Stop Judging Labor by Dilation

Due Date



Can we all unite for a moment on this? I’ve had mom after mom get defeated by her dilation when her labor patterns and what her BODY were telling her didn’t match her cervix. Ladies, trust your body. Trust what it’s telling you and what it’s feeling, regardless of a number. Why? Because sometimes your cervix hasn’t caught up with your body yet! Sometimes you’re 4cm and then 5 minutes later you’re 10cm! Sometimes you just need to let go of that mental block and succumb to your body and it’s perfectly beautiful ability to birth babies.

On instagram recently blatzjustina said “YES! Someone speaking my language!! I will not let my midwife check for dilation anymore just because we quickly realized I stay at 2 cm till almost the end 😄🤷‍♀️ than all of a sudden in minutes I got to a full 10:) it’s how I work.”

This is normal. This is natural. This is why we should not judge a labor by a woman’s dilation but by her body language. Additionally, women who have had cervical surgeries (Cryo or a LEEP procedure for example) may have extra cervical scaring that their bodies are breaking down first before dilation will change.  Once the body breaks through the scar tissues month’s often dilate quickly.

Another thing worthy of noting is the emotional connection to dilation.  Mother’s who have a lot of emotional baggage tend to take longer to birth.  While they may not know it, we as birth workers need to be on watch for it.  A long, stalled labor could mean we need to start talking about what’s going on inside the clients heads or hearts. Sometimes a phone call to a loved one or a good cry it all she needs to get labor back on track.

Labor is about so much more than having a baby.  It’s a sacred time and a time a massive personal growth.  Honor it, trust it and find a good support team or doula that has been through the process before and can help carry you when you need it.


To schedule a consultation with Jenn you can reach her HERE.


“Big Baby” Inductions

big baby inductions

Today I posted this picture on Instagram and it went crazy with comments. I wanted to make sure I took the time to dive deeper into this because miscommunication happens and as a birth doula informed consent means the world to me.

Are there cases when a baby is indeed too big to fit through the pelvic outlet? Absolutely. Mother’s who have diabetes or Gestational Diabetes tend to grow bigger babies and are often induced between 38 and 39 weeks gestation. Outside of that, I believe that women’s bodies will not grow a baby bigger than they can birth.

Then why is there a rise in women who have big babies needing cesarean or inductions? I firmly believe there are several factors that play into this.

  • The typical position of a mother laying supine (on her back) while birthing. Research has shown that for delivery the best positions are those where women are upright is the best. For big babies, the best position for delivery is hands and knees or squatting.
  • Babies position, specifically their head, plays a key role in how they enter the birth canal. No matter what size a baby is, if they enter the birth canal with their head tilted to the side (asynclitic) the birthing process will take longer and pushing will need more effort. Big babies especially need to enter the birth canal in good alignment so they can tuck their chins properly and descend.
  • Shoulder Dystocia is a real fear for OBs and while the evidence shows that if a patient is presenting with shoulder dystocia they should be flipped to hands and knees and that should be sufficient enough to dislodge the shoulder doctors do not handle it that way. In a hospital I’ve seen nurses get up on a step stool and press down as hard as they can down on the women’s pubic symphysis in effort to physically push the babies shoulder down under the bone. Big baby or not, shoulder dystocia can happen. However, if more doctors practiced the act of getting a woman up onto her hands and knees (as we would in a home birth setting) the fear could be lessened.
  • Are there situations when babies truly just aren’t going to come through the birth canal? Absolutely! I have been in situations where nothing we do works. There are times when a cesarean is our only option! What I do want to be clear is that I believe every woman should be given the opportunity to have a trial of labor, no matter what size baby the ultrasound says she’ll be delivering.

    The women from my post were clear:
    Big baby does NOT mean you need to induce in order to have a successful vaginal delivery.
    Bib baby does NOT mean you need a cesarean.
    Big baby does NOT mean you cannot have a vaginal birth.
    Big baby does NOT mean you will need an epidural.
    This DOES mean that providers need to stop telling women they are and aren’t capable of in giving birth.

    Trust in the process. Trust in your body and it’s ability. You trusted it to carry this baby, trust it to know how it wants to get the baby out.

    Want more information on Big Babies & the Evidence on Inductions & Cesareans? Click here! For more information on Jenn click here.

    Happy New Year from Doula Jenn!

    2018 new year doula jenn

    A new year always represents a fresh start and a time of reflection.  2018 was a great year for me.  I had the opportunity of welcoming into this world 47 birth doula babies, 6 more babies than 2017! It’s always an honor for me to attend a birth and 2019 has me welcoming return birth doula clients as they welcome me into their delivery for the second time, which I am so excited for.

    In 2018 I also got the opportunity to join forces with NOVA Birth Services in providing quality care to clients through childbirth education, dedicated back-up support and the ability to provide my clients with more services including TENs unit rentals, belly binding, birth tub rentals, postpartum doula services and so much more.  I have worked with Andrea, owner of NOVA Birth Services, for a few years now as an independent contractor for birth doula services when my personal business was slow and am excited about joining our two business together and offering more clients exceptional service.

    2018 was also filled with glorious family time as we adventured the world over the summer.  A personal goal for our family is to travel outside of our Northern Virginia bubble and in 2018 we took our family to Rome, Italy (as requested by our 4th grader since he was learning about the Roman empire).  It was such a wonderful trip where all three kids dove into history and culture – eating and walking our way through Italy.  We haven’t decided where 2019 will take us but we’re eagerly pulling together ideas! Top contenders include: Portugal, Germany, Costa Rica & Panama.

    Also in 2018 I set out to re-certify with DONA International, as I had let that certification lapse over the years.  As I strive to bring birth doula support into the hospitals I understand the importance of having a streamline certification program and knew I would have to share that certification with everyone we brought on board.  I completed the trainings in October and turned in my completed certification packet December 17th.  I am now waiting to see if my certification packet gets approved and looking towards more trainings to broaden my knowledge.

    2019 is sure to be another year to remember. I hope that you find blessing, adventure and joy in the new year!


    Doula Jenn

    First birth of December

    I had the honor of attending a birth yesterday at Loudoun Birthing Inn in Leesburg, VA a few days ago and I am still riding the birth doula high!  As a doula, there is nothing quite like it when you have a mother go un-medicated because we truly ride the birth wave right alongside mom […]