26 answers

2-3 Cm Dilated- Can I Hold off on Going into Labor?

I am 32 weeks pregnant with twins and have had one baby. Just found out that I am 2-3 cm dilated, but have had no real contractions. Has anyone been in this situation and made it to 35- 37 weeks? Am I dreaming to think I can? I really do not want to have them so early. ANy advice on how to keep those babes in me??
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I was 2cm dilated at about 31 weeks, I went on bed rest and made it to 36 1/2 weeks before the baby was born. I had a two year old at the time also and it was hard for me to let friends and family do everything for me and chase my toddler while I just laid on the couch, but I just kept reminding myself it was for the baby. Don't be afraid to let everyone you know help you in any way that they can.

I have no knowledge or experience with twin pregnancies, but I dilated to 3 cm 10 weeks early with my first baby, and she waited until 6 days past her due date. My second baby, I dilated to 3 cm about 4 weeks early, but he too waited until his due date.

I had twins and went weeks and weeks dilated. I delivered at 37 weeks. A week before I had them, I went into the hospital because one of my twins went breech and I didn't look pregnant at all! So I rushed to the hospital. I was 4 dilated and 80 effaced. They wanted to take them then but my doc was on vacation so I said no. I kept them in another week until her got back.

You might not feel the contractions. I never felt a one and they said it was because I was so big that I might not feel them. Everytime they hooked me up I would see them on the monitor.

You can do this. Just take it easy. Rest often. I was on bedrest from 24 weeks on, the last week being full on, not even to pee bedrest.

Good luck and enjoy those babies.

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I don't know about twins, but I was 3 cm dilated for 3 weeks before my first son came. My sister had a similar experience.

Good luck!
C.

while it is more common for moms of multiples to have earlier labors, it is also common to be 2-3 cm dilated for a long time without going into labor. If you are not have contractions, you are probably OK. In fact I was about 2 cm dilated for over 4 weeks with my second pregnancy. (singleton who went full term) If you are not seeing a chiropractor, I would suggest that. Chiropractors can help make the pregnancy more comfortable and keep baby "happy" in -utero. I have known moms of multiples go full term if they are cared for naturally.

I was dilated to 2-3 cm with all of my babies by around 32 weeks and none of them were born until 38 weeks. I went on bedrest with the first two, but the third time the doctor just watched me. She finally stripped my membranes when I was 5 cm and still not in active labor at 38 weeks. Everyone is different, but with twins I would say that you probably need to put your feet up and take it easy if you want to keep those babies in.

I was 3 cm dilated with both of my first two kids for over a month. Good luck :-)

Well, two things to put your mind at ease: women can go weeks being a few centimeters dilated without going into labor, so you could certainly make it a few more days or even weeks. A good friend of mine is due any day now and has been dilated 3 cm for the past two weeks.

Second: everything I have read prior to myself giving birth says to avoid cervical checks altogether as much as possible. They are not good assessment tools in pregnancy and the only time they are helpful is when you are actually in labor - and even then they should be limited. By doing cervical checks it is UNAVOIDABLE even by the most skilled providers to shove bacteria up your birth canal, that can cause infection and early labor. I would strongly suggest that especially since you want to avoid labor for as long as possible, to ask your provider if another cervical exam is really necessary and what kind of information he gets from it, or if you could avoid it altogether.
Talk to your doctor about it.
Good luck!

I had twins and was dilated for weeks before I had them at 38 weeks.My OB started having me do NST (non stress tests) to make sure I was not having contractions.I did start to go into pre labor they did have to give me trib and mag to stop my labor at 32 weeks I was then put on bed rest and was able to hold off. If we had not been doing the NST we would not have cought the labor in it's first stages. This is not to scare you but I would talk to your doc about the NST drik lots and lots of water and listen to your body if you think you are over doing it then stop and put your feet up and rest. You know your body best and it is OK to questions your doc. Good Luck

Boy it sounds like you are getting a lot of advice and none of which really covers your entire scenerio. Well, here is another one. I was preggers with by twins and I was high risk. I went in to see my doctor in hopes to see if I was dilated at all. I was pretty excited. I was 32 weeks. I knew it would be better to hold off until at least 36 weeks. My appointment went the same as always, but she didn't check to see if I was dilated or not, or at least I didn't think she checked. Never been pregnant before I thought I might have missed something. hehe. So she was on her way out the door and I stopped her and asked if I was dilated. And she said.. (this is a little graphic) "oh, I am not going to my fingers up there, I might get something started". I totally started cracking up. When the nurse came in she asked how everything was and if I was dilated and I told her what the doctor said and she started laughing too. She said that sounds like Dr. Chan. She was the cutest little asian doctor I have ever seen. I could barely understand her with her accent but I loved her to pieces. So I guess I was trying to make you laugh a little and to let you know that even if you are high risk you don't need to the exams to check to see if you are dilated. I would mention "the getting something started" to your doctor and see how they feel about it at your next visit. My advice would be to just relax, no lifting and just light walking. By the way, I ended up making it to 36 weeks and one day. So take a load of your feet, you will be running around with those twins in no time. At least you have had some practice with your 2yrs old. I was heading into this blindly. Good luck.

With my 10lb singleton (and the 20+lb placenta...I was HUGE...the size of a woman with triplets) I was dilated 2-3 centimeters for almost a month. My midwife (also had her phd in nursing, and taught gynecological surgery up at the UW) said it was super common, especially with multiples and big babies. Lot's o'pressure going on down there. She said no exercise, lifting, etc beyond gentle walking/waddling, ad to practice my keigles (but I was high risk...so that may have just been me)...and not to worry. She said my body was just prepping.

Hi S., I just had twin boys at 38 weeks a month ago. I was 3 cm dilated and having regular contractions for three weeks and I still needed to be induced at 38 weeks (my doctor didn't want me to go past that and good thing as my boys both weighed in at 7 lbs when I delivered!). I was almost 4 cms dilated and 80% effaced when I went into the hospital to be induced and it still took major amounts of pitocin and breaking my water to get things moving. I was in labour for 11 hours in total so those boys were just not coming out even though Baby A was head down and engaged for three weeks, too! If you haven't had contractions, it's probably a good sign. What does your doctor say? Obviously for me it was totally possible. I wasn't checked before 35 weeks, but if I was 3 cm dilated by then, I'm pretty sure I was dilated before then, too! As for keeping them in, remember to rest, rest, rest. That's probably the only thing you can do to not bring on labour. I was told to put my feet up at 35 weeks so I would make it to 36 weeks and I went to 38. I found lifting my son or any other heavy lifting and lots of activity brought on contractions so I hired a babysitter for a week and literally put my feet up. My husband did all the housework, etc., and then my parents arrived to help when I was 36 weeks and I did nothing until the birth...

Anyway, good luck with the labour, etc. If you ever need to talk about having twins or need support, don't hesitate to contact me (____@____.com). I'm fairly new to it still, obviously, but it's been working out well so far... Biggest problem is my two and a half year old! And I do know a few other people with twins.

I sat at 3 cm dilated with my daughter for over 3 weeks and my son for over 2.......so yes, it is possible. However, you don't get to control that so your little ones will decide that. LOL.

Melissa.

I had twins and went weeks and weeks dilated. I delivered at 37 weeks. A week before I had them, I went into the hospital because one of my twins went breech and I didn't look pregnant at all! So I rushed to the hospital. I was 4 dilated and 80 effaced. They wanted to take them then but my doc was on vacation so I said no. I kept them in another week until her got back.

You might not feel the contractions. I never felt a one and they said it was because I was so big that I might not feel them. Everytime they hooked me up I would see them on the monitor.

You can do this. Just take it easy. Rest often. I was on bedrest from 24 weeks on, the last week being full on, not even to pee bedrest.

Good luck and enjoy those babies.

I didn't have twins but on May 5th I was dialated to a 2...so I'm thinking anyday...Well she was due on the 20th and they took her c-section (she was supposed to be 11 lbs by then) on the 22nd, I never went past a 2 and I never had any contrations...Hope that gives you some hope :) Congrats!

i was 3 cm dialated around 35 weeks. they found out by accident b/c there were no symptoms, but my dr put me on bedrest. i made it two more weeks, then my water broke. so it is possible to keep the pregancy going for a while. i'm sure your Dr. will advise you. i personally didn't think bedrest would help much, i dont think there is much scientific evidence to support it, but after doing it (and it sucked- maybe i'll watch oprah again...?) i totally think that it helped.
good luck and i hope you make it another month!

With my 2nd child I was 2-3cm dilated for the last 12 weeks of my pregnancy - and my (single) baby wasn't big at all. One thing my Dr. was concerned about was possible dehydration because that can cause premature labor. If I had early contractions (more than 5 Braxton Hicks an hour), they advised me to drink 2-3 glasses of water and sit/lie down for an hour or two. They did put me on bed rest the last 3 weeks, but that was because my amniotic fluid volume was low.
Tell your doctor about your concerns. Many doctors are so busy trying to inform you about "worst case" (lawsuit protection) that they don't remember to reassure you of what you can do to improve the odds. I'm pretty sure you have an excellent chance to keep your twins inside of you long enough to get their lungs to mature. But you may want to plan to get some extra help caring for your 2 year old during these last weeks.

This is not with twins but both of my pregnancies I was dilated well over 2 cm for over 3 weeks. From my understanding is as long as no contractions and the baby/s don't drop down all should be fine. I personally whether or not the doctor thinks you need to would take it very, very easy for the next 6 weeks at least. Get has much help as you can. Stay very, very hydrated. Keep yourself happy and full of fluids.

Well your doctor can advise you - and will suggest things like bed rest and the likes.

I started having issues at 28 weeks - with bed rest and hospitalization I was able to make it to 35 weeks.

Another friend of mine had preterm labor - starting at 26 weeks - she stayed in the hospital 8 weeks before she was allowed to go home and she had her baby at 38 weeks. So modern medicine can work wonders. I also had a friend whose water broke at 33 weeks - and she was able to cook an additional week to 34.

So see what your doctor advises. And don't take any long walks or work out too hard to start things early.

I have no knowledge or experience with twin pregnancies, but I dilated to 3 cm 10 weeks early with my first baby, and she waited until 6 days past her due date. My second baby, I dilated to 3 cm about 4 weeks early, but he too waited until his due date.

Hi S.,

It's great that you have heard from so many women that they have experienced similar situations. I'll be praying for you. Be sure to pray for your babies. I used to pray for my baby girl while she was growing inside of me and it helped me relax, too.

Many women slightly dilate early, especially in subsequent pregnancies. Being pregnant with twins myself, I understand your concern. But also realize it's normal and many women will be dilated at 2-3 cm for weeks or even months before delivering!

Stay focused on a full term delivery, envision big, healthy weight babies, and continue to take in as much protein as possible to help them put on some weight and mature as much as possible. It might become necessary to do bedrest, but it's something you need to discuss with your doctor or midwife.

My midwife has done a lot of twin births and all of them have made it to 39-41 weeks. Positive thinking, a mother's efforts to maintain good health and low stress, and a good plan can take you very far!

I am happy to offer lots of encouragement as you reach these final stages. Let me know if you ever want to talk!

A.

I was 2cm dilated at about 31 weeks, I went on bed rest and made it to 36 1/2 weeks before the baby was born. I had a two year old at the time also and it was hard for me to let friends and family do everything for me and chase my toddler while I just laid on the couch, but I just kept reminding myself it was for the baby. Don't be afraid to let everyone you know help you in any way that they can.

My last month I was at a 4 with no contractions whatsoever. The doc planned to for us to go in a day after our due date and induce. That's what we did, and the petocin kicked in superbly...they had to tone it down to wait for the doc to get there! Hold off as long as you can. Unless the baby is too big. :)

I've never been pregnant with twins but... I was put on bedrest with my first pregnancy because I was having contractions and the baby dropped really low in my pelvis. It was really early too, like the beginning of the third trimester. What I wanted to share is... get some rest. I know you have a 2 year old so it probably seems impossible but really that's the best you can do. And this isn't meant to scare you, more to help you cope mentally.... if those babies are ready to come out, they are going to come there is not a darn thing anyone can do about it. I went to the urgent center a couple times because I thought I was going to have the baby early. They gave me some of that drug to help stop/slow the contractions, forget what it's called, but while I was there the doctor basically said this is all we can do and if you body really decides its going into labor that's just what its going to do. So my point is...try to relax, get some rest, but regardless don't beat yourself up. All you can do is your best. Hang in there. It will be just fine. :)

Short answer: yes. But, you need help from you doctor or midwife. Are you getting regular prenatal care? I am 33 weeks pregnant with twins and have an almost 20 month old. I was just sent home from the hospital yesterday for strict bed rest and am taking a medication called terbutaline to slow the contractions. I was 3 cm on Monday at my regular check up and having some (non painful) contractions so my doctor sent me over to get monitored. The contractions were coming every 3 to 4 min so they administered the terbutaline. I went home but on Wednesday morning was feeling some pretty strong contractions so they told me to come back in. I had more terb and was set up to the monitor again. Spent the night and had the steroid injections (to prep their lungs). I'm still at 3 cm and hoping to stay that way for at least a week, I'd love to make it to 35 weeks. If you aren't having contractions that's a good thing, but maybe you are and not really feeling them. I thought mine were just braxton hicks, so it's good to mention anything and everything to your provider, that's what they are there for. I would recommend bed rest (which I know is REALLY difficult with a toddler) but hopefully you have help. I'm normally a "do it yourself" type of person and right now I'm really having to depend on my husband and his family and our friends for support but it is the best thing for the babies. Let me know if you'd like to speak further. Best of luck. We should start a twin play/support group since ours will be close in age!!!

I think you are at the hands of nature. I did not have twins, but I was a t 3 cm for almost 4 weeks wehn my son was born a week late. At that point I was like yeah any day now. and very disappointed when it kept dragging. it was summer and I was so hot with all the weight and such, but also we were having a 90+ heat too. I was so ready.

Just dont over due yourself and if you have any contractions, drink water and rest. Good luck.

With all 3 of my pregnancies I was dilated 2-4 cm and went full term. The last 2 or 3 months I was in 'prelabor'. With my middle child I lost my mucus plug, dilated to 4 cm at 20 weeks and she was still a full term baby. In my experience you should be alright...just reduce your activity level as much as possible.

What was your outcome? I just ended up in the same situation -- 3-4 cm dialated at 31 wks with twins. Everyone is freaking out but I am confident that bed rest will slow the process and I can make it 2-3 weeks. I'm surrounded by negativity in the hospital and everyone making me feel quilty for wanting to go home and wait it out on bed rest. This is my third pregnancy.

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