I was a first time mother, i didn't know how it felt like, i got to the hospital and my midwife checked my cervical opening and said i was 1cm dilated and showed me a board with illustrations of 1- 10cm, then i asked her about the pain i had gone through in the house and she just said that was a tip of the iceberg. At that moment my happy mood switched to an anxious mood because i had to tune my mind to go through pains that was even severe than what i was facing now. I laboured for hours before i could deliver. I don't want you to hear about the pain from your midwife that is why you should read this article to know exactly what its like.
The cervix, which is the lowest portion of the uterus, opens when a woman is about to give birth, through a process called cervical dilation. This is the opening of the cervix the entrance to the uterus, during childbirth, miscarriage, or gynecological surgery. Cervical dilation may occur naturally, or may be induced surgically or medically. This process of the cervix opening is one way midwives use to determine how a labouring woman has progressed.
During labor, the cervix opens to accommodate the baby’s head into the vagina, which is around 10 centimeters (cm) dilated for most babies at term.
The cevical dilation is sometimes determined by the contraction a labouring woman is having. If your cervix is dilated with inadequate and slightly painful contractions then you're in your early stages known as the latent phase but when the pain is severe and contractions are regular, then you’re in active phase of labor and getting closer to delivering your newborn.
What 10cm dilation look
In the early stages of labor, contractions aren’t strong or regular. The cervix is gradually warming up, that's softening, and shortening as it prepares for the actual process.
You might consider picturing the uterus as a balloon. Think of the cervix as the neck and opening of the balloon. As you fill that balloon up, the neck of the balloon draws up with the pressure of the air behind it, similar to the cervix. The cervix dilates to the following sizes:
-1 cm, about the size of a peanut.
-2 cm, the size of a small grape.
-3 cm, the size of a sliced banana.
Late in pregnancy, the cervix may have already dilated several centimeters before a woman experiences any symptoms of labor.
Some women, particularly those who are giving birth for the first time, have difficulty telling whether labor has begun. This is because contractions in early labor are often mild and irregular, growing slowly and more intense as the labor progresses and the cervix dilates. This increase in intensity may take just a few hours or can take many days. Knowing whether this is actual labor can help you to prepare.
Some women may benefit from resting or eating a snack at this stage to ensure they have enough energy for the more tiring stages ahead.
During the active stage of labor, A woman is considered to be getting closer to delivery once the cervix dilates to around 4cm to 7 cm and contractions begin to get longer, stronger, and closer together.
The active stage of labor is characterized more by the rate of regular cervical dilation per hour. Your midwife will expect to see your cervix opening at a more regular rate during this stage. the cervix dilates to the following size:
-4 cm, the size of a sliced lime.
-5 cm, the size of a mandarin orange
-6 cm, the size of a sliced lemon.
-7 cm, the size of apple.
Labor contractions become more intense and regular during active labor. Many women find that the main features of active labor is that the contractions are extremely painful rather than uncomfortable.
During the transition phase of labor, the cervix dilates to the following sizes
-8 cm, the size of a coffee mug.
-9 cm, the size of a donut.
-10 cm, the size of a half melon.
For many women, transition is the most difficult stage. However, it is also the shortest. The second stage of labor begins when a woman’s cervix is fully dilated to 10 centimeters. Even though a woman is fully dilated, it doesn’t mean that the baby is necessarily going to be delivered immediately.
A woman may reach full cervical dilation, but the baby may still need time to move down the birth canal and be fully ready for birth. Some women find that the coping strategies that worked well in the earlier stages of labor are no longer useful. Transition tends to be short and is a sign that the baby will soon arrive. Moving, squatting and walking around can help. The cervix continues dilating during transition, and transition ends when the cervix has fully dilated. The second stage ends after the baby is delivered.
How was the pain like for you and what did you do to reduce it? Let's get interactive.
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