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The Full Story of the Progress of Labour – 6 Ways to Progress

Dilation and effacement. These are the standard ways that healthcare providers evaluate progress during labour, but there is more to the story! Penny Simkin, author of The Birth Partner and DONA International co-founder, says there are 6 ways to progress in labour.

1. The cervix is moving forward

During your pregnancy, your cervix is long, hard and pointing slightly towards your back. In the last weeks of pregnancy and in labour, the cervix begins to move forward.

2. The cervix is ripening

During your pregnancy, your cervix is hard, but in the last weeks of your pregnancy and in early labour, your cervix begins to soften, to "ripen".

3. Effacement: the cervix is shortening/thinning