Dilation?

Ashley - posted on 06/13/2010 ( 68 moms have responded )

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I'm 39 weeks and haven't dilated or effaced at all. I realize this is the case with a lot of first time mothers, But a lot of people I know started dilating at 35 weeks or so and showed many signs that labor was near, I'm not having very many, I ask my doctor if it's normal, but he's always very vague and in a hurry and never really gives me a good answer on anything.



How far along were you when you started to dilate with your first child?

He told me you can not have an induction without being dilated at all, if that's the case you have to have some other thing done that helps you dilate, Has anyone had this?

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Bernadette - posted on 07/05/2011

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I never dilated with either of mine, resulting in emergency c-sections. With my daughter (my first), I was induced and nothing happened for several days. They tried to break my waters but I wasn't dilating enough even for that. After being in full-blown labour all day, my daughter's heart rate dropped dramatically and I was still only 4 cm and so was rushed for emergency surgery. With my son, I was having contractions for several days (a week after his due date) and hadn't started to dilate at all. After labouring hard for a few hours they examined me again and said that I still hadn't even started to dilate - in fact, my cervix was only just starting to soften. I ended up having another c-section as they said they just didn't think it was going to happen for me naturally - with how hard and fast I was contracting I should have nearly been at the pushing stage so said that this baby would end up severely distressed too if we let it go for that long. They did another c-section and called it "failure to progress". I've since heard that this just happens to some women and someone my sister knows had the same thing happen. Don't know why, and the doctors never said anything about it.

Emmanuel - posted on 06/26/2010

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My first recommendation would be the first chance you have get a different doctor... some medical professionals unfortunately forget their bedside manner... Pregnancy is different for every women especially when you are a first time mommy:) Don't worry! Stress is not good for you or your baby let mother nature take it's course. For me I did not dilate until I started mild contractions which I did nor know I was having four days before my lil boy was born... The last 24-48 hours are the most painful... I guess because the baby is ready to make it's entrance into the world and you may not be ready. I recommend you ask questions, if you don't understand, then ask again... I took warm baths to relax me and listen to music... Good luck and please let us know how everything went.

Elodie - posted on 06/25/2010

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Hello, despite everything you can hear or read, dilatation is not a sign of a coming labor. Every women is different and our bodies have different ways to go through a pregnancy and labor. I heard from many doctors that some women are dilated very early in their pregnancy and give birth after their due date! Others are not dilated at all, but go into labor a few weeks before with no warnings. For my part, I m a mom of two, and for my first one, I was dilated of 3cm a few weeks before due date, still, I didn't give birth until 2 weeks after! And I know this is a very personal choice, but my advice is to wait until your baby decide to come on his own. I know how hard those last weeks were for me, waiting to meet my new baby, but I ll never regret waiting for him to be ready! We shouldn't have the right to decide of the moment they come on this Earth, unless it is a medical matter.

Viola - posted on 06/21/2010

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Dont worry you will be ok, unforteuntly it seems that your dr is not very caring... i can say thankfully that i had an awsome dr who would spend as much time with me as i felt needed and never hesitated to answer and question which i had or never beat around the bush with anything they were both upfront with me. I had to be induced and its not painful at all, very quick over a 12 hr time span. But when i went into be induced i wasn't even a pinky tip diatltted. but dont stress out because that will just make it worse for you, but if you have any other questions please fill free to write to me. Best of Luck

Janet - posted on 06/26/2010

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I was 40 weeks and three days when I was at a 1 checking into the hospital to be enduced. Don't worry! Even if you were 3cm, so people can walk around for weeks on end and nothing happens! Good luck!

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Candida - posted on 01/05/2014

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I started dilating with my first two at 34-35 weeks...i was suppose to get induced with my first one at 36 weeks bc my blood pressure an i was high risk pregnancy...headed for toxemia an prepclampsia but i went into labor on my own early that morning...with my second i went into labor on my own at 37weeks an.now i am currently 39 weeks pregnant with my third an have no signs of any changes in my cervix :( im so uncomfortable an the doc says it gets easier the more kids you have...this is by far the most uncomfortable pregnancy ive had :/ i have tried everything to speed this pregnancy up an still nothing...i get some tightening here an there but nothing to go to the hospital over its frustrating bc i am so uncomfortable an in so much pain!!! But they wont induce bc my blood pressure is fine an im not at risk for toxemia or preclampsia like my first -_- an my doc is all about keepin her in there as long as she wants

Leighann - posted on 12/15/2013

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no you don't have to be dilated when u get induced you just have to be a week over due so your doctor is telling u false information if u go around your due date and u don't have him your doctor will set u up with a appointment to be induced and then u go in and they start the medicine to start labor my 6 year old was over due and i went in and wasn't dlated at all and they started the potasin and i had her the next day...

Leighann - posted on 12/15/2013

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you can be induced if you are not dialating you just have to be a week over due so your doctor is telling u some wrong information i know for a fact cuz my 6 year old was a week over due and i wasn't dialating at all when they induced me, and then i had her the next day...

Yalana - posted on 07/04/2011

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I never dilated with my oldest, thus resulting in my then-doctor ordering the C-section she wanted me to have from the beginning, which I had refused. My next two sons were no problem, but my first was non-progressing. He was coming out forehead first, which shouldn't have made a difference. I had cousins born naturally and forehead first. It is rougher on mom, but nothing too drastic. I've never heard of having to be dilated to be induced. My doctor then wanted me to come in to be induced because "all of my patients just want to get it over with"...I was not one of them. She reluctantly tried everything...scraping my cervix (didn't phase me), and some other things, but it was ultimately my son and my body's decision to do what needed to be done.

Emily - posted on 05/12/2011

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I hate feeling rushed when i go to appointments so I make sure I say Hey I have a few questions to ask you, id appreciate it if youd sit down and LISTEN to me and give me a straight answer. Well anyway, Im 39 wks right now and im 2 cm dilated and 40% effaced. started dilating at wk 36. was stuck at 1 cm for 3 wks.

Brianna - posted on 06/27/2010

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i can see by your profile picture you had your baby ashley. Congrats!!!

Tracey - posted on 06/27/2010

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I have four children and i dilated and went into labor on my own with my first two. my third went over my due date, i hadn't dilated a few centimeters but had to be induced anyway. with my last i hadn't dilated at all. they didn't figure out why i until the last week of my pregnancy. my son was breech, which means he was wanting to come out feet first instead of head first. but at my ultrasound he had been in the right position. i kept flipping on us and we couldn't be sure when he would flip back to the way he should be and stay that way so my doctor had me come into the hospital and the gave me something to relaxe my uterus muscles so they could manually flip him. that worked thank the lord because if that hadn't worked i was going to have to have a c-section. then they went ahead and induced my labor so we would be sure he would come out the right way while we knew he was head first. you may want to try to get another ultrasound to make sure your baby is turned the right way. they helped me dilate by putting something, can't remember name, in the canal that helps thin the cervix so you can dilate and begin labor. they usually leave it in overnight. but the stuff they give to induce labor is put through an i.v. and supposed to make you dilate faster.

Skyla - posted on 06/27/2010

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i JUST HAD My FiRST CHiLD iN MAy ND i WAS STARTiNG TO DiALATE AT 36 WEEKS..GOT TO 2 CM..BT NEVER DiALATED ANy FURTHER..My DOCTOR WAS GOiNG TO iNDUCE ME..BT SHE WANTED ME TO BE DiALATED ND READy TO GO SO SHE ADMiTTED ME TO THE HOSPiTAL ND THE NURSEE STUCK THiS PiLL iN My COOCH, THiS PiLL HELPS THE WHOLE DiALATiON ND EFFACEMENT PROCESS..iT REALLy DOES HELP..LiKE TWO HOURSE LATER My WATER BROKE ND i STARTED HAViNG My FiRST CONTRACTiONS..FiRST THiNG THAT NEXT MORNiNG i WAS PUSHiNG..(TURNED OUT i HAD TO HAVE A C-SECTiON..BT i NEW THAT WAS GONNA HAPPEN..)

Amanda - posted on 06/26/2010

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I am 36 weeks with my 1st child. Went in to hospital on Sunday with contractions and dr said I was 50% effaced, 1 cm dialated, and baby at minus 2 station. Then had my bloody show (loss of mucus plug) on Monday and was freaking so went back to dr and they said everything was ok. Ever since lost my plug things are more intense specially the contractions I am having (and they are real not Braxton Hicks) and feel like we'll be having this baby soon.



Walking, sex, warm showers/bath, staying active all will help you with the labor starting. I know that since I went in to the hospital on Sunday we have been having sex and it is helping. I would totally suggest that if you can stand it.

Courtney - posted on 06/26/2010

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I know you have already ad your baby, but in case someone else is reading this, my first was a CS due to breech presentation with twins. I had BH FOREVER, walked around dilated to a 5 for 4 months. I had them at 37 weeks.

My second I had a hospital VBAC. I never dilated. I was high, tight and airtight until my water broke at 40+5 and I had my son 4 hours later.

My 3rd I was at 1 cm from 5 months. I was by myself (husband deployed, 2 young kids) and 9 days before my due date I had a UBAC (unassisted birth after cesarean). My first contraction EVER was at 4:44am and he was in my arms with no one around at 5:04am.

Leah - posted on 06/25/2010

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I never dilated. My water broke two weeks after the expected birth date and the hospital had to induce me. Even after the hospital gave me the medication to cause dilation... I never went past 4 (out of 10) I ended up having a C-section.This does happen -- and don't be alarmed. Hosptital staff are well equipped to deal with this situation and all will be well. Either way, you will deliver a healthy baby-- whether or not you ever dilate. Truth be told, I am glad I got a C-section.... in many ways I feel my recovery time was "easy" compared to some of my other first time mom friends. :) Please don't worry -- all will be well!!!!

Kimberly - posted on 06/25/2010

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I was about to reply to this, and then realized u had a photo of your precious little newborn up...so I'm guessing all went well!!! :) CONGRATS ;)

Laurena - posted on 06/25/2010

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i was induced at 41 weeks, i was 1 cm dilated 2 weeks before that and nothing had changed, due to my induction i had to have a c-section because baby and i were having complications.

Lindy - posted on 06/25/2010

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From a maternity nurse perspective, most moms do not dilate prior to labour and definately first time moms rarely have dilation. Labour is what opens and thins your cervix so if you are having minimal braxton hicks, it will stay the same. Enjoy it!! Your body will know what to do when it is time.

I had crazy b-h contractions from 27 wks on and my baby ended up coming 6 weeks early cause my water broke! (dont know if they were related)

There are a few options for induction depending on your Dr/midwife- but dont worry about that until you are 40 weeks! Good luck!

Billie Jo - posted on 06/24/2010

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Dialation and Effacement have no meaning until you are in labor (unless it is really early). My first I was not checked until I was around 36 weeks and I was 3-4cm. My daughter still didn't come until the day before her due date.

My second I walked around at 6cm for 4 weeks and she decided to srrive the day after her due date.

My youngest daughter I was about 3-4cm and wound up going 5days past my due date.

Jennifer - posted on 06/24/2010

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With my son, I was 41 weeks and hadn't dilated at all. I was going to be induced the next day. They said there is some sort of vaginal thing (like a tampon) that they insert overnite to help soften the cervix and hopefully start dilation. However, a few hours before my arrival time at the hospital, my water broke. When I got to the hospital, they said that I was dilated at most to a fingertip. I was induced... won't tell you the rest, but I ended up with a c-section. However, that was due to the position of the baby and nothing with not being dilated and having to be induced.

Shawni - posted on 06/24/2010

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i didnt dilate till i was in labour i think a lot of people are the same so dont worry about it it'll happen when you go into labour xx

Susan - posted on 06/23/2010

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I didn't dilate or efface until I was in labor. I was 40 weeks and 5 days. I was in labor for 11 hours that is from the first contraction until she was born. I never had any braxton hicks contractions either. My body just kicked into gear and did it all on it's own. I never had to have a drop of pitocin. Once I got my epidural I was able to relax and started dilating really fast. Before I knew it it was time to push which took about 25 mins and she was born.

Heather - posted on 06/23/2010

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I'm not sure that I dilated until I was in the hospital at about 41+ weeks. It's not for certain they even had her due date correct since I had no period the month I ovulated and got pregnant.

I've never heard that you can't be induced if you're not dilated. I think they can start with the Cervadil to start softening the cervix to get it to open up.

Take care! Things may happenn suddenly

Nicola - posted on 06/23/2010

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i believe if you are showing no signs and not dilated at all and they need to induce you they incert a hormone gel into your vagina before you get the pitocin drip which can is you are lucky send you into labour any way. good luck i hope you go into labour naturally.

Kristin - posted on 06/22/2010

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At my last check up (37.5 weeks) not a thing was going on. One week later, I started to feel contractions at 5:00pm - nothing serious. Then around 9pm that night I called the doctor. By 11pm (I was only 1 to 2cm dilated at that point) I was at the hospital and my daughter was born 6.5 hours later. So you can see that nothing has to be going on go from nothing to birth quickly!!! My dr. told me that next time, I will probably go even faster! So good luck and don't worry. The baby will come when he/she is ready!!! It's like they condition us early to bend to what they want to do :-) Congrats!

Jenn - posted on 06/21/2010

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i started to dilate at 37 weeks to 1.5 cm.. i didn't change until i went into labor 5 days after my due date..



i started contracting at 32 weeks almost every day.. they were just braxton hicks.. but they didn't cause me to dilate at all really..



they can induce you whenever... it's just that if you aren't dilated or effaced at all the risk of having a csection go way up because the chances of you just not progressing or your labor stalling are a lot higher.. but this doesn't happen to everyone.. everyone is different..

Bernadette - posted on 06/20/2010

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I didn't start to dilate at all until I was induced - so yes, you can be induced if you haven't dilated, but no you can't have your waters broken until you have started dilating. They insert a gel, which is to help you begin to contract and start to dilate. What you can't have, is the drip that helps to speed up the contractions as your waters need to be broken for this. I had the gel inserted for 3 days straight, and twice a day they would check me to see if they could break my waters yet, but i wasn't dilating at all. Eventually, on day 4, they broke on their own and I started to dilate but it was still happening very slowly. They put me on the drip, and all this did was bring on very intense contractions, very close together, which just caused a lot of unnecessary pain for no effect as I ended up having to have an emergency c-section anyway, due to my daughter's heart rate dropping very suddenly and by nearly half. I was still only 4 cm so still hours away from delivering her myself. So anyway, I wouldn't recommend being induced unless it's really necessary - otherwise, just wait until it happens on its own. Many first time mothers are late, and keep in mind that full term isn't exactly 40 weeks - it's anywhere between 38 and 42 weeks. They count 40 weeks from the date of your last period, even though that's not when you fell pregnant. They do this on the assumption that you fell two weeks inbetween periods, as this is the most common time - however, not everyone is so regular with when they actually ovulate, so they have to allow 2 weeks either side of this date, which takes it to 38 - 42 weeks. If you know exactly when you conceived, then this should give you a better idea of when you can expect to go into labour, and let you know if you are actually late or not.

Tracy - posted on 06/19/2010

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I was only 3 cm after my water broke. I had no real signs of labor just woke up VERY tired went to work, left early because I was too exhaused, and my water broke when I got home. I was 41 weeks when I finally went into labor.

Tracy - posted on 06/19/2010

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hey, after 26hrs of mild labour pains i was only 1cm dilated. after 42hrs i was only 4cm although my contrction had got to the stages ready for pushing. i ended up with emergency c-section. i think everyone is different! some women dilate quicker than others. I wouldnt worry hun x

Becky - posted on 06/19/2010

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nothing helped me. by my due date, i was finally 1 1/2 cm dilated and 30% effaced so doc scheduled an induction... 5 days later, i had my baby boy...

Mercedes - posted on 06/18/2010

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Well i went to 41 weeks & had to get induced b/c i hadn't dialated at all, & i was only 60% effaced, but after that i was only in labor for 6 hours, and only pushed for 12 mins. all i took for pain was dimmeral (idk how to spell it) & i didnt feel anything, i wouldnt have taken any pain meds but my contractions were less than a min apart & i couldn't breathe! good luck, hope everything goes easy! =]

Crystal - posted on 06/17/2010

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I don't think I dialated until I was actually in labor. Of course once I was it was no time at all. I went from like a 2-10 in just a few minutes. I didn't even get a chance to ask for meds. Just like that she was out! Was like that with second and third child to.

Elaine - posted on 06/17/2010

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I'm really glad to see this post - I'm in pretty much the same situation. I'll be 40 weeks in two days and, as of my last appointment a week ago, I wasn't dialated or effaced either. My doctor told me my cervix was softening, but that it really didn't mean anything about when I would actually go into labor. I've been trying to walk and have sex as much as I can this past week, and am really hoping for some good news at my next appointment tomorrow morning! I would really love to meet my baby this weekend, and I really don't want her to wait so long that we have to talk about induction! The responses here have been very comforting, so thanks everyone. And good luck!!

Amanda - posted on 06/17/2010

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I was dialated to a 4 with my first and when I went into labor I stayed at a 4 for like 10 hours then I slowly started dialating after that and was in labor for 19 hours. My third child I wasn't dialated at all and I went into labor early in the morning walked around in my home called my husband home from work arouund noon and when I got to the hospital I was dialated to a 4 and half a 5. So just because you aren't dialated doesn't mean anything it can happen really quickly or it can go really slow it's all up to your body and baby and what it wants to do.

Malisa - posted on 06/16/2010

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I was induced at 39 weeks and wasn't dilated at all. they gave me one shot of gel and i started to dilated with in hours and had my baby 12 hours later.

Vanessa - posted on 06/16/2010

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i was only dilated 1 1/2cm up until i went into the hospital...i had no contractions, no mucus plug, no bloody show NOTHING! i was so angry so i demanded to be induced at 3 days late...i was given cervadil to help dilate, it wasn't painful and just helped the process progress :) i guess advice is: use your words to get what you want...good luck!

Judy - posted on 06/16/2010

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Remember that no two womens pregnancies are the same, nor are their childbirths! We all experience things in our own way.

Judy - posted on 06/16/2010

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I am also a first time mother and I was dilated to 1 cm by 39 weeks, but by 40 weeks, hadn't budged, so I was induced at 40 weeks, 2 days and my son was born 8 lbs, 5 oz after 14 hours. That sounds normal for a first time mother.

Melissa - posted on 06/16/2010

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when i was induced i was only about 1-2 cm... i was that at about my 36 week check up...

Mandy - posted on 06/16/2010

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the range of normal is huge, besides all those signs of labor don't really predict how early you will go. I didn't really dilate much before my first and she was a week and 1/2 overdue, but it all worked out fine. I'm almost 39 weeks with my second right now and I know how frustrating it can be to wait, but try not to think about it too much :)

Amy - posted on 06/16/2010

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I was 2 weeks away from my due date when I started to dilate. I had my bloody show first, I called my midwife freaking out and they told me it was Ok, the next day I was dilated a Cm. If you want to get things going, I suggest walking, SEX (seamen helps eat away at the cervix), warm baths and keeping active. The more active you are the more active the baby will be :)

Ashley - posted on 06/16/2010

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And to the person that said I should find A new doctor, That isn't an option to me, I've already paid alot and Im about to have the baby anyways.

Amanda - posted on 06/16/2010

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I was 1 cm dilated at 32 weeks, then stayed there until 37 weeks then i went from 1cm-4cm and was stuck in early labor for 4 days and at exactly 38 weeks my water broke, i went i and was 5cm @ 1am and delivered him at 9:17 am the next morning

Michelle - posted on 06/16/2010

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At 38 weeks I wasn't dilated at all either. I had no signs of impending birth at all!

My water broke at 39 weeks.

Erin - posted on 06/16/2010

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I NEVER dilated at all until I was a week overdue and had 2 doses of cytotec ( a medication to soften your cervix). But never fear, my son was still born vaginally without any complications.

But yet, my sister was dilated to a 3 for the last month of her pregnancy and never progressed past that point and ended up having to have a c-section.

With your first pregnancy, dilation is slow. Hang in there, your time is coming!

Mandy - posted on 06/16/2010

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I was in labour before I started to dilate I'm afraid. In the UK we don't routinely have internal exams, so we don't have to go through all of that.
Walking is good, but unfortunately bubs will come when he/she is good and ready.

Ashley - posted on 06/16/2010

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I had didn't dialate until they induced me and even them it took 30hrs to get 1cm. I had no signs of going into labor until my water broke at 2am 2 days after my due date. I think it is normal. Everyone is different so try not to compare yourself with other moms.

Kathy - posted on 06/16/2010

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after my water broke I was told that if I was not in full labour within 24 hours that I'd have to be induced and the first step was something to help dilation if I wasn't dilating. I don't remember what it was called but they described it as a gel on a sting that would be inserted into the cervix. I got lucky and didn't need it because I was dilating but it doesn't sound fun to me. I'd try sex first, it supposedly can help, I've had people tell me that walking helps, and had friends forcing me to walk alot, it did NOT help at all, and the nurses at the hospital said that it rarely really does help, that walking helps more when done earlier to keep your legs & pelvis in shape making the delivery easier

[deleted account]

Dilated?!? As far as I was aware most women don't dilate until they are actually in labour. Over here in the UK doctors don't check if you're dilated pre-labour so unless you mean whether the baby is engaged you've totally lost me!!!

Iliana - posted on 06/16/2010

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First off, maybe you should think about finding a new doctor. He's always in a rush and never really answers your questions? That is just not good!

To your question, I am 37 weeks and haven't dilated yet. I wish you luck...

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