Cervical wisdom resources

I love talking about how the cervix (and other bits of the female body) really behaves during labour and birth.

Because have you ever noticed that real women’s labouring cervices haven’t read the textbooks?

That, although we are taught that they are supposed to open in a linear, unidirectional and relatively predictable manner, many don’t actually do that?

I’ve been pondering this for a few years, and it is one of the topics that I get asked to speak about quite a bit. I have questioned many of the assumptions that have long been embedded in midwifery and medical textbooks, including some of the entrenched ideas about measurement and the myth that all cervixes need to open to 10cm (I mean, really?!) I love talking and writing about individual variation, and in my spare time I sew audio visual aids so that others can discuss the same principles on their work. (And all the profits go towards sharing birth information.)


This page gathers together the main articles that I have written on this and related topics in one place for anyone who is interested.


Stepping Stones and Cervical Wisdom

The folly of fully dilated

What is cervical recoil?

Controlling the Capricious Cervix

Assessing cervical dilatation without VEs: Watching the purple line

Evidence for the purple line…

Cervical dilation is (now mathematically shown to be) unpredictable




You can also click here to get a reference list for a previous session I presented on this topic.  Many of the references are the same as in the articles I have linked to here, but it’s more easily printable.



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