dilation chart childbirth

Every expecting mother in the world has heard horror stories regarding the difficulty of childbirth.

They’ve heard about how painful it can be, how their organs get moved around, the shocking reality of episiotomies, and how emergency c-sections can be traumatic and terrifying.

Almost akin to war tales, women who have given birth often enjoy talking about their own experiences.

Unfortunately for the pregnant soon-to-be moms, these frightening-sounding stories are enough to give anyone second thoughts about their ability to give birth.

Still, there is no denying that the human body is capable of a lot – and women’s bodies are able to handle a huge amount of pain and stress in order to deliver a child into the world.

Not only can women push out entire babies, but they are also able to grow them from a mass of cells to fully-grown fetus, all while providing essential nutrients along the way.

Pixabay

With that being said, the amazing nature of a body preparing for childbirth still does little to comfort expectant parents whose minds have been filled with labor horror stories!

One such potentially frightening part of the delivery is dilation. Dilation refers to the widening of the opening through which the baby passes.

Dilation starts at 1 cm and then goes up to 10 cm, at which point it’s time for the new mom to start pushing.

In America, given that the metric system isn’t used, it’s often difficult for someone to truly understand what a 10 cm dilation means.

Sure, you can logically know that it’s a pretty big space to stretch, but to fully grasp the magnitude of that stretch is difficult and quite abstract.

That’s probably why this photo, take by SCV Birth Center owner Renee Sicignano, has gone viral after being re-shared to Facebook by user Steffanie Christi’an!

In the photo, Sicignano can be seen holding up a dilation chart made from wood that has a circle cut out of each one-centimeter increment.

The 10 cm one really puts into perspective just how much work a pregnant woman has to go through!

Steffanie Christi’an / Facebook

Since Christi’an shared the post, it has gained plenty of reactions.

Some women express shock that they were able to do such a thing themselves, and others said the picture reaffirmed their decision to not have kids.

What do you think? How does this picture make you feel? Do you marvel at the human body, or are you horrified? Let us know!