Pregnancy is a blessing for any family and the miracle of childbirth cannot be matched by anything more beautiful. But the process of childbirth is also a very long and tedious process for the mother who has to push the baby out of the womb. This is possible when the cervix dilates and thins out.
On a normal basis, the cervix is firm and closes to protect the baby inside the cervix walls. But once it is time for labor, the cervix automatically goes in front of the vaginal opening and becomes soft and thin so as to allow the baby to come out.
When do I go into labor?
Often mothers assume that just because their cervix has dilated, it is time for labor. While this is true at times but it is not always the case. Sometimes your cervix may be closed but you can still go into labor so it is better to be prepared beforehand itself.
The cervix can dilate between 0-10 centimeters and the doctor often measures this by seeing how far a finger can go through the vaginal opening. If one finger fits, it means the cervix has dilated one centimeter and if two fingers fit, the cervix has dilated two centimeters.
One thing you should keep in mind is that every childbirth will be different and it doesn’t mean that because one person goes into labor when the cervix dilates 2 centimeters, every one lese will also have the same kind of childbirth.
Often the cervix may have dilated completely but the baby may still not come out of the womb and you may be waiting for weeks in the medical ward. Many mothers have described their different childbirth experiences with some calling it quick and not so painful while others find the process exhausting as they had to wait so long.
These mothers believe that is always best to consult your doctor before rushing into labor when your cervix dilates 2 centimeters as it is not certain that the baby may be ready to come out of the womb just as yet.
This can be quite a strenuous affair for any mother to keep waiting to know when to go into labor. But there are some sure shot signs that you are ready to give birth to the child that are as follows:
This is one of the most common symptoms of labor where the sac breaks and the fluid gushes out. Don’t think that just because it is a slight trickle it is not serious and you should wait for a heavy flow. As soon as you see water come out of your vaginal opening, you must rush to the hospital. This means that you are ready for labor and will most likely deliver the baby within the next 24 hours.
At times you may have severe contractions and then blood may flow out of your vagina during the childbirth process. This is a bloody mucus discharge that is released from the cervix and shows that the body is ready for labor. This is a completely different color from the brownish discharge that happens after you undergo a vaginal exam. This is one of the many ways you can know that you are ready to deliver your baby so always stay alert.
This is probably the most sure shot sign that you are ready to push the baby out of your womb. You get severe contractions that may start with a 20 minute interval but slowly they become more intense and frequent and you end up having contractions every three minutes. This means that you are all set to go into labor and start the process.
When your body gets ready for labor, you will have regular and strong contractions that will have very small intervals, your water will break and there will be a bloody mucus filled discharge.
Your cervix may also dilate when you g into labor but it doesn’t mean that it is a sure shot sign that you are ready to deliver the baby. At times, it can just means that the body is getting ready for delivering the baby but is not quite there yet.
In fact many mothers often wait several hours or days after their cervix has dilated and thus you must not base it on the vaginal exam alone. The cervix softens at the time of the dilation and reaches the tip of your vaginal opening and thus allows the baby to pass through the opening easily.
At other times, when the baby is still growing in the womb the cervix stays firm and hard to create a protective womb for the baby.
Thus it is better to conduct an entire medical exam and take your doctor’s advice before you decide to get ready for labor.