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Trying to understand my old labour notes: cervix dilating and then contracting?!

(21 Posts)
morningpaper Fri 24-Jun-05 19:46:45

I've been reading through my old labour notes.

7.30pm: 4cm dilated
2 hours later: 8 cm dilated
1 hour later: 6-7cm dilated (different midwife)

Is cervical dilation not a very SCIENTIFIC measurement? Or did my cervix go into reverse thrust? I'm confused.

Aragon Fri 24-Jun-05 19:52:49

Hi mp,

not a very scientific measurement unfortunately. I always think that when you get a reverse dilation like that it's because the head is not well applied to the cervix and has altered position. Either that or just a different midwife feeling things differently.

kgc Fri 24-Jun-05 19:55:58

I think they are taught how to measure the cervix and as they cannot see it and can only feel it I presume it will differ from midwife to midwife - I also think it depends on the midwifes experience.

morningpaper Fri 24-Jun-05 19:57:17

Bit annoying isn't it.

I might have dilated 4cm in 2 hours or 2 cm in 3 hours. Big difference isn't it?

Aragon Fri 24-Jun-05 20:01:45

My old midwifery testbook says around 0.5cm - 1cm an hour is "normal" (whatever that is). In my experience dilation is all very well but not if the baby's head is not well applied - then you get all sorts of variations in measurement as a cervix not well applied to the baby's head (or vice versa) is much more easy to stretch and then you get an overestimated dilation.

pupuce Fri 24-Jun-05 20:24:42

Morningpaper whilst it may appear confusing to me it still reads the same in terms of labour
at 7h30 you were just in established labour
and 2 or 3 hours later you were on the verge to transition but not ready to push, still some woek to do. (between 6 and 8 cm there is very little) - also some MWs like to talk positively (!8 cm may (?) have been a slight over-exageration)
What happened next though?

Yes MWs have different readings on same woman ALSO you can actually "go backwards" in dilation too... I have seen 5cm go down to 2 !

morningpaper Fri 24-Jun-05 20:44:58

Next I was in labour for another fun-packed 8 hours, they let me push at 9cm. So I guess the conservative estimate was probably correct.

dinny Fri 24-Jun-05 20:47:57

MP, how do you get your notes?

morningpaper Fri 24-Jun-05 21:40:20

Dinny: I photocopied them before I was handed over to Health Visitor care (until then I still had them in my Maternity notes folder).

hoxtonchick Fri 24-Jun-05 21:42:02

write to your hospital dinny, they have a legal obligation to give them to you. will rip you off for photocopying charges though....

Heathcliffscathy Fri 24-Jun-05 21:43:08

[quick thread hijack] hox, when shall we meet? we are not so far....

hoxtonchick Fri 24-Jun-05 21:43:53

hi soph! not next tuesday as i'm giving birth.....

mears Fri 24-Jun-05 21:44:40

It is definately not an exact science and some people (especially junior doctors) are rubbish at it

My question would be why did you need so many internal examinations morningpaper?

pupuce Fri 24-Jun-05 21:52:11

Mears - EXCELLENT question!!!!!

dinny Fri 24-Jun-05 21:52:58

why do hospitals keep them?

Hoxtonchick, are you due next week???!!!! Can't believe it's time already!

hoxtonchick Fri 24-Jun-05 21:54:23

i'm due on the 10th july dinny, but i'm being induced at 38 weeks due to my diabetes (blah blah blah!). am a little scared.... but excited too.

morningpaper Fri 24-Jun-05 21:54:28

I think the first was when I went in.

The second was when I asked for an epidural and they wanted to check my progress.

The third was at the changeover of midwife and she wanted a good poke around.

Didn't bother me at all TBH, I didn't feel a thing, I would have had my own arm up there too if I could have reached...

kgc Fri 24-Jun-05 22:59:02

Hi again MP

I think that all was fine but maybe - considering earlier replies you had either dilated then retracted slightly because of baby's positioning or it was to do with a difference in midwifes techniques. Hope that you are feeling a bit better about it all.

mears Sat 25-Jun-05 11:03:31

dinny - hospitals keep your notes for 25 years incase you want to sue!

piglit Mon 27-Jun-05 09:49:56

I went from 9 cms to 6 cms when ds flipped round and became back to back. I just burst into tears when they told me I'd gone backwards! Makes me shudder just thinking about it....

morningpaper Mon 27-Jun-05 21:31:48

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