5 Ways to Track Labor Progress for Women Having an Undisturbed Birth (NO Internal Exams)

The last thing you want during childbirth is to have someone’s fingers poking inside you!  Here’s how to track labor without a vaginal exam:

#1 – Watch the Red (and Purple) Line

Midwife Anne Frye says research backs up the 2cm-wide “red line.”  It starts just behind the anus and moves up the gluteal cleft (butt crack) as your body opens.  It’s closely associated with baby moving down.  It deepens to a purple color as it moves up to the area around your sacrum.

#2 – Your Sacrum Pushes Out

Your sacrum is the bony plate at the base of your spine – feel for your tailbone then move your fingers up.  Both will start to bulge out as baby’s head moves down into your pelvis.  You may instinctively feel for this as baby presses against the flexible sacrum.

#3 – A Second Bloody Show

Even if your labor began with a bloody show (or didn’t), you may have a second show as the cervix opens fully.  This one is usually thick and mucousy, and can be very stretchy.  After this you’ll shift into the pushing stage.

#4 – Goose Bumps on Your Bum

Women often get goosebumps on their bottom just before they feel the urge to push!  This is likely caused by the release of catecholamines, hormones that give you energy to push your baby out.

#5 – Your Position (and Intuition)

You’ll often intuitively change positions as you progress.  Many women spiral their hips more in transition.  As pushing begins, you’ll likely choose a wider position, rock your bottom, and lean forward.

Your body knows how to do this – no exams needed!

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