Predicting When Labor Will Begin

Picture of Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn

by Penny Simkin, PT; et al

Q: Will a vaginal exam tell me when I can expect labor to begin?

A: While a vaginal exam can provide information about the present state of your cervix, it can’t predict when you’ll go into labor or how long your labor will last. If you have a very ripe, effaced cervix, you may go into labor right away or in several weeks. The same is true if you have a thick, firm cervix.

Excerpted from: Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn: The Complete Guide, Fourth Edition

© copyright 2010 by Parent Trust for Washington Children with permission from its publisher Meadowbrook Press.

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