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Membrane stripping

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
I had my 41 week MW appointment, and asked the MW to strip my membranes. I have never had this done, but never been so ready to give birth at 41 weeks (I was much more laid back with DS and DD).

I was scared it would be painful, but it really wasn't bad. It took all of 3 minutes and was more uncomfortable and "pinchy" than painful.

I am at 3 cm and "0" station. I really don't know what 0 station means--but I think that means baby is as low as baby can go.

If anyone has any miracle membrane stripping stories (or any stories of stripping after 40 weeks), can you share?
post #2 of 33
I have a friend who was due 3 days behind me. She got her membranes stripped at 38 and 39 weeks, and gave birth yesterday at 39+4.
post #3 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by rivkah View Post
I am at 3 cm and "0" station. I really don't know what 0 station means--but I think that means baby is as low as baby can go.
Just wondering, were you 3cm before she stripped the membranes, or did you dilate to 3 cm after?

I have no miracle story, sorry, but I'm starting to think about this procedure, too. Hang in there.
post #4 of 33
What exactly is membrane stripping? What is being removed? Mucous plug? I assume it's not the amniotic sac? Sorry. . . just can't picture what's being done
post #5 of 33
Well Voltige, stripping membranes is when a doctor sticks his hand into the uterus and separates the bottom of the amniotic sack from the walls of the uterus/cervix. It's supposed to release prostaglandins and thereby stimulate labor. I've heard it's incredibly painful, and personally I'm way too squicked by the idea of someone's HAND IN MY UTERUS!!!! to ever allow that to happen.
post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunflwrmoonbeam View Post
Well Voltige, stripping membranes is when a doctor sticks his hand into the uterus and separates the bottom of the amniotic sack from the walls of the uterus/cervix. It's supposed to release prostaglandins and thereby stimulate labor. I've heard it's incredibly painful, and personally I'm way too squicked by the idea of someone's HAND IN MY UTERUS!!!! to ever allow that to happen.
That sounds awful I'd have to be pretty desperate to try that, I think.
post #7 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beauchamp View Post
Just wondering, were you 3cm before she stripped the membranes, or did you dilate to 3 cm after?

I have no miracle story, sorry, but I'm starting to think about this procedure, too. Hang in there.
I was already at 3 cm. The only studies showing its effectiveness show that it ca be effective at 39+ weeks when a woman is already at least 1 cm, so the MW checked to make sure.

Honestly, I just feel a little desperate right now. It wasn't necessary, and the MW totally left it up to me. The funny thing is, I don't even know why I feel desperate. Physically, I am totally fine, but I have somehow come to a emotional wall that I have not experienced before.

I know some people would never have this done and some OB's do it routinely (without asking!), but I guess I am somewhere in the middle. It seems relatively non-evasive (as long as it is your choice) and low-risk (unless an insensitive or inexperienced care provider ruptures your membranes).

It basically involved your MW or Doc separating the membrane from your cervix, by running their finger around your cervix--kind of like separating a balloon from the inside of another balloon. Think pelvic exam with a rotating finger that lasts about 3-5 minutes. For me, it was not very painful at all--though not really fun--certainly not awful. It was better than getting my teeth cleaned or my eyes examined (I HATE having eye exams). But I know some women find it really painful and invasive. I suspect it may have something to do with your comfort/trust level with the person doing it also and it is appalling to me that a doc would do this without asking first.
post #8 of 33
I had it done with #2, I didn't find it to hurt that much, but it wasn't that effective either, I am pretty sure I had it done twice and he was 10 days late.

I did ask the MW to strip my membranes this time at 1 week overdue, but she couldn't even reach to do it, baby was - and is - too high. I definitely would have if I could have though, out of the possibility it would help.
post #9 of 33
I hope my comment wasn't insensitive I'm only at almost 38 weeks and still comfortable and emotionally okay I think as long as it's your decision it's fine- and I hope you are holding your babe soon!!

I was talking with DH last night and he asked about caster oil. I said I'd only try THAT if they were threatening to induce or cut me open to remove the baby. I think we all hit the WALL at some point- and it sounds like you are there. From that perspective, membrane stripping doesn't sound too bad.
post #10 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Voltige View Post
I hope my comment wasn't insensitive I'm only at almost 38 weeks and still comfortable and emotionally okay I think as long as it's your decision it's fine- and I hope you are holding your babe soon!!

I was talking with DH last night and he asked about caster oil. I said I'd only try THAT if they were threatening to induce or cut me open to remove the baby. I think we all hit the WALL at some point- and it sounds like you are there. From that perspective, membrane stripping doesn't sound too bad.
Oh, no! I completely understand your reaction--it could sound awful, and I think for some women it is. For me, it just wasn't a big deal, whereas touching my eyeball -- BIG DEAL.
post #11 of 33
0 station is great news That means the baby's head is engaged (which is judged in relation to the ischial spines on your pelvis). All negative numbers in regards to station (-3 -2 -1) refer to the baby being above your ischial spines and all positive numbers (+1 +2 +3) are below your ischial spines. I believe that +4 is on the perineum.
post #12 of 33
I had it done with my last and went into labor 2 days after I had it done!
post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Voltige View Post
That sounds awful I'd have to be pretty desperate to try that, I think.
I agree with this completely. My mw doesn't even do checks (and if she offered I'd refuse). Someone sticking their finger into my uterus - no thanks!

OP: 0 station is not as low as baby can go. Baby starts at - stations, and then progresses to + stations. 0 station is basically right in the middle (meaning, in your pelvis but not in the birth canal). Babies can get to + stations before labor as well.
post #14 of 33
Keep seeing this on new posts.

It's your CERVIX not your UTERUS that is being manipulated. They are breaking the seal between the bag of water and your cervix.

Sorry, that was bugging me. Leaving now.
post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by OtherMother'n'Madre View Post
Keep seeing this on new posts.

It's your CERVIX not your UTERUS that is being manipulated. They are breaking the seal between the bag of water and your cervix.

Sorry, that was bugging me. Leaving now.
I'm familiar with the difference. To me, since the cervix is the opening to the uterus, when someone needs to sweep their fingers INSIDE my cervix to separate the bag of waters from it....that's my uterus. Call it what you will. I still don't want anyone's fingers up there.
post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by goin' green View Post
I'm familiar with the difference. To me, since the cervix is the opening to the uterus, when someone needs to sweep their fingers INSIDE my cervix to separate the bag of waters from it....that's my uterus. Call it what you will. I still don't want anyone's fingers up there.
Seconded. Unless the bag of waters is sticking outside the cervix, to lift them from the cervix requires fingers INSIDE, and just..no. Yow.
post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunflwrmoonbeam View Post
Seconded. Unless the bag of waters is sticking outside the cervix, to lift them from the cervix requires fingers INSIDE, and just..no. Yow.
When I had mine done it hurt really bad. I will never do that again!
post #18 of 33
Barging from July - I had this done a few babies ago. I was 39 weeks, 3 cm dilated/80% effaced. (Reason being doc likes clotting patients on anticoagulants to deliver by 40w.) Baby was at -2 station (where he pretty much remained until I was complete and pushing, and eventually the doc ended up breaking my water - it seemed the sac was holding him back - though the doc later mentioned a short cord - but that's a story for another day).

Anyway, the membrane sweep lasted about 30 seconds or maybe even less, and hurt like the dickens (well, briefly; it's not like it's comparable to labor pain or anything!). A nurse held my hand though it was only afterward that I understood why she did that. From that moment forward, I was having menstrual-cramping type pain. I had slow contractions throughout the day and ended up in active labor in the middle of the night. I had an epidural with that birth, which I mention because I think it may slow things down a bit for me. He was born about 24 hours after the membrane sweep, about 8 hours of active labor. That was my second vbac.

For my first vbac, when I delivered my twins, baby A was at the 0+ station - like a half a cm past 0 - for weeks while I was on bedrest for preterm labor. I went into spontaneous labor following p-prom with that one, at 33w. I also had an epidural with that labor and it lasted about as long as the next one - about 8 hours total. I think 0 station is nice for putting good pressure on the cervix with contractions, though I didn't see much difference between the two labors (-2 station and 0 station), though now I wonder with the -2 labor whether the sac itself, which was eventually bulging of course, applied any pressure to the cervix during contractions or not.

ETA: With my third vbac, I had spontaneous labor at 38w and a fast/intense unmedicated birth. Depending on some other pregnancy complications (and of course I still have my clotting issue), if I make it to 39w this time I would definitely be open to the idea of the sweep. It was definitely not so bad that I wouldn't do it again in the right situation (and of course with someone who's experienced. The risk of breaking water, not sure how large it is, would be my only real concern. Then again, I'd rather even have that than a repeat section).

Good luck!!
post #19 of 33
At 41 weeks I can't say I wouldn't want that done. Heck I think I would take it now if offered, although it would make no difference for me anyway, so pointless really.

I understand others not wanting it done, but really, you are the momma and you are obviously within a decent gestation to make decisions. I understand just being DONE. I am SOOOO done and if there was anything I could do to get this little one out, I would.
post #20 of 33
My sister had it done and she went into labor the next day (and had a good sized baby and natural child birth). She was right around her due date and dilated, can't remember the details of how far. They WERE pretty rough with her (I was there, and she almost fainted from the pain, sorry to freak anyone out) - some providers are definitely rougher than others and I'm sure you can ask them to be gentle.

I also had it done, it didn't hurt at all - but it also didn't do anything. I had the baby over a week later.
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