Being Induced? How to Know and Understand Your Bishop Score

Bishop Score

Congratulations! You’re nearing the end of your pregnancy and birth is in sight. If an induced labor is on your birth plan, you’ll want to have an idea what your Bishop Score is before labor begins.

Your doctor or midwife has likely been assessing your score over the last couple of weeks. He/she will be more than happy to discuss any questions or concerns you have surrounding anything mentioned here.

What is it?

The Bishop score, developed by Dr. Edward Bishop in 1964, gives a rating on the likelihood that you will have a successful vaginal birth following an induced labor. The score is rated on a scale of zero to thirteen and looks at the following aspects:

Cervical dilation

Cervical effacement

Cervical consistency

Cervical positioning

Fetal station

Each of these is rated on a numerical scale and can help determine whether your body is ready for an induction. A score of greater than 8 usually means that an induction will lead to a vaginal birth. If you score something around 6 or less, your doctor will likely suggest starting with a cervical ripener before the induction begins.

 How it works

0 1 2 3
Cervical Position Posterior Midposition Anterior
Cervical Consistency Firm Medium Soft
Cervical Effacement 0-30% 31-50% 51-80% 80%+
Cervical Dilation 0 cm 1-2 cm 3-4 cm 5cm+
Fetal Station -3 -2 -1,0 +1,+2

What it means for you

There are so many things that your body needs to do in order to get baby here. While a lot of focus is put on the dilation of the cervix, that is just one small part of the equation. If your doctor is suggesting an induction (or you’d like to initiate the conversation) don’t hesitate to ask about your Bishop Score!

Oh, one last thing…if you get a score that isn’t what you hoped, don’t get discouraged. Your score will change many times over the last few weeks and days of pregnancy, you’ve got this.

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Katie
Owner and Doula at Mid Kansas Doula Services
Katie is co-owner and doula at Mid Kansas Doula Services. When she isn't busy being a doula, Katie is connecting with other local moms. You can find Katie either behind the laptop or planning her next big project. Her favorite quote is "Your future will be exactly what you decide to make it" by Dr Forrest Shaklee.