Found on the Midwifery Today website
Written by Lydi Owen
© 2008 Midwifery Today, Inc. All rights reserved.
[Editor's note: This article first appeared in Midwifery Today Issue 86, Summer 2008.]
There is a rule of labor that forbids a woman to push with contractions until her cervix is completely dilated to 10 cm. Women are warned that to push before this doorway is completely open and out of the way will result in a swollen and/or torn cervix.
What will supposedly happen if the cervix swells?Doctors, nurses, midwives, doulas and childbirth educators all warn that a swollen cervix will impede labor and increase the chances of tearing the cervix, thus causing hemorrhage. They have been taught that a swollen cervix is easily broken or pulverized. If this is indeed the truth, then why do most women during labor have an irresistible urge to begin bearing down before dilation is complete?