Dilation and Effacement Explained

hey hey mama is it a midwife Kyra here

coming to you from the natural birth

house I'm here to talk to you today a

little bit about dilating any facing

often get asked some really interesting

questions and I thought I would help you

guys learn to navigate this topic a

little bit more dilation is the opening

of the cervix it goes from no

centimeters r0 or sometimes called a

fingertip all the way to 10 centimeters

or pretty much whatever it takes to get

over your baby's head and so 1

centimeter is literally a fingertip we

can insert the tip of our finger into

your cervix 2 centimeters it has

basically one fingertip plus a little

bit of wiggle room and then you can see

from 3 centimeters we can now insert two

fingers into your cervix 4 centimeters

and so on active labor when I was being

trained was defined as four or more

centimeters but now there's some new

information saying that we may not be

able to identify active labor until six

centimeters the good news is that once

you've made it here you're already more

than halfway this is the hard part as

far as length of time you can see one

centimeter five centimeters six

centimeters eight centimeters and this

right here is complete complete means

when we go to do a vaginal exam on you

we no longer feel any parts of the

cervix all we feel is baby's head and

what's really unique about being

complete is that it's nine centimeters

plus whatever it takes to get over your

baby's head so your baby might be a

smaller baby you might only need nine

and a half centimeters of your cervix

dilating your baby might be a bigger

baby or maybe have its head in a funky

position and so your baby might need

eleven centimeters to get over your

baby's head but either way we call it

ten centimeters and documenting but we

also when you're in labor this is known

as complete

so effacing is known as the thin

of the cervix the reason why this is

important is because the cervix needs to

thin out before it can truly dilate when

we're talking about cervical effacement

it goes in percentages so it would be

zero to a hundred percent 100 percent

every survey of your cervix being

effaced is actually as thin as a sheet

of paper it's really incredible

zero percent effaced means that the

cervix is not thinned out at all and so

you can see that here it's actually

really close to being the length of the

neck of a wine bottle and here I'm gonna

use a mason jar to show you guys how

much thinner it can get this is about 50

percent effaced so if you're refacing

zero to 100% we discuss that the

basement means that the cervix is being

pulled back or thinned out the reason

why this is important is because it's

kind of like when you stretch out a

balloon before you blow it up right that

thinning of the tissue of the balloon

makes it easier to blow up and so efface

menteur the thinning of the cervix makes

it easier for the cervix to open and

here's a really good example so if this

is your uterus right this is the house

this is baby's house right here and our

baby's inside this little light pink

part down here is our cervix currently

our cervix is completely closed and 0%

youface it's nice and long and thick

right as your baby descends in deeper

into the pelvis and your uterus is doing

its job contracting this uterine muscles

to push your baby down which dilate and

efface is your cervix the the cervix

kind of opens kind of like a turtleneck

sweater right the baby's head comes down

you can see the the cervix is thinning

so what was a minute ago in real life

several hours ago nice and long like the

neck of the wine-bottle I showed you is

now getting thinner you can see here now

it's very very thin

and it's dilating right we've got about

five centimeters maybe you know five

centimeters or so right here and so as

the baby continues to descend the cervix

opens it's a hundred percent effaced and

in fact now you are in fact complete

which is pretty neat and so where does

the cervix go exactly when it eatle D

faces and dilates so contrary to what

I've learned a lot of people are

believing the cervix is not actually its

own organ like I said it's actually just

part of the uterus it's the part of the

uterus that does not expand from

pregnancy and so as this cervix starts

to efface and dilate it just becomes a

part of the lower uterine segment so it

doesn't disappear it just gets pulled

back kind of like a turtleneck sweater

so mom as I hope this video helped you

ladies understand a little bit more

about dilating any facing and now

hopefully you can take this information

that I've showed you and apply it to

your Labor's thanks for watching on this

midwife Monday I'll see you guys next

week bye