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please explain the difference to me.. thinning and efffacing??

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Ok I am 32 weeks pregnant and been having trouble with preterm contractions for the past 2 weeks it started off I wasnt dialating or anything.. then sunday we ended up in the hospital to get shots to stop the labor and were told i was dialated 1cm and my cervix was thinning.. went to our dr today for a follow up appt and now am on complete bed rest instead of just restricted activity and was told that I am still only 1 cm which I think is good but am 25% effaced.. I have a daughter but just cant remember what all the terms mean and all that.. doesnt help this time things arent going as smoothly so seems alot different.. but can someone please explain the difference in all the terms and what it means?? I woudl really appreciate it =)

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I'm on my third baby and I know the terms and am familiar with their implications, but as far as defining them I couldn't do it either.  I went to this website and looked up some info for you (and all of us): is the process by which the cervix prepares for delivery. After the baby has engaged in the pelvis, it gradually drops closer to the cervix; the cervix gradually softens, shortens and becomes thinner. You may hear phrases like "ripens," or "cervical thinning" which refer to effacement.How is effacement measured?Effacement is measured in percentages. For example, your health care provider may tell you that you are effaced 50%, which means you are half way to being completely effaced. When you are 100% effaced or completely effaced, your cervix is paper-thin and labor is right around the corner.In your final weeks of pregnancy your health care provider will routinely check for effacement, and as soon as you arrive at your birth location, you will be checked for effacement. If you are a first time mom, your cervix will usually efface before it dilates. If you are a second time mom, your cervix will usually dilate before effacement.Dilation is the process of the cervix opening in preparation for childbirth. Dilation is measured in centimeters or, less accurately, in “fingers” during an internal (manual) pelvic exam. “Fully dilated” means you're at 10 centimeters and are ready to give birth. In the same way that your health care provider may be checking for effacement in the last 2 months, your health care provider may also tell you how many centimeters your cervix has dilated.I think this will probably answer all your questions.  I was on total bed rest with my first.  You are starting it a lot later than some women, so I know you are thankful for that.  Remember every day the baby can stay in there is better!  Get some books, rest, relax, stay hydrated.  Good luck and we'll be praying for you!!!  :) 

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