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foley catheter to induce labor?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Has anyone heard of this??
post #2 of 21
Blech...I think they poke it up into your cervix to try to irritate it and start things going...not sure though. I'd be VERY wary of it though, as I would with almost any induction method. For the most part a baby comes when its ready and trying to get it out sooner can cause a whole lot of problems.
post #3 of 21
I had a catheter inserted to get labour going again, my bladder was full but I couldn't empty it, out poured something like a litre of urine, and baby started moving down again.
post #4 of 21
From what I understand, the catheter is inserted and then a sort of "balloon" is filled with sterile water or a saline solution to sort of manually open or dilate the cervix. So it's sort of behind the cervix, putting pressure on the cervix, and then I believe they can either sort of "tug" on the catheter intermittently, to increase the pressure on the cervix gradually, or "weight" the other end of the catheter with something so that it is being pulled against the cervix.

Someone feel free to correct me--I've never actually seen this done or even heard about it firsthand...I've just read about it.
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_queen View Post
I had a catheter inserted to get labour going again, my bladder was full but I couldn't empty it, out poured something like a litre of urine, and baby started moving down again.
This is definitely something different. This catheter was inserted in your urethra to drain your bladder, which was probably in front of the baby's head.

For induction, the catheter would be inserted through the vagina and cervix to dilate the cervix manually.
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by redpajama View Post
This is definitely something different. This catheter was inserted in your urethra to drain your bladder, which was probably in front of the baby's head.

For induction, the catheter would be inserted through the vagina and cervix to dilate the cervix manually.
Yes, that is something different.

Manually dilate the cervix? : Sounds unecessary to me
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by redpajama View Post
From what I understand, the catheter is inserted and then a sort of "balloon" is filled with sterile water or a saline solution to sort of manually open or dilate the cervix. So it's sort of behind the cervix, putting pressure on the cervix, and then I believe they can either sort of "tug" on the catheter intermittently, to increase the pressure on the cervix gradually, or "weight" the other end of the catheter with something so that it is being pulled against the cervix.

Someone feel free to correct me--I've never actually seen this done or even heard about it firsthand...I've just read about it.
Thats the basics of it!

It is something we are discussing in regards to an induction if I need one...mainly cause I am a VBAC, but also cause there is no telling if there is any scar tissue from the cerclage....we should find out in 8 weeks or so. I hope we dont need to go the cath route, but my OB said its up to me.
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgsmommy View Post
Thats the basics of it!

It is something we are discussing in regards to an induction if I need one...mainly cause I am a VBAC, but also cause there is no telling if there is any scar tissue from the cerclage....we should find out in 8 weeks or so. I hope we dont need to go the cath route, but my OB said its up to me.
If you have cerclage scar tissue can they remove it gently and manually if necessary? A midwife around here had a client who was laboring and just not dilating, so she checked and there was scar tissue. She gently teased apart the cervix and apparently (according to the mw recounting the story) it was not painful...or at least not compared to dilating on a closed cervix. This sounds like possibly a better approach that the other...more direct, although maybe OBs aren't as gentle with this sort of thing as midwifes, so I don't know.

Anyway, hopefully no scar tissue for you! Best birth wishes!
post #9 of 21
I'm anti-induction as a rule, but if you choose induction, this can be one relatively non-invasive, drug-free way to achieve it.

The foley catheter works this way, from what I have seen -- the tube is put up into the cervix and a balloon is inflated. Then weights are attached to the tube and over a time span of an hour or more, the weights put pressure on the cervix to efface and dilate it, much like the baby's head would if you were already having contractions. When you reach 2-3 cms, it falls out, but sometimes by that point the body has taken over and contractions continue. If not, then you could start pitocin on a now-ripened cervix instead of a closed one.

When this was discussed on one of the big midwife email lists that I'm on some of them also thought that the foley balloon also pushed the membranes up, which released the same chemicals as the process of stripping the membranes, priming the body for labor.

Sure, this is more invasive than no induction at all, but if the choice is between this and cytotec or this and cervadil or this and an elective repeat c-section, I'd take the foley.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
I am not completely anti-induction. I have every intention of using herbs to help my body. With the last baby, I went with pitocin because I was seeing an OB who wanted to do a c/s for high blood pressure and I was not going there.

Right now I am going to a CNM practice. There are 3 MWs there and my favorite one did homebirths for many years. She would love it if I had a HB and so would I. If I can swing it, that's what I plan to do. However, given that I am 31 weeks, I might not be able to get one. If I can't get one, my options are the midwives at the hospital or an OB at a hospital.

If I got the hosp mw route, the hospital is going to insist on an epidural cath unless my labor happens during the day. The only way to try to get labor to happen during the day is induction. They won't induce with pit because I've had a c/s. They can try this foley thing though. It sounds minimally invasive, however, I don't know if the catheter would inadvertantly break my water. I, obviously, don't want that. I figure, if the foley thing doesn't work, I can go home.

My other option is to see an OB at a larger hospital where they wouldn't be worried about having an anesthiologist there, because he'd be there anyway.
post #11 of 21
I think it is more like the catheter they use inside hearts and such- a balloon on the end of a tube that opens up with air and gradually dilates- not a foley catheter that they use in your bladder.

There is also membrane stripping which is where they put a finger between your bags of water and the uterus, just inside the cervix to "irritate things". If your body is ready to go into labor, this will likely help. If not, you'll just be a bit crampy, I'd imagine. I had this done at 39 weeks and a few days with #2 and labor started nearly imediately, with birth later that same day.
post #12 of 21
Ok I actually had this done. I was contracting a little bit and not dialating. I was attempting a VBAC. I needed ( a long story involving my mother dying) to have the baby soon. They insterted a cathater with a balloon on the end injected saline through the tube taped the tube to my leg. A couple of hours later when I reached 3 CM the balloon fell out. The insertion of the catheter was not painful at all and after they inserted it were it not for the tape on my leg I would have had no idea it was there.
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaJenese View Post
Ok I actually had this done. I was contracting a little bit and not dialating. I was attempting a VBAC. I needed ( a long story involving my mother dying) to have the baby soon. They insterted a cathater with a balloon on the end injected saline through the tube taped the tube to my leg. A couple of hours later when I reached 3 CM the balloon fell out. The insertion of the catheter was not painful at all and after they inserted it were it not for the tape on my leg I would have had no idea it was there.
Did you get your vbac?
post #14 of 21
I was trying for a vba2c and was induced due to blood incompatibility at 37 weeks because it looked like the babe was getting anemic. We choose this route instead. It worked for me the way that it did for you, Jenese. They inserted the Foley cath (the same kind they use to empty your bladder), filled it with saline and taped it to my leg. It irritates the cervix, kicking up prostaglandins, and i used manual breast stimulation to get oxytocin going and it put me into labor.

I am so glad we went this route, because i felt really uncomfortable about using chemicals on my uterus. The babe needed out, so we went about it in the safest way we could. It took a looong time, so patience is a must, but i got my vba2c baby 40 some hours later
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan1097 View Post
I think it is more like the catheter they use inside hearts and such- a balloon on the end of a tube that opens up with air and gradually dilates- not a foley catheter that they use in your bladder.

There is also membrane stripping which is where they put a finger between your bags of water and the uterus, just inside the cervix to "irritate things". If your body is ready to go into labor, this will likely help. If not, you'll just be a bit crampy, I'd imagine. I had this done at 39 weeks and a few days with #2 and labor started nearly imediately, with birth later that same day.
Actually, it IS a foley catheter that would be used for a bladder. We do this sometimes at our hospital. Currently, there is a study some of the docs are doing with a foley bulb vs. cervidil. It does work many times and is drug-free. If I was in that position, I'd give this a try.

A MW above posted a good description of the procedure.

BTW, I like your circ site!
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
I found some info at the WHO website
http://www.who.int/reproductive-heal...n_P17_P25.html

And at gentlebirth.org
http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/foley.html

Apparently, it's suggested that they break your water too.
post #17 of 21
I think waterbreaking is an option... using pit is also suggested, although i think that if you have an openminded doctor, those things aren't necessary.

I was planning to birth at home with just my sister, dh and a doula if the baby was looking good, so i really wanted a low intervention birth. Vag exams only upon request, because i knew it would mess with my mind too much to know what i was at constantly. Because of this, i chose to have the catheter removed after 17 hours (about 12 hours after i started having contractions because of the nipple stimulation). It was like a constant vaginal exam reminding me that i wasn't even at a three, which was extremely discouraging. I was at a two but 100% effaced. A few hours after that, i chose to have them break my water, knowing all the pros and cons.

I did manual nipple stimulation when they would space out, but the breast pump kicked things into high gear and put me into active labor and never needed pit.
post #18 of 21
I had a foley induction. It was quite a long process- hooked up to monitors before, then the foley inserted, then more monitoring before being sent home.
I found the procedure itself to be quite painful. Having a rubber tube taped to your leg afterwards is no picnic either. I was trying to walk around to get things going and the tube was very irritating.
Mine did nothing- I went to the hospital the next day with the tube still intact- no change in dilation at all.
I was then induced with Pit. I won't be doing that again. But I have been told, that if the foley doesn't work you can just go home and wait things out-- not the ROM, when the clock starts ticking.
I will be a VBAC as well and swear I don't want an induction. But if I had to induce I would go the foley route before Pit or cervadil definately.
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
The more I read about this, it doesn't seem like the solution to my problem unless they will let me go home with it in place or if it's doing nada after X # of hours.
post #20 of 21
I was induced with a foley with my last babe because it was a VBAC and I had an unfavourable cervix. I found it the balloon itself painless and relatively minor as far as intervention goes. All it is is a tiny balloon that is placed against your cervix and inflated with saline to put pressure on it. It works just like the baby's head putting pressure on the cervix to help ripen it, just on the other side.

Like other posters said, it falls out when you dilate to about 3 cm.

I read that it is more widely used in other parts of the world as an induction method than in North America, where they unfortunately depend on chemical ripeners.

This is my second VBAC and I would do the foley again if necessary, but NOT the pitocin again. I would prefer a c/s over pit. HTH
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