Well.. I went to the doctor's..

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2007
Well.. I went to the doctor's..
Thu, 07-12-2007 - 1:42pm

She said the baby dropped, he's head down, I'm "negative one station" and my cervix is softening. She said it should be 2-4 weeks now! I was surprised to hear this because I'm 35 weeks now. Hopefully she's right and I won't have an over-due baby. I want to meet him NOW!!

P.S. - I have a vague idea, but what exactly does "negative one station" mean?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-09-2007
Mon, 07-16-2007 - 7:55pm

From drspock.com

Common words: what they mean
Following is a list of definitions of some terms you may hear from your practitioner as she reports the changes in your cervical exam:

* Cervical ripening. Early in labor, or even at a late prenatal visit, your practitioner may tell you that your cervix is ripe. This means that your cervix has softened (a cervix typically feels similar to a nose) and may be even somewhat dilated. Ripeness is a term sometimes used to indicate that your body is ready for labor.

* Dilation is the width that the cervix is open. Dilation can begin before labor actually starts, or in early labor, and is measured in centimeters. For most deliveries, the cervix needs to dilate from zero (not dilated at all) to 10 centimeters (fully dilated) before pushing can begin and the baby delivered. This range is based on the fact that a full-term baby's head is about 10 centimeters across.

* Effacement is the shortening, or thinning, of the cervix. Like dilation, it begins before or during early labor. Before effacement takes place, the cervix is like a long bottleneck, usually about 4 centimeters in length. As effacement takes place, the cervix then shortens, or effaces, pulling up into the uterus and becoming part of the lower uterine wall. Effacement may be measured in percentages, from zero percent (not effaced at all) to 100 percent, which describes a paper-thin cervix.

* Station refers to how high the baby's head, or other presenting part, is in the pelvis. This information is important because practitioners need to get a sense of how far the baby has descended into the birth canal. Station is determined by feeling where the baby rests in relation to the ischial spines, the parts of the pelvic girdle that protrude slightly in toward the birth canal and can be felt inside the vagina by an experienced examiner.

Station is measured from minus 5 to plus 5. Minus 5 station means the baby is floating above the pelvis. Zero station means the baby has dropped or engaged well into the pelvis and that his head rests right at the level of the ischial spines. And plus 5 means the baby's head not only has come down past the ischial spines, but also is visible at the opening of the vagina (also known as crowning). While the principle is still the same, some practitioners use a scale of minus 3 to plus 3 instead of 5.

gavin.gif mini pooper from tara picture by caulyne