This section is from the book "The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine. Volume 2.", by J. H. Kellogg, M.D.. Also available from Amazon: The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine, Volume 2.
In some cases labor is delayed by a failure of the neck or mouth of the womb to dilate with sufficient rapidity. This is sometimes due to an early rupture of the membranes, in consequence of which the "bag of waters," which precedes the child as it passes downward, does not perform its usual and important function of dilatation. It is also sometimes due to an unnatural condition of the tissues of the neck of the womb. In these cases the pains are very severe and acute, being felt mostly in the sacrum. The patient is feverish and very restless, the pulse becomes very frequent, and the patient suffers great distress. By internal examination, the os, or mouth, of the womb is felt like a hard ring.
The best remedies for this condition are the hot sitz bath and the hot vaginal douche. They may be continued for several hours if necessary without detriment. Large hot enemas are also very useful in this condition. They should be retained as long as possible.