YOUR DELIVERY DATE IS NEARING. TIME FOR SOME CALCULATING. LET’S SEE HOW CLOSE YOU ARE TO DELIVERING. OR, IF YOU ARE A PRIMARY CANDIDATE FOR INDUCTION. LET’S DO A LITTLE CALCULATION TO HELP YOU UNDERSTAND YOUR BISHOP SCORE.
Understanding your Bishop Score takes some data from your doctor and some mathematics. The Bishop Score is a mathematical method for determining the timing of predict the likelihood of entering into natural labor. Developed by Dr. Edward Bishop in the 1960s this system is still widely used today and often determines if there is a need for induction, and the likelihood that induction will result in a vaginal delivery.
The Bishop Score takes several different factors into consideration. Your cervix and the position of your baby are very important in the calculation. Each factor is given a grade, these grades are added providing an overall score, your Bishop Score. A low score of 1 means that labor is not expected to begin for about 3 weeks. The high score of 10 means labor could be expected to begin in at most a few days. Your provider will calculate your score during a cervical exam and ultrasound.
WHAT FACTORS MAKE UP YOUR BISHOP SCORE?
Dilation of the cervix – the opening of the cervix (measured in centimeters)Effacement of the cervix – thinning of the cervix (measured in percentage)Consistency of the cervix – the walls of your cervix described in 3 levelsFirm:The cervix feels hard and rubbery .Medium: The cervix feels compressible but not softSoft: The cervix feels mushyPosition of the cervix – the position of the cervix relative to the fetal head and maternal pelvisFetal station – the position of the baby’s head relative to the bony projections of the lower pelvis called the ischial spines. When the baby’s head is at 0 station it is even with the ischial spines. Negative numbers indicate that the head is above the ischial spines. Positive numbers indicate its head is below the ischial spines.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR BISHOP SCORE.
8 or more points – above eight indicates labor will most likely start spontaneously and soon. Also, if induction is necessary, it will more than likely be successful.6 to 7 points – scores in this range aren’t a great predictor5 or fewer points-below five indicates that that labor is less likely to start spontaneously or soon. It also means that an induction is unlikely to be successful.
WHAT IS INDUCTION?
The most common reason for induction is that pregnancy has gone past 42 weeks or your estimated due date. The normal maternal gestation period is from 37 – 42 weeks. In most instances a healthcare provider will only suggest induction if they believe waiting for labor to naturally start would be riskier than intervening.
INDUCTION MAY BE RECOMMENDED IF:
The birthing parent has gestational diabetesgrowth scans predict the baby will be large for its gestational agethe presence of a pre-existing health condition that could negatively affect the birthing parent’s health if pregnancy continuesthe birthing parent develops preeclampsiathe baby isn’t thriving in uterowater breaks and contractions don’t begin within 24 hoursthe baby is diagnosed with a congenital condition that will require intervention or special care at birth
Understanding your Bishop score can be very helpful. It may determine whether or not you are a good candidate for labor induction. There are also natural ways to induce labor. Contact Tennessee Family Doulas to learn about these methods.