The end of pregnancy is full of unpredictability. Your due date is a couple weeks away but you could have a baby at any moment. You want to be prepared but you also want to be able to live life.
If only there was a way to assess whether you might have a baby sooner or later! If only someone could figure out a way of knowing whether you could go to that out of town wedding or if you should probably just pack a hospital bag and hunker down.
Wait! There is! It’s called the Bishop Score!
About The Bishop Score
Created by Dr. Edward Bishop in 1964, this tool assesses the stated of the cervix and baby and helps to determine if labour is likely to start on it’s own in a short time frame or whether an induction is likely if baby needs to be born soon. It can also help determine if a planned induction is likely to be more or less successful – will a birthing person need a lot of help to be induced and give birth or just a little.
The tool is an algorithm that factors in the state of the cervix and position of the baby within the birth giver’s body.
What position is the cervix in – pointing towards the woman’s bottom or lined up with the birth canal? (Posterior or Anterior)
Is the cervix getting soft? (Ripening)
Is the cervix beginning to shorten? (Effacement)
How open is the cervix? (Dilation)
How high or low inside it’s mother’s body is the baby? (Station)
Points are given for each factor. The higher the points are when added up, the more likely a person will go into labour spontaneously and sooner than later. The lower the score, the more likely the person will need help, such as an induction, to have a baby in the next few days.
The scoring system isn’t infallible – babies can be born with little warning. However, this assessment will show a fairly reliable trend.
Let’s look at the Bishop Score as a chart.
When To Use This Tool
A qualified medical care provider is needed to make this assessment for you. They will do that through a vaginal exam. They will help you understand what is happening in your body and give you wise counsel based on the information they find.
You can use the Bishop Score tool to work with your healthcare provider to determine whether it is the right time to proceed with an induction, should one be required.
You can also use this tool to determine how likely you are to spontaneously go into labour in the next couple of days. This might help you plan your attendance at important events. You may not wish to drive three hours out of town and stay at a hotel for the weekend to attend your aunt’s retirement is your Bishop Score is high this week.
Remember: this is only a tool. Your body can and will change quickly based on factors you may not be aware of. It may appear unlikely your body will go into labour on its own today but tomorrow that could change.