A dilation board is a tool that’s used by doulas and midwives to practice measuring how dilated a cervix is with their fingers. It’s also a visual aid for expectant mothers to see what’s in store for their body when they give birth. A photo of such a board posted to Facebook has gone viral, reminding everyone else just how nuts giving birth really is, and how much more credit women deserve for enduring it.
The photo was originally shared by SCV Birth Center, a nationally accredited birth center in Santa Clarita, California. It shows the device, a wooden circle with progressively bigger holes circling the perimeter. Each hole is labeled with a number identifying its diameter in centimeters, a representation of the gradually increasing dilation of a woman’s cervix in labor.
The largest hole, ten centimeters, is shown with a baby’s head peeking through. The caption reads “Whelp – that’s what 10 centimeters looks like – just perfect for that little head.”
Facebook user Steffanie Christi’an shared the photo with her own, much cheekier caption: “This is what 10cm of dilation looks like. This is why we deserve all the things.” That post has garnered over 16,000 reactions, 185,000 shares, and comments expressing awe, horror, and appreciation of what women have to go through to continue the species.
The photo is a reminder to dads that they began fatherhood having sacrificed way, way less than moms. Because as supportive as you can be in the delivery room, you’ll never quite be able to grasp the physical trauma of birth, no matter how many viral photos you see.