Thanks again to Enjoy Birth, who lead me to these musings of a very interesting midwife, or more accruately, Midwifery Ramblings who thinks just like me :). I dare you to read the link above, Cervical Checks - are they necessary. What? Double dare ya ; ) Yup. Okay, the bottom line is this, It is not really anybody's business what your cervix is doing. It has become so common place for people to ask a full term (or near full term) woman, friend/sister/co-worker/neighbor..., "how dilated are you?" I love it when the answer is, "I have not had a pelvic check". I love it more when in labor, someone asks and the answer is the same or, "I do not care to know". It's great that women today know more about their bodies, the birth process, and their choices! But that does not mean that we have to poke, probe and prod (as in cattle prod)! As with anything, there are risks and benefits. But do your homework. Most of the time the benefit is that the institution (hospital) can plan their customers comings and going. Like a restaurant, with surgical birth hospitals take reservations, but with those mom's that just 'drop in' there may or may not be enough nurses (waiters or waitresses). So they rush you in the restaurant (hospital). And if they check your plate (or your cervix), they can better judge when you'll be done. If you linger the waiter sometimes will take things off the table or bring the check. Don't you just hate that! Well, at the hospital sometimes staff will say something about how slow your eating, oops I mean dilating. Same difference.
I personally like to go to a restaurant where I can dawdle and enjoy the meal, the ambiance and my campanion/s. I like to have a luxurious meal, where I can digest my food and enjoy my wine. Don't you?