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Your doctor has measured you and told you that you are 1 to 2 centimeters dilated, but what does that look like? Before labor starts a woman can begin to dilate and efface. When active labor begins, she will dilate from 1 cm all the way to 10 cm. Once she is at 10 cm she can start pushing. If you are curious what cervical dilation looks like, look through our slideshow of cervical dilation in pictures of ordinary things from around your house.photo credit: Mulad/Flickr
When you have dilated to 1 centimeter, your cervix has opened up to about the size of a raisin.
At 2 centimeters dilated, your cervix has opened to about the size of a nickel.
When your cervix has dilated to 3 centimeters, it has opened up to about the size of a radish.
4 centimeters dilation is about the same size as the top of a milk jug.
When you get to 5 centimeters you're half way there and your cervix will measure about the size of a toilet paper roll.
Ready for a game of pool? Probably not at 6 centimeters dilated, but if you grab a pool ball that is about what you would measure.
At 7 centimeters your cervix has opened up to about the size of the top of a 16.3 oz jar of peanut butter.
8 centimeters dilated is about the width of a 15.5 oz jar of salsa.
Once you get to 9 centimeters, you're almost there. 9 centimeters is about the width of a container of salt.
10 centimeters sounds pretty big but it's actually about the width of the top of a Solo cup. Once you get to 10 centimeters, it's time to push!
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