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Membrane Sweeping

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Yesterday at my midwife appointment, I was asked if I was interested in having them do a sweep of my membranes at my next appointment (38 weeks).

I don't know what to think of this. On the one hand, it is exciting to think of having the baby sooner than later. On the other hand, I am concerned that it goes against my body and the baby's natural process.

Any thoughts? Would you do it, have you had it done, and if so how soon did you go in to labour?
post #2 of 23
No, have never had it done and I wouldn't if it was offered. With both my boys I've gone into spontaneous labour without any intervention and I'm confident of that happening with this one, too. And if it doesn't ... well, I'd rather wait and see.
post #3 of 23
I might have it done if my midwife offers it. I'm borderline pre-e and my body is not liking this pregnancy. (Nor am I, particularly, for that matter.) I've already have some false labor (ctx 4-6 min apart for 2-3 hours) so I know my body is already gearing up.
post #4 of 23
If I get to term I would but that is b/c MIL is coming a few weeks after my "Due date" and I want some time to bond before she gets here...otherwise I would not...at least not until I was "overdue"

post #5 of 23
I wouldn't ahead of time. I did have my water broken last time, after a day of mild labor, and I was overdue. he was born like 45 minutes after we broke water. But I was already in labor and he wasready to come out!

I wouldn't want to rush the kid ahead of time, you know?
post #6 of 23
I wouldn't. My first three were induced or augmented and going into spontaneous labor all by myself, when my body and my baby were ready...all on our own, was awesome (with my last one).

If I was overdue (meaning PAST the normal 42 weeks) and there was concern, I would rather that than a more medical intervention.
post #7 of 23
Ditto MonkeyPrincess. I would prefer to allow my body to start labor without any kind of alternations. If it didn't then I would check into having it done. This is assuming a normal pregnancy and the baby is doing well and not in any danger.
post #8 of 23
Great info here, both pro and con.

Personally, as long as I were showing no "danger" signs, I would not. Not even at 41 weeks. I would consider at 41w5d, or therabouts, especially if my alternative was being transferred to an OB's care or a more medicalized induction.
post #9 of 23
Originally Posted by MonkeyPrincess View Post
I wouldn't. My first three were induced or augmented and going into spontaneous labor all by myself, when my body and my baby were ready...all on our own, was awesome (with my last one).

If I was overdue (meaning PAST the normal 42 weeks) and there was concern, I would rather that than a more medical intervention.
I second the ditto MY first birth was pit induced and the most painful thing I have ever been through. I will just let my body do its thing this time.
post #10 of 23
No way, not at 38 weeks especially. I am surprised your mw would offer it so early. I did have it done with my last pg at 40 wks exactly and had my babe 12 hours later, but I'd been having a week of contractions on and off and I think he would have come anyway. I don't think I will have it done this time at all.
post #11 of 23
with my first to there was no reason so never asked or was offered, but with my son i was a week late and staying at my parents house with 2 small children, so i asked to have it done, but my cervix likes to stay fully closed and posterior till labor so they couldn't even tho i wanted them to
post #12 of 23
I would consider it if between 41 and 42 weeks and faced with losing the ability to birth at the birth center or being induced with pitocin. One of my MWs suggested EPO and I'm not sure I even want to take that. I want to see what my body does naturally. For me, 38w is way too early to be sweeping membranes.
post #13 of 23
The research shows it shortens pregnancy by a few days. It only works when you are close to being ready to go, and doing them more than once seems most effective. In a community where you might have to transfer care if you go beyond 42 weeks, or where you will be railroaded into an induction, it makes sense. But at 38 weeks? I can't imagine why starting that early would be beneficial. It won't induce you into labour, but start things a few days early. So I can also see if you are having complications and want to avoid an induction that trying stretch and sweeps might help, or if you have gone significantly past your due date, otherwise, it is just messing with a good thing well enough left alone!
post #14 of 23
Sweeping membrains wont make you go unless you are ready to have the baby, even then it may not work. It can introduce bacteria and give you a sore back, and make you feel disapointed when nothing happens.

To me it is very invasive and disrespectful of the natural process and woman and has no solid evendence of going any good. It hard to let your body take the corse it needs to, and even harder for health care providers, even midwives to keep their hands out of there. There is no reason to have vag exams prior to you going into labor, unless you are having preterm labor. Telling a woman that she is dialted and efacing at 36-40 weeks is no indication that she will be having the baby anytime soon(of corse there are the ones that do, but not because they said it would happen), I hate when they tell you that.

I personaly would never do it, let alone have a vag exam with no solid reasoning for having one. Just my two cents and a vent, nothing personal.
post #15 of 23
I had it done to me without my consent or knowledge in my second pregnancy. It was very painful, the doctor didn't tell me what he was doing. Afterwards, he said "I stirred things up a bit in there, that should get you going." This was at 37 weeks. I had my baby at 41 weeks. I felt very confused and violated.

I would consider making and informed choice if I felt it would be beneficial to try, knowing that there are no guarantees. But not at 38 weeks. I am perfectly happy waiting for my body to start labor, and for my baby to come, when it is time.
post #16 of 23
I have never had it done, and would never opt to have it done unless truly medically necessary. Also, I've heard that it can be very painful!

If you'll only be 38 weeks, then why is your midwife wanting to rush things?
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
Wow! Thanks for all the responses!

The midwife stated that they make it available as an option, because in their opinion it generally prevents labour from going over term.

I think I'm going to opt out. It does seem too early, unnecessary considering I have no medical risks and I hear it can be painful. It shocks me that some of the posters have expressed that it was done without their knowledge or consent... as wildthing said, violating!
post #18 of 23
I'm pretty sure my membranes were stripped without consent during labor. It was a very painful exam and I had severe back pain afterwards. I think that jostling caused DS to turn anterior but I'm not sure. I was already in labor but contractions were not doing very well. That one exam caused me to need an epidural. I probably would have ended up with one anyway because I did not have a good labor (bedrest for PE and pitocin) but I could tell that it was this one exam that made a drastic change in my labor.
post #19 of 23
The only reason we are doing it is because my b/p is high and I'm walking on a wire here...it's either 1. do nothing and hope I don't develop full blown pre-e, in which case 2. I am induced at the hospital with cytotec (no, I don't have a choice unless I want to UC AMA), or 3. we sweep membranes now. I'm willing to at least try it, given my situation. If I wasn't having these issues, I definately wouldn't do it, especially at 38 weeks.
post #20 of 23
I have had it done several times and it never helped to put me into any sort of labor at all. My feeling on it is it mgiht help if you are ready and it wont if you arent. Would I do it? Probably not at 38 weeks. It was really painful so I dont think I would do it unless I were facing some issue.
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