This Dilation Chart Perfectly Illustrates Why Moms 'Deserve All The Things'

by Julie Scagell
Originally Published: 
SCV Birth Center via Facebook

You really do have to see it to believe it

We all have our own birth stories — the good, bad, and ugly of how our sweet little angels made their way into the world. Each story is uniquely personal and while the painful bits slowly fade over time, for those of us who’ve had vaginal births, this next picture will bring it all screaming home.

Earlier this month, Facebook user Steffanie Christi’an posted a now-viral photo of a wooden dilation chart originally shared by SCV Birth Center showing what the cervical dilation process looks like centimeter by centimeter. She commented, “This is why we deserve all the things,” and really, who can argue with that? No one, that’s who.

*slowly unclenches vagina*

I mean, wow.

SCV Birth Center via Facebook

SBV’s original post said, “Whelp—that’s what 10 centimeters looks like. Just perfect for that little head.” Unless your child had a head the size of a watermelon, then it quickly becomes “I’ll take fourth-degree tear for 500, Alex.” Fifteen years and two C-sections later (because, hello) and I’m still holding a grudge.

The SCV Birth Center, the only nationally accredited CABC birth center in Santa Clarita Valley, Antelope, and San Fernando Valley, uses the boards as an educational instrument to help show women what their cervix will be going through during labor. It definitely leaves zero room for questions other than, “Say what now?”

The center provides “personalized maternity and well-woman care including natural childbirth, home birth, and waterbirth options,” to women in the region. In the comments section of their post, they also want you to know if you want a dilation board like the one pictured, you can get your very own at Fromjennifer on Etsy.

I’m not sure I personally need one hanging on my wall as a reminder, but it does show (to scale) what a woman’s body can do during childbirth and would be a great education tool for doctors and midwives. We always knew we were badasses but this chart really brings it home.

It’s also important for women to understand what their bodies will be going through during labor and delivery. We’ve all read the “What to Expect” books telling us the importance of having a birth plan, what to pack for the hospital, common labor positions, and the like, but actually seeing what will be transpiring is something quite different.

The cervix must be 100 percent effaced and ten centimeters dilated before a vaginal delivery, and the time it takes to get there varies a great deal. If you’ve been induced or have had prior births, you may move through the dilation process more quickly. For others, it can take hours, even days, to become fully dilated.

Of course, our kids are worth all our bodies go through during labor. Dilation is just one of the amazing things that happens to allow us to bring another life into the world. Bottom line though? Women’s bodies are incredible and we do deserve all of the things.

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