A maternity hospital has shared a unique guide to show expectant mothers know how dilated their cervix becomes during labour - by using Easter eggs.

Royal Devon and Exeter Maternity Services posted the chart on Facebook, using  different sized chocolate treats to help women visualise the stages of childbirth.  

When mothers reach 10cm - or the equivalent of a full-size Cadbury Easter egg - then it could be time for them to push, as this is the size a cervix needs to be for a baby to pass through. 

A maternity hospital shared a useful guide, pictured, to show how dilated the cervix is in labour ranging from a small 1cm mini egg to a 10cm Cadbury's Easter egg

Before they reach that stage, mother's go through the  Lindy, Dime and Smarties egg stages, before reaching the boiled egg stage at 5cm and Kind Surprise at 6cm. 

Things probably start to get more painful around the 7cm stage, represented by a Milkybar egg, which is going past the small chocolate treat size and becoming a proper Easter egg. 

The later stages of dilation were represented by an 8cm Buttons egg and a 8cm Rolo egg respectively.  



Royal Devon and Exeter Maternity Services posted: 'For all the chocoholics out there - a good way of knowing how dilated the cervix is in labour.' 

Thousands of people have commented on the Facebook post and tagged expectant mothers so they can see the handy guide.

One person wrote: 'Happy Easter. The human body is amazing. I also think this might help me not "treat yoself" with the eggs this year!'

One woman wrote 'I'm not entirely sure if I'm traumatised or impressed by this, but I'm making you join me in this feeling' after she tagged a friend in the post. 

Thousands of people commented on the post saying it was amazing to see the comparison but also revealing they might think twice about eating so many chocolate eggs this Easter time

While others said they were pleased they hadn't seen the chocolate-inspired guide before they gave birth.

One woman wrote 'glad I didn't see this before' and others added 'I don’t think I’ll ever look at a chocolate egg the same way again.'

During the first stage of labour, the muscles of the uterus contract, pulling up the cervix and causing it to gradually open up (dilate). 

At the same time, the baby's head slowly moves down into the pelvis, pressing on the cervix and helping it to dilate.

In a textbook labour, regular contractions lasting 20-30 seconds occur every 20-30 minutes, accompanied by what many women say feels like period pain. 

When a doctor or midwife can fit two fingers into the cervix, the mother is said to be about 3cm dilated and therefore in established labour.

When the cervix is fully open it will measure about 10cm across. As the cervix opens, contractions may come more frequently and last longer. They may also be more painful. 

Bolt

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