40 weeks and 1 day, and yesterday i had a membrane sweep since then i have been leaking a light brownish discharge, i also feel very damp down there.
and i’m getting alot of cramping and tightening is this normal

Dear Michelle, what you are experiencing is normal. It sounds like you’re having contractions. They could stop, or if they don’t, they’ll lead to active labor contractions. The discharge is your plug breaking away. “Damp down there” may indicate that your amniotic fluid is leaking (meaning your water might have broken) or it could just be a lot of discharge. ~blessings, Guinever

62. rachael - February 13, 2008

hello! im 39weeks and 4 days. im due this saturday. the trouble is that the baby hasnt dropped yet and my cervix is long and closed. i am nervous because at 36 weeks i had a sonogram and i was told that the baby weighed 7lbs 1oz and her head measured at 39 weeks and 3 days. her abdomen at 38 and a few days.could it be that she hasn’t dropped because her head is too big for my pelvis. also dosent my cervix need the babys head there to help open it up. bottom line do u think i should request a c section??

Dear Rachael, I absolutely do not think that you should request a c-section. That would be absurd. Your baby’s head can mold to fit your pelvis, and your pelvis can open to accommodate your baby’s head and body. You never know if you can birth your baby until you try. Please read this article and watch this video for more information.

Concerning your baby’s size, ultrasound in not reliable for determining the weight and size of the baby. You due date is only an estimate of when your baby will be born. Your baby will drop soon. ~blessings, Guinever

63. CARMEN - February 12, 2008


Dear Carmen, first of all, I’m so sorry that you’ve experienced pregnancy loss.

I really can’t predict when you will go into labor. Cramping is totally normal and women go onto have full-term healthy babies. Some women experience several bouts of pre-labor over the last few weeks of pregnancy. You’re at the point in your pregnancy where the baby’s lungs should be fully developed and your baby would most likely be ok if you went into labor now. ~birthing blessings, Guinever

64. Kristina - February 3, 2008

Hi, my name is Kristina I am going on 40 weeks but in my math 41 but whatever. My docter had me go from his office last Wed and told me to go straight to the hospital cause of decelarations(?) they did a non stress test showed contractions and was only 1 dialated then. I went back sat for another non stress test then I have to go again this Tues again. I like to relax in the bath and someone told me once i start dialating i cant take baths i have to only do showers is this true.
Thank You,

Dear Kristina, taking baths is fine when you are dilated, during labor, even when your water is broken. ~Guinever

65. jolisshia - January 30, 2008

I’m only 22 weeks and i know i have a long ways to go but i was wanderings what does it feel like when the baby drops or how would i be able to tell

Dear Jolisshia, when the baby drops, some times it happens quickly (like overnight) and you would feel a very noticeable change with the baby’s weight being in a different place and you might have to get used to it and walk differently because your “center of gravity” has shifted. Other times, it happens slowly over many days and so you don’t notice as much. It is a relief when the baby drops because you can breathe deeper and easier.
~blessings, Guinever

66. ASHLEY - January 25, 2008

hi, im 2 cm dialated, 80% thin and also my doctor stripped my membranes yesturday do you have any idea when i will go into labor im just about 40 weeks preg. and tuesday is when im getting induced do you think i will go into labor before then?

Dear Ashely, just like I tell everyone who asks me when they might have their baby…I have no idea. I think you have just as much chance of going into labor before Tuesday as you have in going into labor after Tuesday if you were to just say no to induction. ~Guinever

67. reana - January 20, 2008

Hi Guinever,
How are you?
i would like to ask you something.
Actually my due date was 14 jan 2008 and now i am 7 days overdue.
I am very worried about that because my baby hasn’t dropped properly in the pelvics yet and i am feeling nothing (no pain).
I have seen midwife 3 days ago.she suggest me that if i want then she can do a sweep for three times.but i want to start labour its own.she said if the baby doesn’t come in 2 weeks time then they ‘ll do an induction.can baby dropped in the pelvic in last time when the labour start.or it should be drop before?what happens in induction?what should i do?

Dear Reana, I wouldn’t worry about your baby not dropping yet. For someone, it happens at the onset of labor or right before. Ask your midwife what kind of induction she’s talking about for more information. Sweeping the membranes might help you. It will stir up the hormones and get contractions started. ~blessings, Guinever

68. Melissa Lawrence - January 19, 2008

Hi, my name is Melissa. I am currently 38 weeks pregnant with baby #5. I went to the Doctor today, and he checked my cervix and he told me that I was dilated 1 and 1/2 centimeters, and my cervix was very thin. I am so uncomfortable at night, day, and afternoon. He also told me that he doesn’t think I’ll make it to my due date. I am due in 2 weeks ( Jan. 31, 2008). He said labor could be any day. Do you have any other suggestions for me to start labor besides walking. I always walk, and it doesn’t help me at all. I have irregular contractions, but they are strong. Please help

Dear Melissa, I’m sorry that you’re so uncomfortable. I know how those last few weeks can be (since I’ve done it 5 times). All I can say is hang in there, but I wouldn’t count on going early. There are lots of things to do to encourage dilation: have sex, nipple stimulation, eat spicy foods, massage the uterine pressure points on the ankles. ~Guinever

69. suzalyn - January 15, 2008

Thank you very much for your help. This is a wonderful site. Since sending you my questions i’ve started labor and will be going to the hospital as soon as they get longer. thank you very very much! God bless you and your family!

Dear Suzalyn, let me know how your labor goes! ~birthing blessings, Guinever

70. suzalyn - January 13, 2008

Sorry left a question out. Could i have lost my mucus plug without knowing it? I don’t think i knew it last time and how dialated before i do lose my mucus plug? Thanks sorry again

It’s possible to lose the plug and not be aware of it (like going to the bathroom at midnight and not realizing you lost it because its dark). Also, it doesn’t always come out in one big glob. Usually, it just comes out gradually and all you experience is a little increased mucous over the course of many days at the end of your pregnancy or perhaps the first few hours of labor. ~blessings, Guinever

71. suzalyn - January 13, 2008

hi, my name is suza and i’m on my second pregnancy. I’m due around the 18th of january. I am 2 cm dialated, my cervix has softened and my baby has dropped. I haven’t had any contractions that I know of but have had heavy cramping for 3 weeks. what is the difference between the two. It took 4 days to dialate the last 1cm and could this mean that i’m very close to starting contractions? My midwife recommended me caulophyllum and cimicifuga but i don’t think it has done anything. Although the caulophyllum makes me have stronger cramping i don’t think its doing anything. Is there anything else i can do? I have had very little sleep during the past 4-6 weeks due to back pain, position of the baby, and because my baby likes to dance in my tummy at night. I have a 2 year old, he won’t take naps during the day, my husband works 12 hrs 6 days a week, and i have no family or friends to watch my son to give me some rest. My midwife and I have been talking about an induction because of the sleep issue. She was going to induce me yesterday but when i met with her we decided to wait because i had dialated 1 cm in 4 days and the baby had dropped. I’m afraid if i wait much longer with only having 3hrs a night (5 on a good night) that i’ll be too tired to give birth naturally. Is that possible? The only reason i’m holding off on the induction is because i’d like to have a water birth and if i have an induction i cannot. I feel like i’m losing my mind, i’m so tired all the time and have no patients with my son.
One more question. My husband won’t have sex with me because he is afraid he might hurt me or the baby and I tried to explain that he won’t and that it would actually help but i can’t get through to him. I feel like i have some disease and it upsets me very much. It feels like he doesn’t want me anymore. Some of this might be my hormones talking but its still how I feel… What can I do? Thanks very much!

Dear Suzalyn, first of all, I love your name. I haven’t heard that before…let me answer your questions in the order that you have asked them. Pressure and cramping could be considered contractions or braxton hicks. Did your midwife give you dosage instructions on taking the C & C? To get labor established if its going to work, you need to take them every 15 minutes. If there isn’t a good contraction pattern started after a couple hours, stop taking them. You should only try this after you’re well rested. This could mean in the morning or it could mean in the middle of the night after you’ve gotten a few hours of sleep…Sorry to hear about your husband. The only thing I can say is, does he trust your midwife? Maybe if she tells him that sex is ok for both you and the baby, maybe he will listen. Not only is it ok, it is very beneficial for labor. ~birthing blessings, Guinever

72. Ashley - January 12, 2008

hello, im on my first. im 38 weeks, 2cm all she said was i was thin didnt give me a percent and i just lost my mucus plug today. i just want to know how long it will be to i go into labor my doctor also told me a week ago that it wont be no more then two weeks an now im going on my second week i just want to know will i have to wait 7 day’s or can i hope for alot sooner.????
also since my doctor said it would be probably in 2 weeks and now going on my 2nd week do you think ill have to wait this last week the whole 7 day’s or will it be sooner or later then 7 days???? also last night i could’t lay in bed comfortably i had pains in my pelvis area and about a hour before that me and my husband just got done having sex. will this also help to know to predict the time ill go other then waiting 7 days and know ill be going alot sooner then that cuz i sure hope so im ready to start pushing…

I have no idea when you will have your baby except to say your labor will probably start sometime in the next 3 weeks. Losing the mucous plug is not a sign of immediate labor. It could be tonight or not for many many days.It could be later than the 7 more days your doctor told you. ~Guinever

73. Allison - January 2, 2008

hi, im 36 weeks pregnant and last night experienced painful cramp like and sharp pains in my lower abdomen that were 15 mins apart but they then eased after 1 hr and i haven’t had them since. I was just wondering if this was common and if it meant anything?

Dear Allison, this is very common and normal! Your uterus is practicing and getting stronger for the hard work of labor. These pre-labor contractions are softening your cervix, necessary before you start to dilate. You’ll probably experience these many evenings. ~blessings, Guinever

74. hina - January 2, 2008

yes I am sure about my due date which is 14 jan 2008.I am 20 years old.
I had a lot of stress during this pregnancy thats the main thing which is considering me.My baby’s head has dropped down.My midwife said baby is growing , heart beat is fine and everything is normal.just baby is small for dates.I am eating healthy diet but that doesn’t effect.if he is 33 cm long,so can you please tell me the approximately weight of the baby?

Dear Hina, I have no idea how much your baby weighs. (a baby 38 weeks in the womb could potentially weigh anywhere from 5 pounds or less to 10 pounds or more. ) If you were to tell me how tall you are, I wouldn’t be able to tell you how much you weigh either. ~blessings, Guinever

75. hina - December 30, 2007

hello .I am 38 weeks pregnant.I had check up in 37 weeks and midwife said that my baby is small for dates about 33cm (length)in 37 weeks then i had scan same day,they also said baby is small for dates.when i was 35 weeks pregnant baby measurement was 32cm.i am very worried about that.otherwise everything is normal but i am concerning too much.what should i do?

Dear Hina, make sure you are eating very healthy for your baby. Ultrasound can sometimes be off for baby’s size. There are several things to consider. Are you sure about your due date? Could you just be having a smaller baby than most women because you are a small person? Have you had a lot of stress this pregnancy which can affect the baby’s growth? If the baby is very low, the baby can seem smaller than he really is. Is your midwife concerned about the growth of your baby?

Yes, there could be a problem, but just as likely, your baby is healthy and smaller than average.

76. Piper - December 8, 2007

Hello I’m 35 weeks pregnant, This is my second pregnancy and i cant wait to meet my son since i have a daughter now. My questions is……

last week i went to the ER because i was having period type cramps and tightening of my belly, The doctor said it might be a urine infections so when they check she said my urine was clean and fine. She put me on the monitor and they said i was having contraction so they gave me a lil shot in my arm that burned a little bit and shortly after it stop and they gave me a vaginal exam and my cervix was closed i than went home and every now and again i still have the contraction maybe the baby will come early? or like what does all this mean, please tell me something.

Dear Piper, you could have your baby early, but many women have several bouts of pre-labor especially if it’s not their first pregnancy. ~Guinever

77. Angela - December 4, 2007

I am only 32 weeks. When i stand up my belly tightens and I have a lot of pressure. When I sit or lay down, my belly relaxes. I have to be on my feet a lot at work. I know I am probably having braxton hicks, but it stays hard as long as I stand up. Is this something I should be worried about. I can’t imagine having all of this pressure and tightness constantly for 2 more months. I did the same thing with my daughter, but it was just a couple of weeks before I had her. Not a couple of months.


Dear Angela, Listen to your body and heed its warnings Since you are experiencing pain and pressure only while you’re on your feet, maybe you need to spend more time sitting. I don’t think you necessarily have to worry, but do take the time to relax more often. As your pregnancy progresses, you may need to cut back your hours at work. ~blessings, Guinever

78. sharon - December 2, 2007

hi i am over 38 weeks pregnant and i went to the hospital last night and they told me that my cervix is high but it is soft.today i have been having alot of cramping and some tightenings and alot of pressure,this is my third child and wondering if this means this could be the first stage of labor.

Dear Sharon, you could be in early labor. But it is just as likely pre-labor. ~Guinever

79. lenore - November 28, 2007

my doctor strip my membrane, i’m 38 weeks i never had this done before can you get a infection if you have sex? or will sex force you into labor? i have very strong pain when i lay on my back. should i worry or go to the hospital.

Dear Lenore, if it hurts when you lie on your back, just don’t lie on your back. You shouldn’t be on your back anyway this late in pregnancy because it can compromise your circulation (the weight of the baby on your vena cava). You are more likely to get an infection from your doctor doing a vaginal exam than you would from having sex with your husband. Sex does not force you into labor, but is very beneficial in helping labor to begin on its own. ~Guinever

80. gianani97 - November 28, 2007

Guinever,thanks for your response on my question above. My OB stripped my membranes for the second time and still no baby,I will be 38 weeks tomorrow. I have irregular contractions starting from 9,8,7,6,5 minutes apart and starts over again to 9 minutes for about 3 hours,should I go to L&D already?they are very sharp and constant tightening and pain for over 60 seconds.I go to a military hospital and I doubt their judgement sometimes just the newbees only but i trust the MDs there don’t get me wrong.I also find it very painful to walk when I am having contraction,what should I do at this point?

Gianani, If you can walk while you’re having contractions, then you’re not in active labor yet. Stay home as long as possible. I’ll reply more later, but I’m about to walk out the door here. ~Guinever

81. Hayley Connell - November 27, 2007

I am 36 weeks and 2 days today and i went to the hospital y.day and they told me that i was in very early stages of labour. I have been having tightening and period type of pains but nothing that i cant cope with. They said that i haven’t started to dilate yet and my womb is still closed. Can you please give me some idea to when you think i will start.

Haley, I have no idea when you will have your baby. It could be today, in 5 weeks or somewhere in between. ~Guinever

82. Margo - November 21, 2007

I am 36/6 weeks far along and my OB stripped my membranes yesterday.She told me I was 2 cm dilated and 50% effaced and -3 station. I want to know a ballpark on when I will be expecting her? I have mild pre-eclampsia and Gestational diabetes(on meds but not insulin)I am having contractions at 10 minutes apart and constant tightening for over a week now. Can you please shed me some light?

Dear Margo, I’m sure your OB is keeping a close eye on you because of your pre-eclampsia. Try to eat at least 80 grams of protein per day to reverse and prevent the pre-eclampsia. You could have your baby any day in the next 5 weeks. ~Guinever

83. Leah - November 13, 2007

I am 36 weeks pregnant and am 2 centimeters dilated and 50% effaced. Does this mean that i am farther along than 36 weeks? and is it possible to go into labor at 36 weeks with a normal no problem pregnancy?

Leah, no it doesn’t mean that you’re further along than 36 weeks. Although a little early, baby’s lungs and other organs are fully developed at 36 weeks. The baby would weigh considerably less, but most are ok at 36 weeks. Also, please note that a woman can walk around dilated for many many weeks. ~Guinever

84. Tara - October 8, 2007

Hi, i am 39 weeks and 2cm i am having alot of contractions and they have been getting worse then all of a sudden they will stop for a few minutes and go at it again do u think i should go and be seen of is this just part of it. this is my first so i have no clue what to expect.

Tara, when your contractions are long and strong and close together, you’re in labor and should go to the hospital. I know these are all relative terms. You didn’t tell me how close together they are..you could be in early labor or you could just be having a round of “false labor.” ~Guinever

85. Leeceey - October 3, 2007

Thanks for the tip, I will try the fist thing at my next appointment.
No, they pulled my cervix forward for me when I was about 5cm along, they did that way before I pushed. I just assumed your cervix pushed forward on it’s own when it’s time. I just hate the pain of them doing that to me.

Leeceey, OUCH! Don’t let them do that to you again. Hopefully, your cervix will come forward by itself. ~Guinever

86. Leeceey - October 2, 2007

Hi, I’m 36 weeks, and I’m dilated at one, 80% effaced, and at station +1. My problem is that my cervix won’t come forward. I had this problem with my first baby (I’m on #2). During labor they had to pull it forward-very painful. I ended up in a C-Sec. Why won’t it come forward ,and is that the problem I had of not being able to push him out?

Dear Leeceey, I’m not sure what happened with your first birth, but its totally normal for your cervix to still be back/posterior at 36 weeks along in your pregnancy. Also, if you make fists with your hands and put them under your hips during a vaginal exam, the cervix often comes forward. Are you saying that you completely dilated and started to push, but your cervix was still facing your back instead of facing downward? If that’s the case, I’m not sure how they could even feel if you were completely dilated. It’s very hard to reach a posterior cervix and you may have had a lip up at the top where they couldn’t reach it to feel if it were gone or not. ~Guinever

87. Jennilee - September 25, 2007

Hi, I am 39 weeks pregnant due the 30th of September. I am only 1 cent dilated, and 50 percent effaced? I had to go to labor and deliver due to lack of movement, but they sent me home stating he was doing great just having a tired morning. What can I do to speed things along, I truly do not want to be induced.

Jennilee, if you don’t want to be induced, then don’t be. Just wait for labor to start on its own. (unless you develop a medical problem). Walking, having sex, eating spicy food: these all encourage dilation and effacement of the cervix. ~Guinever

88. Shellie - September 24, 2007

I am 37 weeks pregnant and I am 3 centimeters dialated and have been have stomach tightening for three days now. I went to the labor and delivery on Friday with contractions 3 to 5 min. apart and after three hours they sent me home. My stomach has been getting very tight off and on throughout the day and I was wondering if with all this early labor when the real labor kicks in will I have enough time to get to the hospital? This is my second child but I did not have any of this with the first one! How long can you be in the early stage of labor before real labor begins?

Dear Shellie, I can’t predict when your labor will start. You’re having several bouts of pre-labor which is very common in women who have already a baby. When your active labor begins, you won’t be calling your contractions, “stomach tightenings” anymore. They’ll be intense, and you’ll know it’s time to get to the hospital. ~Guinever

89. LSM - September 11, 2007


I am now nearly 39 weeks pregnant, with a sept 21 due date. I went into pre-term labor almost 7 weeks ago. At that time, I was dilated 1-2 cm, had a very soft cervix, and the baby was at a -1 station, having only mild painless contractions up to 10 times per hour (often a lot less. I was put on bedrest for 1 month and thought I’d give birth to baby as soon as I was taken off bed rest. 3 weeks later I am 80% effaced, 4 cm dilated, baby is at 0 station. Though I have had short bouts of pre-labor more than a week ago, I have not had any contractions (other than mild BH) for a week.

I am scheduled to have my membranes swept tomorrow, but am worried that it won’t be productive. Does this pattern of very very slow cervical change mean that labor will also be long and drawn out? After 7 weeks of being told “any day”, I feel like this labor will never begin on its own. Could my lack of recent contractions mean anything? Is a membrane sweep a bad idea?

Dear LSM, Sweeping the membranes usually results in a long early labor (at least 24 hours, sometimes up to 3 days.) The contractions aren’t necessarily hard or close together, but they are persistent so a woman is tired by the time active labor kicks in. I know a couple women with several children who got their membranes swept each time because it worked for them and they weren’t too tired. But I know many more women who have regretted getting their membranes swept. This is something for you to decide. I would say that your lack of contractions recently doesn’t mean anything. Also, your several weeks of pre-labor does not mean that you will have a long labor. No guarantees, but usually the more work you do before labor, the shorter your labor will do. Have you read my birth stories? Each of my labors was different. My two most recent births were 4 and 5 hours long following weeks of having contractions here and there. You are already 4cm dilated. I have a feeling that your labor will go pretty quickly once it starts. The longest part of labor is just getting to 5cm dilated and you’re practically there! A possibility for you is you might have about 1-3 hours of light contractions followed by a quick active labor. Another possibility would be on again, off again labor like my third birth. I’m just guessing, but I’m also speaking from experience. ~blessings, Guinever

90. Phelicia - September 6, 2007

I am 41 weeks pregnant as of today and I was checked and they said i was 1.5-2cm and about 50% effaced. but now I am leaking brownish mucus. what is it? is it normal? am i dilating more?

Dear Phelicia, everything you’re experiencing is normal. The mucus is just your plug breaking away. It is possible that you are dilating more if you are having contractions or feeling pressure. ~Guinever

91. TES - September 5, 2007

My husband and I are 35 weeks pregnant for the first time with twins. The doctor said that I was 1 cm dialated as of Tuesday. Since I am having twins will I more than likely start labor early? I walk (when the weather permits) about 1.5 miles 5 out of 7 days and I try to do as much around the house as I can. Before becoming pregnant I was much more active but the kiddos have slowed me down greatly.

Dear Tes, twins do often come earlier than singletons. Because you’re already at 35 weeks, I think you can keep up your level of activity–keep walking as long as it is comfortable. ~blessings, Guinever

92. ashley - September 4, 2007

hi, i am 39 weeks and 2 days today with #4. due sunday. and i have only dialated to a 1 for the past 3 weeks. my cervix is still hard and the baby is still high. i know that you cant predict when labor will start….. but seeing that i am at a one and high. and no signs at all of baby coming will it be a while do you think? with my others i was always at least a 3 by week 36 and ready to go. i really don’t want to be induced. but to me i just feel like my body is not ready and not going into labor any time soon. is there anything i can do to help him along. or help to soften more?
i had went to the er last night for leakage and waters had not broke. but the doctor checked me and said that i was 1 cen. 10 and high. i know the 1 cen. and high but what is the 10? thanks

Dear Ashley, Could the doctor have said 1 centimeter out of 10? (Meaning that you are dilated to a 1 right now, and full dilation is a 10?) That is the only explanation I have. If you were to be induced right now, it would take a long time to work or if you didn’t give it very much time, you would have a cesarean. Having sex softens the cervix. Walk, eat spicy foods, think happy, labor and baby thoughts. Could your due date be off a couple weeks? ~birthing blessings, Guinever

93. stephanie - August 31, 2007

i am full term 40 weeks as of friday august 31st my babies due date i am 2 to 3 centimeters dilated and 50 percent effaced but my water hasnt broke yet. when do you think ill go into labor?

Dear Stephanie, like I tell everyone, I have no idea when you will have your baby. It sounds like it could be any day. ~blessings, Guinever

94. Paula - August 25, 2007

As long as the placenta still has lots of fluid, and the baby is doing well what is the longest u have heard a professional allowing a baby to stay in the womb…is it still just 42 weeks?

I know of some midwives who will go to 44 weeks, but this is a rare care provider and it is with a healthy mom and baby, monitoring baby everyday, making sure everything is ok. Ask your doctor to see how long he/she will wait. It seems to me most want to induce a couple days after 40 weeks, some will let is slide til 41 and for those who really believe that birth is an ok event, they’ll go 42 with a close watch. How’s that for an answer? It all depends on the doctor/midwife and the birth climate where you live. ~Guinever

95. mark - August 25, 2007

hi what a great site. i need a little insight from a father’s perspective. we are 2cm dilated and 80% effaced and passed the mucous plug. i know that means we are close should we call our ob doc after passing the plug?

Dear Mark, it is not necessary to call the doctor after losing the mucus plug. It is not a sign that labor is starting immediately. It just means that her cervix is opening a little bit more–enough for the plug to come out. Labor could start tonight or it could be days or even weeks (you didn’t tell me her e.d.d.) away. ~Guinever

96. Paula - August 11, 2007

My question is this. My last son was 8 lbs 13 oz, and his shoulders were quite broad, if this baby is larger and pushing seems to be difficult, I really want to avoid the vacuum or assistance like that, which position would u recommend?

Dear Paula, I’m inferring from what you said that you had a vacuum extractor used at your last birth because of your baby’s broad shoulders. If you experience shoulder dystocia again, you can benefit from doing the Gaskin maneuver which is simply pushing on all fours. ~blessings, Guinever

97. Jenna - August 7, 2007

I have been having a lot of pressure and I went to the hospital the other night because it wouldn’t go away but they discharged me after telling me I was 2-3 cm dilated and I had to walk around for an hour. The pressure is still here and I have an ultrasound this friday because the dr is concerned about the size of the baby. I didn’t gain any weight in two wks and my stomach is always as hard as a rock. I’m wondering though, with this pressure just building up everyday, when will I go into labor? Will I even last til Friday? Is it possible that because of the size of the baby that my dr might induce me friday?

Dear Jenna, I have no idea when you will have your baby or if your doctor will induce you. Please note that ultrasound does not accurately predict the weight of the baby. Also, what is considered a big baby, in my opinion, is not a valid reason for induction. Unless a woman has diabetes, it is very rare that she will make a baby too big for her body to birth. I know several thin (size 0-6) women who have birthed eight and nine pound babies with no problem! During the pushing stage if a baby seems “stuck” or if the pushing isn’t effective, all that is needed is a change of position.
~blessings, Guinever

98. Teresa - August 6, 2007

I am 38 weeks pregnant and frankly a little frustrated with my doctor. She keeps telling me that I measure small for dates – when I am obviously carrying around a full grown infant! At my last appointment, I measured 33 cm at 37 weeks. I have had 5 ultrasounds throughout this pregnancy. The last two, done third trimester, show that the baby is fine and at an appropriate (if not bigger weight). My cervix is 85% effaced, but doc tells me that I am not dilated yet. I am having trouble believing anything that she is telling me because she can’t even seem to measure my belly correctly. My belly is big and uncomfortable, so I have been doing lots to try to get labor going (walking,swimming,spicy food,etc.) I have asked my doctor to consider inducing me after 38 weeks due to extremely painful pelvis and back, but I am afraid that she won’t because she “thinks” I am measuring small still!

Dear Teresa, there are a few possibilities of why you may be measuring small. I wouldn’t blame the doctor for doing it wrong. The baby could be lying a little sideways or could be really low in your pelvis–either of these would cause a measurement that doesn’t match up with your due date. If your doctor was concerned, she probably would’ve ordered an ultrasound and/or a stress test to see how baby is doing. I caution you about induction. An induction will not work if your body is not ready for dilating and you will have a cesarean. Fifty percent of inductions on first time moms end with surgery. Please be patient and wait for labor to start. You can take this little quiz to see your chances of an induction being successful. You’re only 38 weeks along. You won’t be pregnant forever. Hang in there, Guinever

99. Paula - August 3, 2007

I would like to go just once on my own without assistance, I am starting to feel my body is incompetent…I really don’t mind being pregnant, I know I’ll miss it after she comes, I just hope my body can do this on its own. Before she gets too big and they have to induce.

Dear Paula, Have confidence!! You can do it! You’re on the home stretch now of this pregnancy ~Guinever

100. Dennis - August 2, 2007

My wife was told yesterday that she has started dialating (38 weeks)and is 1 centimeter. Is it ok to still have sex at this time; we have heard that having sex could help in bringing on the birth. Thank you

Dennis, yes, it’s fine just as long as the water isn’t broken. Having sex during the last part of pregnancy is very beneficial because the prostaglandins in semen help to soften the cervix and your wife will release oxytocin–a hormone necessary for labor. (the synthetic form of oxytocin is pitocin which you’ve probably heard of since it is used to induce and augment labor.) ~Guinever

101. Paula - August 2, 2007

Well…I had an appointment on Tuesday , and as I thought I had dialted 2 more cm, I am now up to 4 cm dialated and at least 50% effaced, and very very softened. Ive been having more bouts of cramping and contractions. This unknown of when labour will begin in frusterating. How far do you think I can dialate before true labour will begin? Another thing I was wondering…I have a history of having my membranes stripped in order for labour to begin, even if I make it to 5 or 6 cm, do u think labour could start on its own, or is it possible I could dialate that far and still have to be stripped before anything?

Dear Paula, I know these last days of being pregnant can be hard because you’re big and the baby is low and heavy and you just want to go into labor and have it over with and have a baby in your arms…Yes, I think that you could eventually go into labor on your own. I have come to the belief that a woman will have her baby when she and the baby are ready no matter what is done to try to help it along! I slowly dilated in my last month of pregnancy and I ended up walking around 5cm dilated for a week before active labor finally kicked in with the help of cimicifuga and caulophyllum (homeopathic tablets of the black and blue cohoshes.) ~Guinever

102. Jessica - July 30, 2007

Ok as of today I am 40 wks along in my pregnancy. This is my second child. Last monday I went to my midwife appt and I was 2 cm and they did a membrane sweep. On thursday I started to have some contractions that were fairly close together so I went into the midwife and I was still 2cm. Well I walked for 2 hours and went to be checked again and I still didn’t change and my contractions stopped. So I went home. Saturday night I started having contractions every 3-5 min one right after the other. I waited two hours and called the midwife. We went in and I was still at a 2 but my cervix as she said was stretchy. My contractions started at 6:40pm and stayed consistant until about 4:30 am increasing in strength. The baby was moving down and the contractions were pushing hard on my bottom. When my midwife checked me again I was still at a 2. So we went home and I have been waiting ever since. I have some small contractions and sometimes my body tightens like its going to contract then stops. I don’t know what to make of all this. I don’t think this baby will come. What do you think is going on?

Dear Jessica, Your body is having several bouts of pre-labor in anticipation for the “real thing.” Try to get lots of rest. These contractions are making progress–your cervix is stretchier and the baby is moving down. Rest now; you’ll have your baby soon! Blessings, Guinever

103. Paula - July 28, 2007

Since you yourself have had 5 children I must ask…with my 4th child i was having regular contractions…but there really wasn’t alot of pain until it came close to pushing time….I got to 8 1/2 cm….before i even arrived at the hospital. things happened fast. I am worried the contractions with this one will be even less painful, and if I dialate gradually the way I have been….next thing I know ill just feel the urge to push out of the blue. IS this possible?

Dear Paula, It is possible. Rare, but possible. I encourage you to examine the possibility of your labor occurring like you just described and what you would do if it should happen to you. Are you prepared? (with a shower curtain you can pull onto the bed if needed and some old towels on hand) Knowing when to go to the hospital can be tricky because you don’t want to leave too soon, but then you probably don’t want to birth your baby in the car either! Quiet your mind. In these scenarios, complications are rare. Everything goes quickly at the end because there is nothing wrong. ~Guinever

104. Paula - July 28, 2007

Hi My name is Paula, and I am on my fifth pregnancy as well. My original duedate according to menstruation was Aug. 5 2007, then changed to Aug. 20 2007 after an ultrasound at 19 weeks. Well I had an appointment Thursday and the DR. told me I was 2cm dialated, and VERY softened…I have since been losing my mucous plug gradually for 2 days, and having long tight contractions with slight cramping….do u think this could be pre labour…and baby will come soon? The Doc didn’t sound as though he expected to see me next week. I am constantly tightening and at times cramping with the contractions. They will some times be regular for a couple hours then totally disappear. Do u think labor will start soon? Oh yes and I have been losing my mucous plug over the past couple days, I guess maybe it was broken up during my internal on Thursday. Maybe the ultrasound just wasn’t accurate….so really I could be 39 weeks now?

Dear Paula, It sounds like you are having bouts of pre-labor that will eventually turn into the real thing. Labor could be days or weeks away. Have you read my birth stories, especially for baby #5 where I went 12 days past my e.d.d. and I had so much pre-labor that I was 5cm dilated before “real” labor even started? Ultrasound is not alwasy accurate for dating pregnancies if done after the first trimester, so anything could be possible with your due date. ~Guinever

105. Shaz - July 3, 2007

I am 40 + 4 days . I have been told by the doctor that my baby has engaged but is in the Posterior position. Is there anything I can do to move to anterior position at this late stage? Also, they tried to perform a membrane sweep yesterday but was unsuccessful as they say the cervix has not sofened and neck of the womb too tight? I am due to go back on Friday for another sweep. Is there anything I can do to make sure this time the sweep is successful? Otherwise they will induce me next Tuesday.

Dear Shaz, Thanks for stopping by my website.

For tips on how to turn your baby into a more favorable anterior position, refer to the spinning babies website. Basically you want to avoid any position that brings your knees above your hips (sinking into a couch or easy chair, for example). Instead, assume forward leaning positions especially lots of hands and knees.

The prostaglandins in semen will soften the cervix, so have sex. Also, please note that it is highly unlikely that an induction will be successful if your cervix isn’t already soft and dilated. Take this short quiz to see if an induction will work for you.

106. raquelle - April 12, 2007

im nearly 42 weeks pregnant and i started having contractions over a week ago. They have got extremely close together and lasted for 50 seconds and im only 2 dialated.
i have been like this for ages and still im having contractions all day and all night….not slept for over two nights now and still nothing.
i have a membrane sweep tomorrow but don’t want to go because im very tender down there at the moment

raquelle, I have a feeling that your baby is not in the most favorable position for birth. Your baby could be “posterior.” There’s lots of advice on the http://www.spinningbabies.com/ website to helping your baby go in the most favorable LOA / anterior position. Basically, you should avoid sitting in furniture at this point. Try hands and knees positions–lean over an exercise ball, couch or chair. Put your head on the floor on a pillow and bring your knees underneath you with your butt way up in the air. Walking will help too.
I think you need to get some sleep and then you need to get serious about turning your baby if that’s the problem and then helping active labor to start. I wish you all the best~Guinever

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