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Mothering › Groups ›  April 2012 DDC › Discussions › Stripping Membranes...worth anything? will you do it?

Stripping Membranes...worth anything? will you do it?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

So generally speaking, my thought is that having your membranes swept or stripped is useless unless labor is about to start anyway.  I had it done with DD at 39+5, (pretty unfavorable cervix at the time, from what i remember) and she wasn't born until 40+2--probably when she was ready.  I also did other "induction" and ripening type things because I was so uncomfortable--cohoshes, every food imaginable, driving over speed bumps, sex, vag EPO.  I don't think any of it really helped.  I think a lot of it just made me uncomfortable.

 

So here I am again, 39 tomorrow, maybe 3 cm dilated and not feeling that babe coming any time soon.  My midwife offered to strip my membranes when I see her next week at 39+4, and I'm sort of considering it, assuming my cervix is continuing to progress. Is that stupid?  redface.gif

 

An added concern is that I'm VBACing this time, so cohoshes and medical induction are out, even post dates.  Although they'll technically let me go past 42 weeks with a signed waiver, I think they will start getting pushy on scheduling either an induction or RCS after I hit 40 weeks.  So just a consideration.

 

Any thoughts?  Are you all having your membranes swept when you get close to your EDD?  What are the cons--is there a chance they could accidentally break my water?  'Cause I definitely don't want that....

 

 

post #2 of 23

I had it done with my DD. I had a late u/s at 41+1 wks and it showed low amniotic fluid.  My midwife consults with an Ob/Gyn on these types of things and he wanted to induce me the next day. So she stripped my membranes to see if we could get things going. I think she actually did it twice because I was there for a long time that day.  I had my first contraction shortly after and serious labor about 10 hrs. later.  I had a very rough and difficult labor and pushing stage, I still don't think my DD was ready to come out and we forced her too soon with the membrane stripping.  I don't plan on doing it this time OR having a late ultrasound (which I now know commonly misdiagnoses things like low amniotic fluid). 

 

But for me, yes it definitely got things moving.

post #3 of 23
I'm pretty anti-interventionist and wouldn't even consider stripping membranes last time (DD was born at 42+3 and VERY healthy). However I did ask my midwife about it today and she said it probably wasn't necessary in my case. I've had a few friends homebirth really late this year and their babies definitely needed to come out. My postdates baby didn't have any sign of being postmature, so I think I have more leeway.

My problem with membrane stripping is the whole someone else putting fingers in my uterus thing. Just...no. But I might be up for it if I'm still pregnant in a week and a half.
post #4 of 23

 My due date was yesterday. I saw the OB on Tuesday and he said that if I'm still pregnant next week that we'll need to get a little more 'aggressive' about labor. IDK what that means, but I reminded him of my original due date (4/12/12) and that he said he'd give me a window of 3/21 to 4/12 without pressure. He recalled saying it and backed off, but honestly if I don't deliver this weekend I may ask him to strip mine! Not really, but come on I. am. ready.

 

Justkate, I agree - if you're not ready it will just make you uncomfortable. That's why I'm avoiding all the crazy stuff I've tried before. I've learned nothing makes you go into labor until your body (and the babe) is ready! I go 40+3-6 days. That's just the way I am.

post #5 of 23

I wouldn't do it. Especially before 40 weeks. I'm a believer that babies will come when they are truly ready and that nature shouldn't be intervened with in most cases. Every day in the womb is important and even over 40 weeks...some babies NEED to be there for that extra time for whatever reason. But that's me.

post #6 of 23

It isn't something I would consider doing unless the alternatives were a medical induction.  I don't get vaginal checks either so it would be kind of odd for me to have it done. I kind of feel like baby will come whenever it needs to and then definitely see the importance of monitoring past 40 weeks to make sure everything is still going well.  It is personally just how I feel about it but I also know the "I am completely done" feeling.  With DS I felt this intensely for almost a week and then finally settled down and was ok with him taking forever and my water broke that night so I didn't have to wrestle with it for too long.  I am definitely not speaking from the experience of going post dates and having to figure that out.  Not really sure if that would change my mind on the stripping but it would probably make me look in to it.  I hope you feel settled about making a decision before next week. I would be worried about accidentally rupturing my membranes before the baby was ready but have not researched it enough to know of other possible cons.  

post #7 of 23
I myself would never have it done again. I had them stripped at 40w9d and although nothing happened right away, I did go into labour the next am around 4:30. I do not think my son was ready. He came out with a nuchal arm and was in a funky position which to me means he was pushed out before he had time to get himself into a better position. As a doula, I feel that stripping membranes should be the absolute last resort for a VBACing woman. I know that people say "it won't work unless baby is ready", but if that's the case...why do it at all? If it does work...you are inducing yourself. Any kind of induction is not natural. If by chance the membrane stripping works, you'll just have to cross your fingers that she's 100% ready and in her needed position, to birth easily. I've also noticed that when my clients decide on having this procedure, the early labour phase is more painful and longer than previous births...might be coincidence...who knows? I think that sex, lots of activity(garden or get real physical outside for awhile)and a good talking to baby are the only natural things that you can do...the rest is up to your little one:)
post #8 of 23
And yes, it can cause rupture of membranes:(
post #9 of 23

The other thing about induction by any method is that I really think postdates babies are in there for a reason. Not that they should be, but that there's something holding them up on coming out and an induction won't fix that. With DD I didn't start actual labor until 42+1, though I was doing prodromal from 36.5 on. She had a really wonky position and wound up needing to come out abdominally. Thankfully she and I were both really healthy so going postdates wasn't a big deal. I'm currently sitting at 39+5 with no sign of labor happening yet. DS has been trending anterior the past 2 weeks and engaged today, but all's quiet on the uterine front. Because he's in a good position and engaged I don't think it'll be much longer, but both I and my midwife think he'll hold out until DD is well again because I DO NOT want a sick toddler while in labor or with a newborn. We'll see though.

 

Also I am SO glad i"m homebirthing. The CNM practice I saw in early pregnancy would be pressuring me to schedule by now, and just no.

post #10 of 23

I agree with this. We may never know the exact reason some babies go beyond 40 weeks, but I believe there is a reason and it still shouldn't be intervened with in most cases. I'm not having my cervix even checked by my midwife or anything else...I don't care to know what I'm dilated/effaced prior to labor starting, even. It means nothing to me. The baby will just come when she comes and I'm not going to let myself obsess over it. (BTDT!!!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunflwrmoonbeam View Post

The other thing about induction by any method is that I really think postdates babies are in there for a reason. Not that they should be, but that there's something holding them up on coming out and an induction won't fix that. With DD I didn't start actual labor until 42+1, though I was doing prodromal from 36.5 on. She had a really wonky position and wound up needing to come out abdominally. Thankfully she and I were both really healthy so going postdates wasn't a big deal. I'm currently sitting at 39+5 with no sign of labor happening yet. DS has been trending anterior the past 2 weeks and engaged today, but all's quiet on the uterine front. Because he's in a good position and engaged I don't think it'll be much longer, but both I and my midwife think he'll hold out until DD is well again because I DO NOT want a sick toddler while in labor or with a newborn. We'll see though.

 

Also I am SO glad i"m homebirthing. The CNM practice I saw in early pregnancy would be pressuring me to schedule by now, and just no.



 

post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 

Yikes.  Thanks for the reassurance, everyone.  I know I don't need it, especially before 41 or so, but geez its tempting!  I am really worried about accidental ROM with it, so that should be enough of a deterrent for now.

 

 

post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulafina View Post

I myself would never have it done again. I had them stripped at 40w9d and although nothing happened right away, I did go into labour the next am around 4:30. I do not think my son was ready. He came out with a nuchal arm and was in a funky position which to me means he was pushed out before he had time to get himself into a better position. As a doula, I feel that stripping membranes should be the absolute last resort for a VBACing woman. I know that people say "it won't work unless baby is ready", but if that's the case...why do it at all? If it does work...you are inducing yourself. Any kind of induction is not natural. If by chance the membrane stripping works, you'll just have to cross your fingers that she's 100% ready and in her needed position, to birth easily. I've also noticed that when my clients decide on having this procedure, the early labour phase is more painful and longer than previous births...might be coincidence...who knows? I think that sex, lots of activity(garden or get real physical outside for awhile)and a good talking to baby are the only natural things that you can do...the rest is up to your little one:)


Yes, that's exactly what I mean. The same goes for herbs, castor oil, etc. IMO

post #13 of 23

I pretty much agree with everyone else - that 40-42 weekers are normal and healthy and some babies even go past that for good reason. I am pretty much anti-intervention when it comes to getting labor going in an otherwise healthy pregnancy, at least until 42 weeks.

 

I did have my membranes stripped last time. I was being induced the next morning for reasons that were medically sound to me at that point so I figured it wouldn't hurt at that point. It didn't hurt but I don't think it helped, either. I still had a successful, uncomplicated induction (very good experience as far as inductions go, I believe). I can see stripping membranes in that sort of circumstance - when it's worth a try anyway, but otherwise, I wouldn't do it. I just think we should generally let our bodies do what they are supposed to be and trust in the process.....

post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulafina View Post

I myself would never have it done again. I had them stripped at 40w9d and although nothing happened right away, I did go into labour the next am around 4:30. I do not think my son was ready. He came out with a nuchal arm and was in a funky position which to me means he was pushed out before he had time to get himself into a better position. As a doula, I feel that stripping membranes should be the absolute last resort for a VBACing woman. I know that people say "it won't work unless baby is ready", but if that's the case...why do it at all? If it does work...you are inducing yourself. Any kind of induction is not natural. If by chance the membrane stripping works, you'll just have to cross your fingers that she's 100% ready and in her needed position, to birth easily. I've also noticed that when my clients decide on having this procedure, the early labour phase is more painful and longer than previous births...might be coincidence...who knows? I think that sex, lots of activity(garden or get real physical outside for awhile)and a good talking to baby are the only natural things that you can do...the rest is up to your little one:)

My DD had a nuchal arm too! Her position caused some pretty bad tearing in what my midwives referred to as a "weird place to tear" - think up high, ouch.
We joke she was putting her hand up saying "no I don't want to leave", but I truly think the membrane stripping did evict her too soon from her comfy home. She went on to have colic, probably related.
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaChick View Post

My DD had a nuchal arm too! Her position caused some pretty bad tearing in what my midwives referred to as a "weird place to tear" - think up high, ouch.
We joke she was putting her hand up saying "no I don't want to leave", but I truly think the membrane stripping did evict her too soon from her comfy home. She went on to have colic, probably related.

I had tearing up high too! They called it a "starburst" tear- I had 4 different places tear but just slightly(enough for one stitch in each spot). Man...that was owie for quite some time. My son was a colicky baby too:( The others have come on their own time and have been "angel babies".
post #16 of 23

I had it done once with #2 after I was past 40 weeks. It did nothing. I ended up taking cohoshes a few days before she was born at 42 weeks.

 

I won't let a doc do it again.

post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulafina View Post


I had tearing up high too! They called it a "starburst" tear- I had 4 different places tear but just slightly(enough for one stitch in each spot). Man...that was owie for quite some time. My son was a colicky baby too:( The others have come on their own time and have been "angel babies".


That's crazy, Tulafina! Even after the loooooong labor and pushing for over 2 hrs. I think the getting stitched was the worst part! It felt like it took forever to heal and I was so scared to have sex again, I think I waited until like 12 weeks PP! Just out of  curiosity, did you ever have the urge to push? I never did, and have seen that this is very common with babies with nuchal arms. Also, pushing is painful and not a "relief" like most mom's describe.  I thought I was some kind of freak that didn't have the urge to push, I'm glad to know if this baby is in a good position things will go different (I hope!). Also, my midwife kept saying I had a cervical lip, this is also very common with a nuchal arm. They think you're not fully dialated or have a cervical lip and it's really just that stubborn little arm causing all the problems!

 

Also, really relieved to hear your other babies weren't colicky! I am praying this baby isn't. That was one of the toughest things I've ever gone through.

post #18 of 23

I didn't have my membranes stripped but DS was asynclitic with a nuchal hand and I didn't have the urge to push and ended up pushing a little under five hours.  My number one thing this time...only push when I actually feel the need to push. My mw feels pretty confident I won't have to push as long and baby has been in a good position for a couple of weeks now.  Hope your babe gets in a good position and keeps those arms away from its head!

post #19 of 23

Staying upright during labor and laboring/birthing in water helps too! My last baby was my waterbirth, I labored entirely in the water, mostly on my knees and she was born with a contraction, not a single push and no tearing. :) Something about water that helps with that!

 

birth4.jpg

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by flavorfull1 View Post

I didn't have my membranes stripped but DS was asynclitic with a nuchal hand and I didn't have the urge to push and ended up pushing a little under five hours.  My number one thing this time...only push when I actually feel the need to push. My mw feels pretty confident I won't have to push as long and baby has been in a good position for a couple of weeks now.  Hope your babe gets in a good position and keeps those arms away from its head!



 

post #20 of 23

^^ this is my plan. With DS I was in a deep squat for a lot of the pushing and it worked well to bring him down but was also really tough on my tailbone. It felt a lot better to be on my knees in the birth pool.  I plan on getting in and getting out only after my baby is born.

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