Birth: Can Dilation Indicate When You'll Give Birth?

I am over two centimeters dilated and minus two station at 39 weeks. Is there any reason to believe that I might deliver this week?


Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

I truly wish there was some way of telling you or even giving you a better than 50-50 guess.

Many years ago, as a new practitioner, I learned that it was a bad idea to tell someone who was very ripe and ready that she would surely deliver soon. She never would. If I told a mother with a very unripe cervix that she would not deliver for a while, she delivered that night.

I can say that if this is your first baby, it is nice to go into labor with a cervix such as yours -- a bit dilated -- because some of the work is already done, especially if the cervix is thin. It would be nice to have the baby come down to 0 station before labor, as this is a good indication that the baby is in a good position and can negotiate the pelvis. At -2 station, this is a bit high for a first time mother so close to term, but not abnormal.

If you have had a baby before, it is very normal for your cervix to be one or two centimeters dilated before labor and the head will engage most likely in labor. If you delivered early last time, you may well again.

Sorry for the avoidance of a direct answer, but there is really no true way to tell.

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