Dilation refers to the widening of cervical opening during delivery. There are many medical ways of inducing dilation but an expectant woman can always ensure natural dilation by keeping loose and relaxed- doing so hastens the delivery process.
The cervix dilates to different lengths at different stages of your pregnancy. For instance, the width of your cervix will dilate to 10cm during the first stage of labour. Your doctor will perform cervical exams during your pregnancy’ final stages to determine the extent of your cervix dilation.
Dilation process is gradual but could sometimes occur rapidly in 1 or 2 days. Depending on some factors, dilation for every mother is unique. We will learn on the ways of speeding your dilation that will hasten your delivery process:
Tips for speeding dilation during labour
Dilation is important for maintaining natural labour. While labour is a natural process, sometimes medical intervention from a doctor is vital.
- Keeping active
Remaining active during labour can help in dilating your cervix a little – whether it is a brisk walk or moving around, all these will help in cervix dilation.
- Use of medications
Your doctor can use the hormone prostaglandin to stimulate cervical dilation. The doctor will apply the hormone to your cervix; alternatively, he may insert a prostaglandin suppository to your vagina. The hormone softens your cervix, which hastens the dilation process.
- Stripping your membranes
Your doctor will strip the membranes that connect your amniotic sac; stripping these membranes could trigger labour. This process involves your doctor using his/her finger to swipe against the membranes. The swipe effect triggers the uterus to release prostaglandin hormone, which softens the cervix to speed the dilation.
- Use of synthetic oxytocin
Your doctor can use a synthetic form of oxytocin to speed your dilation – the alternative medication is ideal when the prostaglandin gel or suppository fails to work. Doctors usually administer the synthetic oxytocin through Intravenous Injection (IV) and bring contractions after 30 minutes.
Cervix dilation is a process and a cervix dilation chart will enable you to understand the distinct stages of dilation. It also helps the doctors to identify the extent of cervical dilation in all stages and the best methods of enhancing cervical dilation.