If you're thinking about inducing labor, or perhaps your OB has suggested induction, the first thing you may want to ask is, "What is my Bishop score?". I had never heard of this until maybe two or three years ago. I certainly didn't know what a Bishop score was when I had my first child at Baylor Grapevine almost 5 years ago. Basically, the higher the Bishop score, the more likely an induction were to be "successful". The lower the score, the less likelihood of your induction being successful. Scores range from 0 to 13 points.
So, let's break it down.
According to perinatology.com, the Bishop score is also sometimes known as a Pelvic Score. It is a mathematical way to estimate how "ready" your cervix is for induction. This is determined by a vaginal exam in your doctor's office. You can google various online calculators if you wish.
0-3 points are awarded based on how dilated, or open, your cervix already is. Pregnant women are normally 0 centimeters dilated prior to labor, and by the time they are about ready to push, their cervix is completely dilated to 10 centimeters.
Effacement refers to how thin your cervix is. This is measured in a guesstimate of percentages, 0% meaning a thick cervix and 100% meaning paper thin. 0-3 points are given, the more points for a higher percentage of effacement.
This is a term for how high (or low) your baby is in your pelvis. The higher up your baby is, the lower the Bishop points. If your baby is at a very low station, your OB may say "plus one or plus two", you'd get a maximum of 3 points.
A firm cervix feels rubbery and hard, and may not be quite ready for induction. It would get 0 points. A soft, "mushy" cervix earns you 2 Bishop points. A medium cervix is somewhere between firm and soft and gets 1 point.
Baby's position in the pelvis can make a night or day difference in your labor and birth outcome. But for a Bishop score purpose, your OB will want to determine the position of your cervix. A posterior cervix gets 0 points, but an anterior (meaning "towards the front") cervix gets 3.
No matter the reason for your labor induction, it is wise to have all the information upfront. However, if you are experiencing high blood pressure, preeclampsia, cholestasis of pregnancy or certain other conditions, an induction may still be necessary for a healthy mom and healthy baby. But if you are a few days past your due date with a low (less than 5 point) Bishop score and a healthy pregnancy, if may be worthwhile to ask your care provider to postpone your induction until your body is ready, or you go into labor on your own.
Birth With Bethany provides Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes, doula support, certified car seat checks and placenta encapsulation to families in the Flower Mound, Lewisville, Denton, Argyle, Plano, Dallas, McKinney, Frisco, Southlake, Trophy Club, Colleyville, Coppell, Carrollton and Grapevine areas.
I'm Bethany. Wife. Boy Mom. Bradley Method® teacher. Child passenger safety technician. Placenta encapsulator. I like little dogs, big hair and sweet tea.