5Cm Dilated No Contractions

If you’re 5 cm dilated and not having contractions, it’s likely that your labor is just getting started. This is good news, as it means you have plenty of time to get to the hospital and get things set up for the birth of your baby.

However, you should still keep an eye on your contractions and make sure they don’t start to pick up too quickly.

If they do, it could mean that you’re in for a long labor.

5Cm Dilated: What it is?

As your pregnancy progresses starting from 3cm dilated, your cervix begins to thin out and open up in preparation for labor. This process is called dilation and is measured in centimeters (cm). The average rate of dilation is about 1 cm per hour and then proceed to 2cm dilation

5 Cm Dilated picture
Dilation step by step

When you’re in labor, your cervix gradually opens (dilates) to 10 cm before it’s time to push the baby out.

The dilation process usually happens in stages, with each stage taking a different amount of time depending on the person.

Note: During the dilation you may experience painful cramping.

5 cm dilated how long until labor

Once you are 5 cm dilated, you are considered to be in active labor. For first-time moms, it can take an average of 15 hours to go from 5-10 cm.

5 cm dilation
5 cm dilation size

However, this varies greatly from one woman to the next and also depends on factors such as whether or not you’ve had a vaginal birth before.

If you have had a baby before, you may progress more quickly through dilation since your cervix is already slightly softened and stretched from previous births.

During active labor, it is common for contractions to become stronger, longer, and closer together. You will likely need pain relief during this time and may opt for an epidural or other medication.

Once you reach 10 cm dilation, your baby will be ready to descend into the birth canal and be born!

5Cm Dilated No Contractions 40 Weeks

If you’re 40 weeks pregnant and 5 cm dilated with no contractions, then your labor is just stalled and will start back up again soon. However, it’s also possible that your body is preparing for a Cesarean section (C-section).

Only your doctor can determine what’s best for you and your baby, so be sure to stay in close communication with them.

At 5 cm dilated, you’re in the early part of active labor. This is when the contractions are longer, stronger, and closer together than they were during early labor.

Can You Be 5Cm Dilated And Not in Active Labor?

Yes, you can be 5 cm dilated and not in active labor. Active labor is when your contractions are regular and getting stronger and closer together. At 5 cm dilation, your cervix is considered “mid-transition” which is the hardest part of labor.

You may still have a ways to go before you’re ready to push.

Can You Be 5Cm Dilated for Days?

It is not uncommon for a woman to be 5cm dilated for days, or even weeks, before she goes into labor. The dilation of the cervix is one of the main indicators that labor is imminent, but it is not the only factor.

Other signs that labor may be starting include: lightening (when the baby drops lower in the pelvis), nesting (a sudden burst of energy as you prepare for your baby’s arrival), backache, bloody show (the mucus plug coming out), and increased Braxton Hicks contractions.

How to take care at 5cm dilated?

During active labor, it’s important to focus on relaxing as much as possible between contractions. This can help ease the pain and help you conserve energy for when it’s time to push. Some women find that standing or walking around helps them cope with contractions better than lying down does.

Others prefer to lie down and relax because they feel more comfortable that way.

There isn’t necessarily one right way to do things – just do whatever feels best for you! It’s also important to know that even if your labor stalls at 5 cm dilated, this doesn’t mean that something is wrong or that you’ll need a C-section.

In many cases, labor will eventually start back up again on its own after a short period of rest (usually no more than 12 hours). So don’t worry – there’s still a good chance you’ll be able to have the vaginal birth you want!

Will Hospital Admit You at 5 Cm With No Contractions?

It’s unlikely that a hospital will admit you for delivery if you are 5 centimeters dilated with no contractions. This is because dilation is not always a reliable indicator of how close you are to labor. In addition, without contractions, it’s difficult to gauge how long it will take you to deliver.

That said, every situation is different, so it’s best to speak with your doctor or midwife about your specific case.

Can you dilate without Your Water Breaking?

It’s a common question from pregnant women – can you dilate without your water breaking? The answer is yes!

It’s possible to be in labor and have your cervix begin to dilate without your water breaking.

There are several reasons why this may happen. One reason is that the sac of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby may not rupture when the cervix begins to open. This is more likely to happen if the sac is thick or if the opening in the cervix is small.

Another possibility is that your water could break but you might not realize it because it leaks slowly or only a small amount comes out. If you suspect that your water has broken, it’s important to tell your healthcare provider so they can check for signs of infection and monitor you and your baby closely.

If you’re in labor and your water hasn’t broken, don’t worry – many women have water breaking stories when they go on to have healthy babies without their waters ever rupturing.

How Far Can You Dilate Without Contractions?

It is difficult to determine how far one can dilate without contractions because it varies from person to person. In general, the cervix will need to open up about 10 centimeters before active labor begins.

However, some women may start having contractions before they reach this point of dilation, while others may not experience any contractions until they are fully dilated.

If you want to dilate faster then increase the physical activities at mid to final stages of your child-birth.

Pubmed has run a research on 811 pregnant mother. According to Pubmed:

The duration of active labor was significantly shorter in patients with higher levels of physical activity, up to 25%.

Watkins VY, O’Donnell CM, Perez M, Zhao P, England S, Carter EB, Kelly JC, Frolova A, Raghuraman N. The impact of physical activity during pregnancy on labor and delivery. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2021 Oct;225(4):437.e1-437.e8. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2021.05.036. Epub 2021 Jun 1. PMID: 34081895.


It’s been almost 24 hours since my water broke and I’m only 5cm dilated. I’m starting to feel a little discouraged. I know that every labor is different, but I can’t help but wonder why things seem to be moving so slowly.

The good news is that the baby is healthy and there are no signs of infection, so we’re just waiting it out for now.

Read More:


Moen KC. Celebrate Birth!-Remembering the Breaks: A Water Birth. J Perinat Educ. 2017;26(4):172-176. doi: 10.1891/1058-1243.26.4.172. PMID: 30804652; PMCID: PMC6372886.

Watkins VY, O’Donnell CM, Perez M, Zhao P, England S, Carter EB, Kelly JC, Frolova A, Raghuraman N. The impact of physical activity during pregnancy on labor and delivery. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2021 Oct;225(4):437.e1-437.e8. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2021.05.036. Epub 2021 Jun 1. PMID: 34081895.

Sarah, a health writer and editor since 2014, is an adoring wife and dedicated mother to 2 daughters and 1 son. As the creator of Babies Plannet, she combines her extensive expertise with her maternal dedication to provide essential care and safety advice for infants, nurturing their well-being and happiness. Her writing explores topics like fitness, pregnancy, and women's healthy lifestyles.

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