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3 Bumps

Can you go into labor if you haven't dilated at all?

I don't know if this is a stupid question or not lol. I was just curious because I haven't dilated at all and I'm having my c-section in 8 days and was wondering what the chances of me going into labor and not being dilated are. I dilated to 3 cm before I had my son but was induced so I never "went into" labor.

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Asked by tiffanynichols at 5:14 AM on May. 15, 2011 in Pregnancy

Level 17 (3,444 Credits)
Answers (13)
  • i wasn't dilated at all at a dr appt & had the kid naturally the next night. so your answer is YES!!

    Answer by mrsary at 5:58 AM on May. 15, 2011

  • Some women experience distinct signs. Labor and Delivery is supposed to start when the "water breaks" then to the next phase whre contractions and the cervix dilates. Doctors check for dilation and usually wait for the cervix to dilate ten centimeters for the process of delivery to start. My friend didn't have any of these signs except a sharp pain so she decided to head to the hospital and as soon she got off from the car she could fill the baby was coming. Her daughter was born right that instant. This is a very rare scenario of course.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:10 AM on May. 15, 2011

  • Ha ha I asked this question the other night and got, pretty much the same answer as mrsary, that you can be dilated 0 cm and then go into labor the next day or be dilated 3 cm for weeks and ever go into labor. I'll be 39 weeks tomorrow and had to be induced my first baby at 41 weeks and would love to go in labor on my own. Since my appointment last Wednesday, I'm dilated 0 and would love to go into labor on my own and not have to be induced again. But, my doctor said she's seen patterns of women who have to be induced once, seem to have to always be induced.

    Answer by ABPeterson at 7:06 AM on May. 15, 2011

  • no u have to dialate to go into labor unless they make u dialate

    Answer by momtobe522 at 7:47 AM on May. 15, 2011

  • My water broke before I dilated. In fact I didn't start dilating until they gave me pitocin.

    Answer by Ludvik_Smith at 8:23 AM on May. 15, 2011

  • This Mayo Clinic article might be helpful (although they say that early labor can last "days" and for me that part was weeks long). Basically the early stages have an unpredictable length and for some women early labor transitions really quickly into active labor so they never know they were in early labor. I never went into active labor on my own. I was induced with both DDs including artificially breaking my water and having a Pitocin IV.


    Answer by AmourSpork at 8:58 AM on May. 15, 2011

  • i thought my contractions were false labor til i went to bathroom with urge to push then as i did that i saw blood. drove to hospital with my other 2 kids (ages 1 & 4 at the time). put them in double stroller, took elevator to 5th floor in hospital, got on the table for the nurses to tell me the baby's head was crowning. had him less than 15 min after getting to hospital. lol. remember, the day before went to DR and wasn't dilated at all!!!!

    Answer by mrsary at 10:00 AM on May. 15, 2011

  • The short answer is, "YES." Dilation is just one way for your care provider to measure your ripeness for induction. It isn't a reliable indicator of when you will go into labor.

    Answer by nepenthe429 at 10:25 AM on May. 15, 2011

  • *Funny you asked this, I just responded to you about cervix checking over in another Question! ;-P

    Dilation is needed for baby to come out, but not to go into labor.
    Knowing what the cervix is doing at any moment isn't usually helpful information.

    If you're having a cesarean why are they even checking you at all?
    You'd said it concerned you so you might as well decline the offer.
    No need even if you were planning a vaginal and late.

    Answer by doulala at 10:59 AM on May. 15, 2011

  • "But, my doctor said she's seen patterns of women who have to be induced once, seem to have to always be induced."

    Isn't this more a "failure to wait" though? Or choosing to manage the birth?
    Since we can dilate at any point, at any time, limiting Nature for the doctor/patient is not about "have to." Probably just this doctors practice style.

    I don't encourage women to intervene (especially with such big risks) unless there is a medical need ---when health & safety are the priority.

    Answer by doulala at 11:02 AM on May. 15, 2011

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