Everything natural birth hopefuls need to know about a Bishop Score Calculator in the event they have to discuss induction with their doctors.
As a natural birth hopeful the first time around, I was researching natural birth not because I was scared of labor, but because I was scared of needles.
No joke, I was more afraid of needles and doctors than I was of the idea of having a baby accidentally on the side of the road. Call me crazy, but I kept hoping for it because I didn’t want to end up at the hospital surrounded by white coats and hooked up to machines.
My research and subsequent natural birth preparation class solidified my fear of having unnecessary interventions in the birthing process. The more I learned, the less my desire to have a natural birth was about the needles (though they still frightened me), but more about my ability to birth my baby without fear and drugs.
One of the main things I learned is that one intervention increases your chances for subsequent interventions. This, in turn, greatly increases your chances for your natural birth plans to end up in cesarean section.
This was the epitome of hell in my mind. So, I learned about all the ways to avoid medical interventions in my births, knowing I may not have full control, but I wasn’t going to be talked into something that wasn’t right.
If you’re hoping for a natural birth and are considering an induction, you need to know what a Bishop Score is and how to calculate it using a Bishop Score Calculator.
Everything You Need to Know about a Bishop Score Calculator
What is a Bishop Score?
A Bishop score rates your cervix for delivery. A doctor may use a Bishop Score to determine if you need an induction or the likelihood of pre-term delivery.
As a patient, you and your doctor can use the Bishop Score to determine if an induction is likely to be effective. A favorable score means induction will be less likely to end in C-section. However, a not-so-favorable score can indicate your body is not ready for labor and delivery. An induction under this circumstance can lead to more interventions and increase your likelihood for cesarean section.
What is a Bishop Score Calculator
In very simple terms, a Bishop score rates individual cervical factors, including:
The Bishop score calculator will also rate the fetal station, or where your baby’s head is.
None of the rating factors, when used alone, can determine how close you are to going into labor. Some moms have been told near their due date that they have not dilated, or dilated very little and should not expect to be in labor on their own any time soon. In some cases, those moms spontaneously went into labor within days of their due dates.
As moms, eager to meet their new babies, it’s easy for us to get wrapped up in our due dates and feel pressure to have an induction. And, it’s easy for doctors to use this information, if you’re not informed, to help you have your baby on a schedule that suits them. Or to keep you from being overdue.
This is why I believe it’s important to discuss your Bishop score and use your Bishop score calculator when having an examination!
Having this knowledge allows you to feel more in-control of your birth. Knowing your Bishop score will help you determine whether or not an induction is a viable option when you’re past your due date.
How to Use a Bishop Score Calculator
While you’re having your examination at your doctor’s office, request the assessment of each of the aspects. Having your Bishop Score Calculator in hand lets your doctor know you wish to be as informed and in-control as possible.
P.S. – You can receive a free printable Bishop Score Calculator when you join my email list! By signing up, you’ll receive access to the calculator and all the other free parenting resources and printables in my member only section!
View the table above to get an idea of how to use your Bishop Score Calculator. Give points in the TOTAL column for each aspect.
Cerival Position Scoring:
Posterior = 0pts
Mid-Position = 1pt
Anterior = 2pts
Cervical Consistency Scoring:
Firm = 0pts
Medium = 1pt
Soft = 2pts
Cervical Effacement Scoring:
0 – 30% = 0pts
30 – 50% = 1pt
60 – 70% = 2 pts
>80% = 3 pts
Cervical Dilation Scoring:
Closed = 0pts
1 – 2 cm = 1 pt
3 – 4 cm = 2 pts
>5 cm = 3 pts
Fetal Station Scoring:
-3 = 0pts
-2 = 1pt
-1 = 2pts
+1, +2 = 3pts
Modifiers on the Bishop Score Calculator are something to discuss with your doctor if they are mentioned.
What is a Favorable Bishop Score
Firstly, when I say “favorable” I’m thinking in terms of a natural birth hopeful!
A Bishop score of 6 or less means an induction is not likely to be successful. Proceeding with induction in this instance is likely to cause great stress on your body and baby, which are obviously not ready for labor and could result in more interventions and end in C-section.
Moms hoping to have a natural birth, even those who choose to have an induction should seek a Bishop score of 8 or higher for the best chances that labor happens on it’s own or that an induction is successful.
Although we don’t always have control of our birthing situations, your best chances at achieving a natural birth is to educate yourself as much as possible. Stay informed about every aspect of your pregnancy and let your doctor know you wish to be involved in all decisions about your labor and delivery. This requires you to have knowledge of things that can sometimes seem trivial, like knowing your Bishop score and how to use a Bishop score calculator.