a warm welcome

This is birthing with Guinever, a place dedicated to pregnancy and birth. I hope you can find the answers that you’re looking for about your pregnancy. It is my hope that you will trust labor so you can birth your baby with confidence.

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Please look to the sidebar to find your way around this website. You’ll see a listing of the most popular articles as well as the most recent posts. Follow links to find a midwife, doula, childbirth class, or to information about breastfeeding.  You can also use the search bar at the top of the page.

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your labor questions answered

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credits

  • my fabulous website header and brochure were designed by Laura at dooalot graphics.
  • the belly art pictured in header was done by Amy Rickard, henna artist and birth doula in Lexington, KY and can be reached at mamaroo223 @ gmail.com.
  • all photos across this site are my own, are in the public domain, or are otherwise used with permission and credited as necessary. Some photos have been downloaded from SXC, a free stock photo exchange.
  • all written content is written and copyright by Guinever Van Campen.
  • website is hosted at lunarpages.
  • my blogging platform is  wordpress using regulus theme by binary moon.

Come and visit again because I’m always adding new articles.

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Birthing blessings, Guinever

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:13-14a

44 Comments

  • Kaitlyn

    Hey my name is Kaitlyn I have a question I’m 32 weeks pregnant and I went to the docter 2 days ago he said I was dialted to 2cm and it was thick 2cm what does that mean? I had my 2nd daughter t 36 weeks and was dialted to 3cm and she came the next mourning and I went in that evening.

  • Heidi

    I am 33 weeks pregnant by the Drs. due date but think their estimate is wrong. I know the 1st day of my last period was Sept. 6th but because I have PCOS so my periods are irregular. This is my 5th child and she is measuring in the 75th percentile for weight and way big for height. I have been having a lot of braxton hicks contractions the last couple weeks and about a week ago lost my mucus plug. Dr. said that they will stop labor regardless of their due date possibly being off if I got into labor before 34-35 weeks. Oh I didn’t find out I was pregnant until 20 weeks by the ultrasound or 25 weeks by last menstrual period.. Any thoughts?

  • angie

    Hello quick question .. im on my 3rd child and im 34 weeks and 4 days.I am already 250 cm dialated -3 …ive ben haveing on and off pains witch had gotten rulled out to dehydration or Braxton hicks… ok w.e my question is I recently felt a pop in my cervix and got a pinchy sharp pain while I was urinating .. is that something to worrie about..

  • arnesha

    Hi I am 37weekw pregnant and I’ve been to the hospital for contractions…..they told me I dilated to 2cm ….they decided to keep me because they thought I was going to deliver being that this is my fifth child they said I will go fast so they wanted to monitor me,but after that didn’t happen they sent me home.I went to my doc next day and I dilated 2 1/2 cm and 70% effaced.by me having vaginal births and four prior what can I exspect ?

  • crissy

    Hi Guinever!
    Im pregnant with my second child and she is very posterior, my midwife has been having me do exercises for a month now to get her to flip,I also have been to chiropractor and tried knee to chest and yoga. I have terrible pains in my tailbone and baby due very soon,as I am having a natural home birth I would prefer her to flip ..any ideas? PS i am having a waterbirth.

  • Toha

    Oh my! I had no idea what you were talking about so I gogoled it.I actually felt my stomach turn as I watched that.I can’t believe there’s actually 1) people out there that would do that, regardless of money offered and 2) that there’s actually a market’ out there for stuff like that.And you’re abssolutely right that’s much more disturbing than the natural body function of cervical stages.ugh!~ZZ

  • Beatrice Mendoza

    I am 36wks pregnat and this is my fifth baby. I have been expercing alot of pelvic pressure and get some contractions here and there. Laying down makes them go away and i get a little scared because my last labor was real fast i pushed one time and the bby was out. Do you think this labor will be faster or maybe even earlier?

  • Misty

    Dear G,

    i love your site. I am 35 weeks 2morra and was placed on bed rest from my midwife/caregiver last week. I went in because of strange cramps and because I had been sick for about a week and was loosing weight. She checked me and said I was dilated 2cm. I was am still am having contractions – about 5/day. I really need to keep this lil’ bun in the oven. I have a 15 month old and my hubby has taken over all my duties and is being super supportive (I am v. blessed.) Is there anything else I can do to help prolong this pregnancy and stop the contrtactions? Please, help. I will do anything.
    Thnks,
    Misty

  • Kym

    I have had a prior pg and my DS is now 2. He was born via c/s after 3 failed inductions. He was IVF and my OBs/IVF specialist felt my cervix at 37wks and said it was softening and a prime candidate for induction. I went ahead and it completely failed, the head was not even engaged. After 2 more unsuccessful attempts at both 39wks and 40wks with a head still high. My Obs said I was just a woman who DIDNT go into labour. I opted for the c/s as I didnt know I had much choice left.

    Im currently 38wks with a natural conception. My Obs has said that a natural birth is not possible as the ‘writing is already on the wall’ as it was with my son. The head has not fully engaged (all he says is the head is high). He wont do an internal. He feels if the head isnt engaged then no change can take place to the cervix. He said he could be wrong but in my case he doubts it. He really wants me to have a c/s and Im really against it so far. He said I have very little chance of going into labour and he wont induce. Is he right and is the writing on the wall?

  • jenny

    Jenny – hi there, I’m 33 weeks gone. Me and my partner had sexual intercourse yesterday morning and I noticed as soon as we started, I leaked quite abit of fluid and ever since then, when I go the toilet and wipe myself I get like this snot like mucus coming out. I have also been getting period like cramps in my lower abdomen and lower back. What woould you suggest it is? And what would you suggest to do?

  • tara

    hi, im 36 weeks and was found to have group b strepp on a swab i had taken, the midwifes phoned me to say that wen i return in 2 days time they need to give me a term appointment. does this mean i’l be enduced? a few people have told me that they’ll book me into hospital to be enduced a few days later and it’s making me nervous as it’s my first baby

  • farzana

    hi
    i m 36 weeks pregnant n had a 3 years old son.i had a c section 4 my son because he had done latrine inside.Dr didnt wasit at all 4 natural birth, when i insisted her 4 vaginal birth,she said,u want to take a dead child home or what.so i was not having any options,but to say yes to c section.this time i surely want to have a vbac.i have read a lot on net about this topic,switch 4 OB,now i had got 1,but she is also like,we will try 100% 4 vbac but if anything goes it can be a c section.my BP is 130/90 n sometimes 150/80.n nowadays have lot of swelling on my legs,so this is a thing of concern.i really want to know is vbac possible in this circumstances.

  • Kayann

    Hi I’m 39 weeks yesterday cervix not soft due date is 12th June doc tried to strip my membrane do you think I’ll go in labour by Sunday

  • rachel

    i will be 37 weeks monday with my 3rd child but i have gestational diabetes and am having a repeat c section im dilated to 4 but stopped why wont my doc go ahead and do csection he just sent me home since i stopped dilating

  • kresil

    Hi, admin, i love your post, my wife is midwives, but he scared about being normal birth, she is only want to caesar, how to persuade her?

  • Minette

    I am 38 weeks pregnant and had a cervix check yesterday. I was at 1 1/2 almost 2 cm dialated yesterday. I was contracting most of the night and this morning I had mucos with bright red blood. I have had blood after checks before, however it was more brown. I went to the hospital and they checked again and I was dialated to 3cm and contractions 3-6 minutes apart and they sent me home. They said come back if they were 3-5 min apart and stronger, or if blood was actually running down my leg or my panties were soaked. I went home and right away my contractions got stronger, but eventually eased up a little but there was quite a bit of blood in my panties. I have continued all day to have contractions 3-4, 3-5, 3-6 minutes apart some lasting 3 minutes or longer. When I went to the bathroom again there was more mucos and more blood with each wipe. This is my second child and I was 75% effaced when I was 32 weeks is this normal?

  • Georgina

    Hi Guinever,

    What a wonderful site you have.

    I am pregnant with my second baby, and hoping for a VBAC. My first pregnancy ended in a c-section due to a “non-recurring” situation (infection and related complications). I delivered 8 days beyond my due date – my water began ‘leaking’ about 5 days beyond my due date, I received a membrane sweep 2 days later (quite possibly why I developed an infection), and went into labour a few hours later. My cervix was thick and closed at the time.

    I’ve just closed 38 weeks, and am considering how I will proceed should I not go into spontaneous labour before 42 weeks. I’m open to a low-dose pitocin induction if we get to this point, and my doctor (family physician) has suggested that before we begin administering any drugs, we could consider a foley catheter as this will help diltate the cervix up to 3 or 4 cm (assuming it isn’t dilated at that point) and perhaps even kick-start labour (though FCs don’t seem to be overly successful in doing this without some other added form of intervention).

    From what I’ve read, it seems that induction is more successful when the cervix is more ‘favourable’ – i.e., progressing in terms of dilation and effacement. My understanding is that the FC can help dilate the cervix up to 3 or 4 cm, but it doesn’t do anything in terms of effacement. Is it reasonable, therefore, to try the FC without being somewhat effaced? I’m assuming I won’t be effaced at all at this point (I’ll obviously be trying all the natural approaches to induction I can in the lead up to 42 weeks, but I’m just considering the worst-case scenarios). I’ve felt a little pelvic pressure, and am hoping this is a sign that my baby is working his/her way down and thinning out my cervix. Baby also seems to be in a good position; definitely head down and I feel lots of movement high on my right side (I think feet), and am therefore thinking he/she is anterior. Seeing a chiro to help relax pelvic ligaments and hips, etc.

    I realize I’m writing to you without full context. I also understand your views on induction/interventions in general. That said, I’m just trying to weigh the options and information available to me, and it’s helpful to hear from experienced professionals. Hoping that you may have to time to provide some insight.

    Many thanks.

  • michele

    I am currently 22 weeks pregnant with my fourth child, and I have been having cramps, and feeling really nausous and sick… I went to l and d last night and they informed me that I am 1 cm dialated… I cant get ahold of my ob till monday, and I am scared to death because of the fact that I have had all my other kids at 37 weeks and have started going onto preterm labor with them at around 32-34….. So im really scared right now that something will go wrong with this baby…. Is it normal to be one cm dialated at 22 weeks… or should I drastically start worrying???

  • L

    Hi Guinever! I have a question that may seem silly (but I really have no clue about this!). I just found out I’m pregnant, and I wanted to know if I were to use a Birth Doula is there a certain week or trimester I need to be in to start seeing one?

  • Michelle

    I’m 38 weeks… and this is my first pregnancy but I’m very excited and a tad bit confused about a few things I’ve been feeling pain in my vaginal area and rectal area but it’s not intense it’s just very uncomfortable… I recently went to the bathroom and noticed something yellowish and mucus like as I wiped myself… I don’t know if it’s my mucus plug slowly coming out or what I’m eager to call my doctor but I don’t know if I should just wait until I see more signs….

  • justine rainey -pleece

    hi my daugter is 41 weeks and 5 days pregnent,she wasent sure if hher waters broke so whent to get cheked by midwife ,she didnt do any intrernel,but checked babys heart beat and it was high so sent her to hospitol to be moniterd it whent up to 205 beats per min,but came back down to 150 per min so have sent her home is this safe

  • Fatima

    Hey…I am 36weeks preggo and doc said my placenta is calcifying earlier than she expects.I only go back 2 her in the next 5days where i’l be 37weeks.is there anything to b concerned about as I read alot about stillborn births due to placental calcification.

    Fatima, I think you should express your concerns to your doctor and see what she says. I don’t think that the placenta calcifying causes stillbirth; it’s just one sign that is observed with some stillborns. Many healthy babies are born with a placenta that has started to calcify. Definitely talk to your doctor about options and whether delivering early may be an option for you. ~blessings, Guinever

  • guinever

    Dear Cheri, is there a medical reason that you’re being induced? In other words, do you have to be induced right now? If you are ok and baby is ok, what would happen if you went home for a couple days to see what happens? You can ask your doctor that.

    Please don’t be frustrated with your body. Forty weeks is only an estimated length of gestation. And not every baby is ready to be born at 40 weeks. Inductions can take a long time if your body is not ready for induction and patience is necessary. One of my doula clients needed to be induced at 35 weeks along because of the health of her baby. The induction took 4 days. She knew it would take a long time (since her cervix was not effaced or dilated at all to begin with plus the baby was high) and she tried to keep a positive attitude throughout her hospital stay–the induction would work, her baby would be born vaginally. She went on to have about a 6 hour labor once her cervix was really really soft and active labor kicked in. I’m telling you this just to try and encourage you.

    So the chances are high to have a vaginal birth IF you either go home and relax or IF you have a positive outlook and be patient with your induction. Hope this helps! birthing blessings, Guinever

  • Cheri

    I am 40 weeks pregnant – my due date is today 12.5 I went into the hospital on Thursday night to be induced – it didn’t work. I am not dilated at all after two doses of Cervidil and 12 hours of waiting with each dose. I am frustrated with my body especially since I am not dilating. At the last appt the doctor said that my cervix was very very soft and baby was 50% effaced, but it’s been like this since week 38. Are inductions like this unsucessful often and what are the chances that I will go on to have a normal delivery/labor?

  • natalie bunce

    hi im 33wks pregnant with my 5th baby i went to see my midwife on friday and she said that the baby is 2/5 engaged never haing been told this b4 im a bit connfused by it does this mean i will have my baby early

    Dear Natalie, I have never heard the baby’s station or engagement referred to in fractions either. I’m not sure what that means. It does not mean that you will have your baby early. ~blessings, Guinever

  • Latoya

    I am 26 weeks pregnant and it feels like i have to pee constantly. Sometimes when i pee, i see clear and it look mucus like. Is that my amniotic fluid leaking? Sometimes when i sneeze and cough it feels like something is leaking to. I went to the hospital a few weeks ago and the doc said i had a yeast infection and uti but i think it has cleared up cause i am not having the same symptoms as i did when i went to the hospital. Do you think I need to go on to the hospital or wait until i go to the doc on thursday to get checked out?

    Latoya, I think you could benefit from doing kegel exercises. A strong kegel muscle can decrease or even eliminate your leaking while you sneeze, cough or laugh. The constant urge to pee is most likely the baby on your bladder, but it could also be a urinary tract infection. If you have other signs of a UTI, you may want to get checked out before you appointment.

    It is totally normal to have extra mucous throughout your pregnancy. If it were your fluid leaking, your clothing would be damp and it wouldn’t come out only when you go to the bathroom–you can’t control the flow of amniotic fluid.
    ~blessings, Guinever

  • sarah

    i am 25 weeks preg. with my fourth child. i have been feeling pressure for a few weeks now, and started spotting. it lasted for about 2 days, and now it has stopped. i told my dr. about it, he checked me and said i was not dialated, but my cervix was soft. i have another ultrasound to check the position of the placenta, do i have anything to worry about?

    Dear Sarah, only time will tell. Try not to worry. A little bit of cervical softening at this point is not cause for concern, but if it progresses, you may want to take it easy (doctor might suggest bedrest or decreased activity.) ~blessings, Guinever

  • Bianca Hennager

    Hi Guinever!

    I posted earlier under the Polyhydramios story with the telling of second son’s birth story.

    I wanted to update you on my third birth experience. I was trying to have a VBAC and was concerned that my OB/Gyn was not as supportive of having a VBAC as he originally stated he was. Due to timing and events, my husband sought a job up in Northern CA and got it (which started at the beginning of August). I was due the second week of August, and we originally decided that I would stay behind to have the baby. After moving everything the beginning of July, he coaxed me to look into Ob doctors in the area, and to see if the local hospital supported VBACs, I was blessed to find an Ob who would take me on at 37 weeks wanting a VBAC and the local hospital supported it as well.

    I went into labor one day before my due date and was able to have a natural VBAC delivery. We welcomed our precious baby girl into this world on August 7th weighing in at 9 lbs 13 ozs and 21 inches. Her head was 15 in around. I feel so blessed to have had a good experience, and the ability to have it happen in a hospital. I know that is not the norm nowadays with hospital policies, nurses and doctors who are unfamiliar with natural childbirth, etc.

    I appreciate your insight and prayers. May you continue to inspire and educate women on their ability to birth naturally!

    Bianca, thanks so much for sharing your birth story. It is wonderful that you found supportive care givers and a birthplace that would allow you to seek and achieve VBAC. That is rare in today’s America’s hospitals. ~blessings, Guinever

  • Kayla

    Hi
    I am 33 weeks pregnant and I have been experiencing uterine pains whenever I stand up, roll over, use the restroom, when the baby moves and I also experience it when Im just laying in the bed not doing anything. I called my obgyn and he said that it could be round ligament pain, but the pain Im having does not go away at times it gets worse.

    Is this normal or do I need a second opinion?

    Dear Kayla, this is something that can be relieved through chiropractic care. I hope you find relief. ~blessings, Guinever

  • Dee

    I had been having regular contractions (varying in frequency but often every 3-5 minutes) since about 28 weeks of pregnancy. At 30 weeks, dr found I had started to dilated 2-3. Since then I’ve been in the hospital 5 times (given terbutaline, procardia, and steriod injections on different visits), and slowly progressed to my current 4-5 cm. I spent 6 weeks on bed rest and was able to get up at 36 weeks. Now I’m 37 weeks and my contractions have slowed drastically for the last couple of weeks – I can go hours without having any! Have you heard of this before? I’m so surprised (and happy) that I’m still pregnant and now that it would be safe to deliver, things have slowed down. Just wondering how common this is and how long women sometimes go around dilated to 4+ cm?
    Thanks!

    Dee, it’s perfectly normal to be very dilated and not in labor yet. You have nothing to fear. As far as when your labor will start, only time will tell. ~blessings, Guinever

  • Amy

    Hi, I am 35 weeks pregnant. At today’s appointment, my doctor performed the Group B Strep test and also did an internal check. I was not expecting the check to be painful, as pelvic exams are generally no problem for me. (The same doctor did the pelvic at the beginning of my pregnancy, and it was fine.) However, when she inserted her fingers today, it was excruciating. She said that my cervix was too high for her to really reach. When I asked her why the exam was so much more painful than usual, she didn’t really give me an answer, but just said something like “some women have more pain” and said nothing is wrong with me.

    I am very worried about the quick check being so painful when she couldn’t even reach my cervix! Do you know what might have caused the increased pain? I have been having quite a lot of lower back and hip pain, but no vaginal pain other than during the exam today.

    Any input would be appreciated.

    Dear Amy, I’m guessing that the exam was painful because your doc tried to reach your cervix and couldn’t. Trying to find your cervix can be painful if it’s high and posterior. I wouldn’t worry about anything. ~blessings, Guinever

  • Kim

    Hi, I’m 41 weeks today with my first . I just wanted to know if my Dr is supposed to give me a vaginal exam/cervical check? I haven’t had any vaginal exams/ cervical checks through out my pregnancy and I don’t have another appointment until the end of the week. My other question is it also normal for the Dr. to not want to induce a patient. Not that i want to be induced i like the fact that i can carry until he is ready.

    Dear Kim, what you are describing is rare with doctors. It is very desirable and its wonderful that he is not checking your or pressuring you for an induction. You will go into labor when you and your baby are ready and you will birth your baby. ~blessings, Guinever

  • DIANA

    Hello LOVE THE SITE!!!!! I been reading some stories in this site for a while and until now i decided to put a question since there’s always an answer for my questions in your site but until now something strange happen in my pregnancy. Am 32 weeks now and I found out that i was 1 centimeter dilated this is my third pregnancy and this didnt happen in my last pregnancies…Am AFRAID that i might go into Pre-Term Labor… My Baby weighs about 4 pounds my doctor told me that this not exactly mean i might go early in labor since you can be dilated for weeks before it happens..BUT am concerned i STOPPED from having sex with my Husband because of that.. My Doctor didn’t say anything about it.. Do you think it’s still safe for me to still be sexually active with my husband i really have cravings on that!!!! LOL!!!

    Dear Diana, why were you getting a cervical check this early in pregnancy? Were you having pressure or pain? If not, I question why you would need to be checked at this point in your pregnancy. If your doctor didn’t say anything about abstaining from intercourse, then you’re probably ok. If you experience bleeding or have more than a few very intense contractions, then it might not be a good idea. ~blessings, Guinever

  • Crystal Sewell

    Hi there!

    Thank you so much for the sleeping advice for Sofia. We really need it. She actually did very well last night, I think mostly because she was so exhausted. She did wake up at 5am however, but my dear sweet hubby got up with her to let me get a couple more hours of sleep.

    I will definitely try the method you have given me. I also agree that naptime is non-negotiable.

    Thanks again!

    God Bless
    Crystal Sewell <

  • Kim

    I am 36 weeks along I was on a terbutaline pump for ten weeks to stop my pre-term labor now I am off the medicine. The doctor told me I was more than 80 % effaced and about 3 centimeters dialated. I have been having contractions but they have been irregular. Will I be having this baby soon like in the next few days? I am very anxious since my last pregnancy ended badly.

    Dear Kim, I really can’t predict when you will have your baby. It could be right away, or who knows, you may carry your baby full-term. Try to enjoy the rest of your pregnancy whether it’s a few days or a few weeks. ~birthing blessings, Guinever

  • Crystal Sewell

    I just wanted to let you know that we found out I am pregnant this past Tuesday!!! Praise the Lord!!! I am 4 weeks today and counting. I posted a blog about it if you are interested. Thanks for the prayers!

    God Bless
    Crystal

    CONGRATULATIONS. I’m so happy for you.

  • Angela

    I am almost 33 wks pregnant. I just went to my doctors and she said I am 2 cm dilated on the outside of my cervix. What does this mean? I have about 3 contractions an hour.

    Angela, I am not familiar with the term, “outside” of the cervix. Being 2 cm dilated means that you’re cervix is starting to open up a bit. ~Guinever

  • Crystal Sewell

    Oh I am so glad that I found this site! My husband and I have a 16 month old daughter and are trying to get pregnant again. We have had three miscarriages and we so pray for more children. With our daughter Sofia I was “scared into an epidural”. I wanted so badly to have Sofia naturally, but my husband and I didn’t have the support we needed. The next child’s birth will be different! We have a great church family who are so supportive and encouraging in our journey to conceive and give birth again! Thank you so much for making all this information available! What a blessing it is to have other women who have the same heart I have about child birth!

    God Bless
    Crystal < (SAHM)

  • mandy

    i am 36 wks and 5 days my doctor says that my baby is in my pelvis now, how long does it take approx to go into labor after this has happened? This is my 5th child.

    Dear Mandy, It seriously could be anytime in the next 5 weeks. “Dropping” is not an indicator that labor will start right away. Sometimes it does, but not always. ~blessings, Guinever

  • karla

    Guinever,
    Your resourcefulness and passion for natural birth are gifts! You are a tremendous blessing to women and their families in our community. Thank you!

  • Elaine

    I love the new look! Great job designing and updating your site. I recommend it to all the mothers-to-be that I know!

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