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Stripping Membranes...tell me about this...

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I just posted earlier that I've got the I'm overdue woes. I just talked to my midwife and scheduled to see her for a 41 week appt. on Saturday...if I haven't had a baby yet (fingers crossed). She said we would discuss some of the things I could do to help things along. She mentioned that if I'm dilated well that she could strip my membranes. I thought this was supposed to be very uncomfortable. She said that most women find it only to be like a vaginal exam.

Anyone have any experience with this? I'm having a homebirth and I just invisioned having everything be so natural and spontaneous. I'm just not quite sure what to do at this point...
Any input is welcome!

post #2 of 17
Why not postpone your decision for a few days? Nothing will be hurt by waiting. Decide to revisit the issue on, say, Sunday. Then on Sunday you can see how you feel and either decide to set a new date to revisit the idea, or decide to go on with the procedure.

What is your biggest concern? Is your mw pressuring you to do something? Are you worried by scare stories you've heard? Or are you just really sick of waiting? Figuring that out will help you clarify what you want to do.

If it helps, I am also overdue. Tomorrow makes 43 weeks for me. It actually started to get a bit easier after passing that looming invisible deadline of 42 weeks. And btw, 90% of women who go overdue deliver by 42 weeks (or so I've read). I don't happen to be one of them, but think how great your odds are!

to you.
post #3 of 17
Yes,it is similar to a vaginal exam but longer and a bit more painful.For me those exams only hurt during pregnancy anyhow.She will basically run her fingers back and forth sweeping the membranes.She should be thorough if she is going to do it and she should take about 5 minutes to do it.Either it will work and you will go into labor or it won't work and you will be very crampy and have some pains and bleeding.I have had it done with all 3 of my pregnancies and it never worked for me.Withmy third i was at 43 weeks 4cm and fully effaced and it didn't work
post #4 of 17
sending you some positive energy
my first was 41weeks+1day. I never considered going past my due date while I was pg. Then as that date came and went I had to get acquainted with all the natural inducers too since we were planning a homebirth as well. (she was born at home, coming in her own time, but after castor oil, lots of sex, lots of walking, homeopathic remedies, and a very spicy dinner )

someone may have better info. but from what I understand stripping the membranes may or may not work to start labor, and especially if this is your first baby it may not work. the pain can vary from little to extremely uncomfortable. It is considered somewhat controversial because this is something some OB's would do in the last vaginal exam near the due date, and not tell the woman.

I agree with the above post, let it go for a few days, and let your head and heart get in the right place. I've always heard "babies come on their birthdays, not on their due dates".

wishing you the best
post #5 of 17
Honestly, I have only heard bad things about this.
Like it made the labor harder, worse, etc. maybe because the mom's body wasn't ready for it.

If you want everything natural and spontaneous... I would make sure you do not get talked into this and do what is right for you.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. I will postpone the thought until Saturday when I see my midwife. She isn't pressuring me at all. I just told her that I'm getting anxious and that was one of the options she put out there. I would like to wait. I'm just scared of that 42 week point. Otherwise I really don't mind being overdue.

Tell me...would this concern any of you?:
My MIL came into town to be here when the baby arrives. She came all the way from Spain on the 19th and she'll stay through the 5th. The 5th is the end of week 42 for me. Part of me says oh well, but then the other part will kind of feel like a failure or something if I send her home without having a baby. And believe me she will be really bugging me with paranoia and such nonsense once next week hits. I'm for sure not going to do anything just for her sake, but I kind of feel like a failure I guess. Weird I know.

post #7 of 17
One thing to think about/ask is what happens if the membrane stripping causes your waters to break prematurely. In some states homebirth midwives have fairly strict protocols about transferring to the hospital after the waters have been broken for a certain amount of time (often 24 hours). Even if there isn't some kind of state mandate, your midwife might strongly encourage transfer after a specific period of time.

It would be good to know before you make your decision what the possible consequences would be of the negative side effects of the membrane stripping.

Good luck!
post #8 of 17
chiming in late.........

my midwife stripped my membranes and I didn't even know she did it. It was JUST like an internal, it was totally painless, and it took a minute or so.

Don't get me wrong......I was NOT happy that my midwife did it without asking or even TELLING me.......however it was a fine experience for me.

I was only about 1 or 2cm dialted and probably about 75% effaced at the time and I was just about 42 weeks. She did it in the afternoon, that night I had mild contractions but still went out to eat, went walking, and such. Had harder contrax in the a.m., lost my plug by 6am, hard labor by 9am, baby by 5pm. So....about 24 hour from strip to baby for me.

I probably wouldn't do it again unless I was getting closer to the 43 week mark and I think it's probably a better tool for first time moms than moms who's bodies already know whats going on.
post #9 of 17
I had it done 3 times (three different days) in an effort to jumpstart labor so that I wouldn't be risked out of my birth center at 42 weeks. Each time was progressively worse and the third time hurt like a son of a bitch.

It worked the last time, and I went into early labor. I probably would do it over facing the same circumstances, i.e. about to get kicked out of my birthing center and sent to the hospital for an induction but I wouldn't do it just for being "late" and uncomfortable - too much risk of the waters rupturing and then you're in for it whether you're ready or not. (Next time I plan on homebirthing so I won't face the birth center's rules, too.)

If it helps, my understanding is that in Europe 41 weeks is considered term. For a first-time pregnancy, the average woman goes 8 days over term, i.e. 41 weeks 1 day - which means that the 40 week definition of term is really unrealistic, and you're not actually overdue!

Believe you me, I know how much it sucks to be waiting and uncomfortable - I went to 42 weeks in DC in August.
post #10 of 17
i too, also think my MW stripped my membranes without me knowing it. how can one tell for sure anyway?
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Well, I think I will play it by ear. I'm really not uncomfortable at all. I'm just scared of that 42 week mark. At that point I would have to get a sonogram just to make sure things are still good but I really don't want to get to that point. We'll see how I'm progressing on Saturday.

Funny thing...
There was a psychic as a guest on one of the local morning radio shows this morning. I couldn't help myself...I had to call in! :LOL
She said the baby would come tonight. Hmm we'll see how right she is. I then told her I was having a homebirth and I asked (shouldn't have I suppose) if I would have it at home or if I would end up in the hospital. She said hospital. Then she said I'd have a boy. We'll see. I'll take any info I can get at this point. I'm ashamed to admit that I have been asking the magic 8 ball the same questions almost daily! :

Thanks for the input on the stripping membranes. I can see it both ways...again, we'll see...

post #12 of 17
I had my membranes stripped painlessly with both preganncy's and had the baby within 24 hours each time, I plan to have it done again this time if need be.
post #13 of 17
Hello! I had this done with my pregnancy last April. I was almost 40 weeks and had been walking around 4cm and 90% effaced for almost four weeks. I seriously felt like ds was going to fall out! It did not hurt at all (there wasn't much to strip though) and I don't really think it made any difference.

If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn't do it unless I was over 41 or 42 weeks... Of course, my next pregnancy I don't intend to do internals at all because it's frustrating to know you are 4cm for weeks at a time!

Best wishes!
post #14 of 17
As pp's said there are risks like water breaking, or a lot of cx that get you nowhere.

With my first dd I had it done twice and it didn't work. Just lots of cx that eventually stopped after giving me some bloody show.

With my second dd I was having prodromal labor going on a couple of weeks, no sleep, desperate to have the baby (this was coming off months of bedrest). I was already 4 cm. I had it done at 11 AM after asking my NP to do it for me. I felt an immediatel difference in the cx right after the procedure, started walking a lot, had sex, and by 6 PM was in full blown labor. Had baby at 3AM. Since I was planning a hospital birth anyway, I didn't care so much if my waters broke or something. I was desperate to get on with labor and have the baby.

post #15 of 17
My Dr did it for me. It didn't really hurt when he did it, but I had cramps for the rest of the afternoon. That evening I went into labor, and the next evening, DS was finally born. I had bad back labor, which I believe is what caused everything to take so long. I'm not pro or con on the procedure - just sharing my experience with it.
post #16 of 17
My dr. did this. She sort of warned me she was doing it but didn't really explain so I was kind of annoyed. It hurt pretty bad for a couple of seconds. That evening I had very intense contractions and lost my plug but it was a week before I had the baby.
post #17 of 17
I had my dr. do it at 42 weeks so I could avoid being induced. I wouldn't have had them done if I weren't already at the 42 week mark. I had tried everything else up to that point and for me it worked like a charm! He stripped and contractions started. I had DS the next evening.
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