We need to talk about some of the symptoms of an open cervix during pregnancy. Because most new parents-to-be are anxious about labor and delivery. And they’re not really sure what to expect or how they’ll “know” it’s time. So how are you supposed to know if your cervix is dilating?
We asked the experts how to tell the difference between lightning crotch and the symptoms of an open cervix during pregnancy — because sometimes it’s hard for even seasoned moms to be able to tell and know for sure.
What does it mean for your cervix to open?
“The cervix starts out at zero centimeters, and slowly softens and begins to create an opening when labor is a couple of weeks away,” says Rachel Taylor, a registered labor and delivery nurse. “The cervix will go from zero centimeters to 10 centimeters open when it's time to push the baby out,” she says.
When does your cervix open during pregnancy?
Taylor says that in most cases, your cervix will slowly begin to open around 37 to 40 weeks gestation depending on how active mom is and how many babies she’s given birth to.
However, just because you’re having symptoms of an open cervix during pregnancy, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in labor, Dr. Jamil Abdur-Rahman, M.D., an OB-GYN, medical travel blogger, and half of the twin duo for TwinDoctorsTV tells Romper.
Signs your cervix is opening/opened
Sometimes you can literally feel your cervix start to open, according to Taylor. “You may notice what feels like a deep "lightning crotch" when the cervix is beginning to open. You may also notice "wiggle feelings" deep in the pelvis from the cervix softening and opening, which many women mistake for baby movement.
And there’s more. The experts list five potential signs your cervix is opening for you to look out for.
If you notice the five signs above, it may be a good time to call your healthcare provider — your baby just might be on the way. And if you’re still fairly early in your pregnancy, it’s crucial you call your healthcare provider right away for an assessment.
Dr. Jamil Abdur-Rahman, M.D., an OB-GYN and medical travel blogger for TwinDoctorsTV.
Rachel Taylor, a registered labor and delivery nurse, mother-baby nurse, founder of Mama Did It, and a Spinning Babies® certified parent instructor.