Hospital Bag Panic No More! Science Can Now Pinpoint Exactly When You Will Go Into Labour
Having a baby is like nature mixed with magic mixed with mystery.
It culminates in the final few weeks where you float along in a strange twilight zone of excitement, fear and trepidation.
Every twinge that you feel you think THIS COULD BE IT.
Your partner is living inside his own personal 'labour alert' frenzy, and generally, the whole thing is as suspense filled as a Nancy Drew novel but with heartburn and swollen feet.
But fear not soldier, things could be about to change. Science, as usual, has come up trumps.
Research published in the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology has found that measuring cervical length with a common and easy (if slightly ikky) procedure the transvaginal ultrasound can pinpoint when the labour process will start.
As delivery gets closer your cervix shortens and dilates or starts to open. In the study, when the cervix measured more than 30 millimetres at a woman's due date she had less than 50 per cent chance of delivering within a week, but if it measured 10 millimetres or less she had an 85 per cent chance of delivering within a week.
Currently, doctors and midwives use their fingers to get a rough measure of the cervix length. These new positive results from the study mean there is now hope that transvaginal ultrasound cervical length checks could eventually become routine at around 38 weeks.