When I started teaching families about the stages of labour and cervical dilation, there weren't a lot of effective visual aids. Often using the size of fruit to compare to the size of a cervix during labour, I struggled to show people the incredible ways the body can change to allow for a baby to be born.
When I worked with couples in labour as a doula, I could use cervical dilation rings as a tool to: what the body was meant to do, show them how long the first stage of labour can last and even as a way to keep going because they were "almost there!". When other birth-y people started seeing my cervical dilation rings, they began to ask where they could get a set of their own.
I created these rings to include the stages of labour to help moms understand just how far their cervix would need to dilate before a baby is born. This helps manage their expectation of how long they should be labouring. It's a visual representation of time as well as a physical change- people are often surprised to see that early labour, when the cervix is most closed, is also typically the longest stage of childbirth!
During labour, if a mom agreed to a cervical exam, I would use the dilation rings to show her where she was at and where she needed to be. I find a lot of people need this kind of reassurance to keep going.
I also created the rings for Lamaze classes that I'd teach- students would pass them around and express shock at how big 10cm really is. The best part about the rings is that they're easily sanitized with a Lysol wipe!
Finally, when I was a new labour and delivery nurse I found it hard to really grasp the difference between 5, 6 and 7cm during a cervical exam. The rings really helped me "feel" the difference and nail down my skills to make my nursing practice so much better.
How would you use cervical dilation rings in your birth practice?