Fit for Birth

Check out my new favorite website, Fit for Birth!

While perusing birth videos on YouTube, I saw a thumbnail for a water birth with dolphins. I had to check that out!!

Kim was so beautiful, I had to learn more!

James, Kaden, Kim and newborn Naiya

Kim and James met while she was participating in a fitness class James was teaching. They now run Fit for Birth, specializing in maternal fitness.

During the birth, one of the Midwifes uses a flash light on Kim’s back  to check for dialition. She mentions being able to guess how far dilated a mom is with out a vaginal exam. What she was looking for is a purple line that ‘grows’ up the natal cleft (butt crack) which can be an indicator of cervical dilatation.

The line begins at the anal margin at the start of labour and rises like a “mercury thermometer”. When it reaches the top, the woman is fully dilated. Authors of a study in The Lancet Journal propose that an “increase in intrapelvic pressure causes congestion in the … veins around the sacrum, which, in conjunction with the lack of subcutaneous tissue over the sacrum, results in this line of red purple discoloration”.

  • Tuffnell DJ, Bryce F, Johnson N, Lilford RJ: Simulation of cervical changes in labour: Reproducibility of expert assessment. The Lancet 1989, 334(8671):1089-1090.
  • Bryne DL, Edmonds DK: Clinical method for evaluating progress in first stage of labour. The Lancet 1990, 335:122.

Fully dilated woman and her purple line. Via Babies and Bellies, click photo for link


In 2010 article by BioMed Central they found that 76% of women displayed a purple or red line during labor and it’s length correspond with estimated dilation via vaginal exam 36% of the time. The study also reported an overall accuracy for determining the exact cervical diameter dilation of 50% (which improved to 90% when an error of ± 1 cm was allowed).