Like a doughnut? Midwife shares amazing photo of woman’s cervix

Content note: This post contains a graphic surgical image of a woman’s cervix.

There’s a good chance you’d never give your cervix much thought unless you became pregnant. 

And even then, you probably didn’t know too much about it. In fact, your cervix won’t get the attention it deserves until you start going into labour, when it’s all about your cervix and how much it’s dilated.

Your cervix deserves recognition

But doula and midwife Amelia Lamont from The Midwife Mumma recently took to social media to make some noise about the wonder of the female cervix, which she says doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves.

Sharing a graphic image on her Instagram page, Amelia told CafeMom that she wanted women to see for themselves how incredible their bodies are.

“I decided to share it because the cervix is something as a pregnant woman we hear about and know about but to visualize it is impossible,” she says. “I thought it was a great chance for women to actually see what their cervix looks like in real life … very much like the donut we as midwives discuss with our patients. The female reproductive system is amazing!”


Read more about your amazing body here:


Here is the picture Amelia shared – be warned, it’s a little on the confronting side (it’s “kinda graphic but kinda not” says Amelia). 

The image shows you just how tightly closed your cervix is before it starts dilating to make room for your baby to come out.

✖️Kinda graphic but kinda not ✖️ . . Ladies this is your cervix.. well not yours, someone else's.. THIS 🔝is what thins out and dilates in order for your baby to decend through your birth canal and be delivered vaginally. Amazing how a thick round donut can work so hard to become paper thin to birth a baby .. our bodies are incredible.. this is why labour can take a loooooooong long long time.. this effacing & dilating process is hard work.. the more you contract, the more babies head will apply pressure to the cervix & hopefully open it up. Whether you have vaginal or Caesarian births – look after that vjj! Regular Pap smears & checkups if you feel something isn't quite right down there ⬇️⬇️⬇️

A post shared by Amelia Lamont (@themidwifemumma) on

“Ladies this is your cervix… well not yours, someone else’s,” Amelia says. “This is what thins out and dilates in order for your baby to descend through your birth canal and be delivered vaginally. Amazing how a thick round donut can work so hard to become paper thin to birth a baby .. our bodies are incredible.. this is why labour can take a loooooooong long long time.”

The amazing cervix

Located between the vagina and the uterus, the cervix stays nicely blocked up by a mucus plug during pregnancy. While baby is busy growing away, the cervix protects him by remaining tightly closed, keeping out nasty bacteria from the outside world, and supporting the growing uterus. The cervix slowly ripens during pregnancy and is ready to respond when contractions begin.

When it’s time for action

The cervix goes from fully closed to 10 centimetres during the birth process, although a woman can be a few centimetres dilated without going into full labour, as dilation on its own doesn’t mean labour has commenced. Many women reach the end stages of pregnancy to find their cervix is already 2-3cm dilated, with no other signs of being in labour.

Amelia shared another amazing Instagram image to demonstrate the long but effective process a cervix goes through during labour to push your baby out into the world.

“One thing is for sure, your cervix works god damn hard to efface, dilate, and deliver your baby,” she wrote on the Instagram post. “This is what your cervix does to effectively push your baby out at 10cm.”

How long will my labour be? Simple answer..how long is a piece of string? I wish we knew. We would be millionaires if we could predict when your baby would be born. Don’t get me wrong, we certainly are pretty damn good at estimating once you are in active labour but no 2 births are the same.. there are the long ones, then the reallllllllyyy realllly long ones where the labouring woman comes in after being awake for 22 hours straight (early labour can be a mega bitch) then you get the average lengthed labour which is perfect for a first time Mum then the opposite end.. the super short, rediculously quick labour where they are left in a state of absolute shock.. But one thing is for sure, your cervix works god damn hard to efface, dilate and deliver your baby. This above ladies, is what your cervix does to effectively push your baby out at 10cm.. Some women ‘fail’ (hate this word because it sounds awful but I will stick with medical terms) to dilate at all, others stall at a certain number for several hours which leads to ‘failure to progress’ (don’t like this medical term either) & others obstruct for certain reasons which can be detrimental to both mum & baby .. There is no definitive reason as to why the above 3 issues result in an emergency C-Section but often prolonged labour, a malpositioned baby or bigger baby, larger baby head &/or small pelvis are responsible & although surgery is the right option, many women suffer emotionally, mentally and physically as their birth did not go to plan which is completely understandable & this is where debriefing about your birth is so important. The other half of women go on to have vaginal births, most uncomplicated, but some complicated that also result in emotional, physical & mental trauma. It is important to remember, which ever way you birth, your body did not fail you, it just didn’t happen for a reason & you need to take comfort in that, don’t fight with yourself over it. If there is a next time, discuss from the very start your hopes & expectations.. if there isn’t, you & your baby are safe & that is all anyone wants at the end of the day..Did your birth go to plan? Are you about to give birth? LOVE X

A post shared by Amelia Lamont (@themidwifemumma) on

How long does full dilation take?

Every woman’s labour journey will be different, stresses Amelia, which is why it’s impossible to predict how long labour will take, just going on how dilated the cervix is. The time it takes for each cervix to fully dilate differs from woman to woman.

“How long will my labour be? Simple answer… How long is a piece of string?” Amelia shares on Instagram. “I wish we knew. We would be millionaires if we could predict when your baby would be born. Don’t get me wrong, we certainly are pretty damn good at estimating once you are in active labour but no 2 births are the same.”

Amelia says there’s lots of ways a labour can progress once dilation starts, with some birth journeys stalling along the way.

“Some women ‘fail’ (hate this word because it sounds awful but I will stick with medical terms) to dilate at all, others stall at a certain number for several hours which leads to ‘failure to progress’ (don’t like this medical term either) and others obstruct for certain reasons which can be detrimental to both mum & baby.”

Your body won’t fail you

While these sorts of issues can result in an emergency c-section, Amelia stresses that this doesn’t mean a woman’s body failed.

“It is important to remember, which ever way you birth, your body did not fail you, it just didn’t happen for a reason and you need to take comfort in that, don’t fight with yourself over it,” she says on her Instagram post.

“If there is a next time, discuss from the very start your hopes and expectations … If there isn’t, you and your baby are safe and that is all anyone wants at the end of the day.”

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