What is cervical ripening
Natural vs artifical cervical ripening prior to induction of labor
During pregnancy, the cervix is closed and tight to keep your baby inside the womb.
In last weeks of your pregnancy, your cervix should start softening and opening naturally until the moment, when it is wide enough to let the baby come through. Only at that moment you are ready for the labor.
When the cervix changes from being closed and firm to soft and thin, this is called natural cervical ripening.
If cervical ripening is not happening spontaneously, it might be necessary for your physician to perform a procedure that ripens the cervix artificially, using mechanical dilators or pharmacological agents.
This procedure is necessary when the doctor or midwife decides it is best to have the baby in the near future - such as in cases of being 7-10 days past your due date or there are health concerns for you or your baby.
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