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Old Jan 2nd, 2014, 12:24 PM   1
WantsALittle1
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How does dilation and effacement work?


Just wondering how the whole labor process actually progresses.

Does the cervix first have to efface completely BEFORE dilation can begin, does it dilate completely before effacement can begin, or do the two things happen simultaneously?

How long does it potentially take to go from 0% effacement, 0 cm dilated to full effacement and ~4 cm dilated? Is this something that can happen overnight, or does it take weeks for the effacement to happen, and then after that active labor happens, which can take anywhere from an hour to 24-30 hours?

My cervix is 3 cm long and 1 fingertip dilated. It was 4 cm last week, and the dilation has not changed. Just wondering if that means I am very far from labor, or if it could all end up happening very quickly. I was hospitalized twice for PTL at 34 weeks (stopped with terb and Procardia) and doctor says that now baby is safe to come since I've hit the 36-week mark. Little man is measuring 7lb 14oz as of yesterday.

I have long bouts of BHs every night (4-6 hours, contracting every 5 minutes) but I have not dilated further and I'm shocked. Wondering if the effacement part is happening first, before I dilate. I find it very hard to believe that 2 weeks of very strong contractions every night are not producing SOME change...

Just wondering if someone can give me the rundown, thanks in advance!



 
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Old Jan 2nd, 2014, 13:11 PM   2
ShakeItBaby1
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From what I understand effacement and dilation can happen at the same time. As of right now I'm 2 cm dilated and 75% effaced. I think they go hand in hand.

They say that contractions are what speed up the dilation/effacement. Unfortunately, you can walk around 1 cm dilated for weeks or you can be 1 cm dilated & go into labor that day. So your dilation & effacement aren't really anything to go by when you're wondering when you're in labor!



 
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Old Jan 2nd, 2014, 15:38 PM   3
megrenade
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Everyone is different as far as dilation and effacement.

I was 2cm & 50% effaced from 36 weeks WELL into my labor with DS at 40+5.



 
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Old Jan 2nd, 2014, 16:11 PM   4
ttcmikeandme
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It all depends when your contractions start. At 34 weeks with my son I was 2cm and 50-75% effaced, and I stayed that way until I was induced at 41 weeks. Once I was induced and contracting every 3 minutes, I went from 2cm-10cm within 1 hour and delivered after 20 minutes of pushing lol.



 
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Old Jan 2nd, 2014, 18:28 PM   5
WantsALittle1
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Hi ladies, it does sound as though all of your effacement progress was further along than your dilation progress at the respective stages you were at...

By that I mean… being 50-75% effaced is more (percentage wise) than being 2 cm dilated, which corresponds to 20% dilation. It's not like women tend to be 20% dilated and 20% effaced at the same time--it does seem that effacement happens first, and sort of allows the dilation to occur because of the thinning? I always read things like "I was 100% effaced and 2 cm dilated" etc. but I've never read "I was 10 cm dilated and 10% effaced" (which would be basically impossible)

Thank you all so much for the info! I take this to mean that I have no hope of dilating until I've begun to efface, which I haven't yet.



 
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 08:51 AM   6
GPapo1013
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Effacement and dilation can happen at any time and in any order! Don't think that you won't dilate for a while because you aren't effaced at all! You can be 2cm dilated and 0% effaced, sure!



 
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