What Is 1 Cm Dilated And What To Do With It?
If you are a new mom and is probably wondering what is 1 cm dilated, then you’re not alone. A lot of new moms out there are confused about what dilation means; and what to do with it in relation to labor. What is 1 cm dilation? If I experience this, what would I do? Those are some of the questions you always ask yourself. My aim in this article is to help you ease your worries and assist you with this kind of thing.
Dilation and effacement are the two phases every pregnant woman will undergo; it is a very natural process for the baby to come out safely. Women experience different phases of dilation and effacement. But it is important to know what it means, especially if you are now in the state of being 1 cm dilated.
Dilation, What is It?
The first thing we need to understand is what is dilation? The woman’s cervix effaces and thins out makes the baby’s passage into the vaginal canal easier. The opening and stretching of the cervix give enough room for the baby to be birthed. That is the process of dilation. That process is measured by centimeters.
During your pregnancy, especially the first months, the cervix measures zero. The measurement means that the cervix is closed. When this happens, the baby is safe inside to grow. If you are in your active labor stage, you will begin to be measured. A healthcare provider or a doctor will insert her gloved finger into your vagina and measure how dilated you are. It is safe to say that the measurement of dilation is a finger.
The labor is measured then by how the mother is progressing and it is believed that she should dilate one centimeter every hour to be on track. However, this case is not the same for every laboring woman out there.
How is dilation measured? During a vaginal exam, if the tip of the finger fits then it is 1 cm dilated if 2 finger tips fit then it is 2 cm dilated and so on.
The early labor stage is between 0-4 cm of dilation, active labor is when the mother is at 4-7 cm dilated and the labor’s final phase is between 7-10 cm dilated. The mother can start pushing when the cervix is already dilated to 10 cm, the measurement for fully dilated.
Effacement, What is It?
Another thing you should remember is the term effacement. A non-pregnant woman’s cervix is long, thick and closed. The measurements are between 3-5 cm. If the cervix gets shorter and thinner during the last phases of pregnancy, then you are undergoing effacement. The shorter the cervix gets, the more effaced it is.
How does it differ from dilation? Dilation is the process of cervix stretching to make room for the baby to allow its easier passage in the vagina right? Effacement is the ripening and thinning. Dilation is measured by fingers, and effacement is measured by percentages.
If the doctor examines you and the cervix doesn’t have changes it is 0% effaced when it is in its half thickness it will indicate 50% effaced. If it reaches the 100% phase, then the baby is ready to be birthed.
What is 1 cm Dilated and 50% Effaced?
I already discussed that the cervix moves to create room for the baby to prepare if for labor. Now I will answer one of the questions, what is 1 cm dilation? If you have yourself checked and you are already 1 cm and 50% effaced, it means that your cervix is starting to stretch and move for the baby to come out easier. The most prominent question regarding 1 cm dilation is what to do when you are in this phase. It doesn’t indicate when will the baby arrive, it will just tell you that your body is getting ready for labor.
I would like to say that we should not make standardization regarding this matter. Pregnant women will have different experiences in their pregnancy and each woman will labor differently. For example, some women experience being on 3 centimeters dilated and 75% effaced for two or three weeks then they undergo active labor.
I hope that this article I prepared for you is informative as possible. I know pregnancy is not easy and everything about it. Labor is unique, the things you undergo during pregnancy might be different from others but it’s important to know what causes this and that.
Now that you know what is dilation and effacement, I hope you won’t be confused and hesitant again. If now you are in the phase of 1 cm dilation, just constantly checked by your doctor and look for other signs of labor. It’s your body, and you’re becoming a mother and you know exactly what you feel in your body.
If you have questions, ask me right away! If you like this article; please let me know!