Ottawa Doula Services
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Your Bishop Score. A little number that can make a big difference to your induction.

So, you have officially made it to full term, congratulations! Now your doctor is talking about inducing your labour. You can’t wait to meet your baby but what about everything you've read online about inductions often leading to cesareans? You know you don’t want a cesarean but how do you decide what to do?
While going through BRAIN to ask all your questions, you may start to wonder about all the different options that are available! “Should we start with a Foley Bulb or perhaps move straight to Pitocin ? What about a Prostaglandin?” With all these options running around your head, decision making often isn't easy.
One of the tools that your doctor may use is to find out your Bishop Score.

As illustrated in the attached table, you will see that to calculate your Bishop Score your care provider takes 6 factors of your cervix into consideration. Your dilation, effacement, length, consistency, position and station. They then give a score of 0-2 to each factor. According to the SOGC, a score of 6 or higher is predictive of a vaginal birth. That means that even if not all factors are favourable, even just a few is all that is needed.

Bishop score chart

You may be thinking “whoa, Sherry, slow down. I don't even know what any of that that means.”

Here is a quick explanation:

  • Dilation refers to how many centimeters your cervix has opened.

  • Effacement is the percentage of which your cervix has thinned out.

  • Length is the total length of your cervix.

  • Consistency is when they see if your cervix is still hard or has gotten soft.

  • Position looks at which direction your cervix is pointing, posterior is towards your back & anterior is to the front.

  • Station is where the lowest part of the baby is in relation to the ischial spines.

What does all that mean for your induction? If your care provider assesses you and says the score is below 6, you can work together to see if one of the methods would help get the score up before starting to induce contractions. Statistically, starting an induction with a score below 6 is less likely to result in a vaginal birth.

Are you still unsure what is the best option for you? Talk to your Doula about what questions you should ask your care provider and work together to form a plan you are comfortable with.