Slow Dilation and what you can do to help

Updated: Apr 9, 2019

Ever heard the term 'failure to progress' or know someone who got to '5cm and then nothing more'?

Have you ever wondered how that happens? How does our body go from working to get this baby out to completely stopping and refusing to go further?

Cervical dilation and effacement are two process' that are actually pretty easy to understand. Essentially, we need the cervix to thin out & shorten and then dilate - or open - so that baby can descend into the birth canal and be born.

So how does this process begin?? It all starts with baby!

When your bub has situated themselves into the pelvic outlet and is putting enough pressure on the cervix, it triggers the effacement and dilation process.

The trick with this is that, in most cases, we need baby in an LOA (left occiput anterior) position in order for adequate pressure to be placed on the cervix, enabling effective dilation and effacement.

Why is this??

An LOA position, means baby is able to tuck their chin forward getting the SMALLEST part of the head to hit the cervix (which is a win for mum & baby for size alone) and apply maximum pressure on the cervix.

If baby is in a less than ideal position (ie. Breech, posterior & even ROA) their ability to tuck the chin forward is limited. Which means the longer part of their head is descending into the pelvis. This can lead to pressure being placed in front, rather than on, the cervix and therefore dilation and effacement can be slow.

And no one wants a prolonged labour if we can help it.

So can we help it??


Check out our three top tips below...

Get off the couch.

Slouching backward encourages a posterior pelvic tilt, limiting babies movement and descent into the pelvis. Use a fit ball, dining chair or try lying on your side instead.

Have your spine and pelvis checked.

These areas it can have a huge effect on our babies ability to move into a great position for birth. Touch base with your pregnancy trained Chiropractor and Acupuncturist to have your spine and pelvis assessed.

Movement is key.

Improving movement and flexibility is a great way to support baby into a great position as it helps balance the spinal and pelvis muscles and ligaments. Look for your local prenatal yoga or pilates or start with a gentle walk.

We are passionate about giving mums the tools to assist baby into a great position for birth.

So check out our online workshops and instagram for more specific tips on how to get baby on the move.



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