Cervical checks? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 09-16-2011, 11:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you think you'll allow cervical checks in your last month? With DD, they were freaking pointless. I had a few incidences of very early preterm labor because of the severe heatwaves and crummy a/c in my office. (It only happened while I was at work, never at home.) My cervix was fine then.

By 36 weeks when they started checking regularly, I was 2 centimeters and 50% effaced. I had horrible prodromal labor that never really let up, and things just didn't change. By 39 weeks when I had a section, things still hadn't changed.

Anyways - do you think they're worthwhile at all? If not, how do you tell your OB that you just don't think they're useful before labor?

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#2 of 14 Old 09-16-2011, 11:56 PM
 
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I did allow one cervical check at my 41 week appointment (I was like 40.5 weeks) and I went into labor the next day. My labor started with my water breaking it was LONG, protracted, and putsy. 35 hours, but only 12 of productive, active labor. I regret it because I think her rummaging around up there weakened my waters. I will decline all prenatal cervical checks this time :)


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#3 of 14 Old 09-17-2011, 09:21 AM
 
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They didn't help me at all... 6 wks of non stop prodromal labor and I was always the same when I went in for check ups.  I don't think they're really necessary unless you're having preterm labor.  I might have one if I was very overdue.  Otherwise, just as needed during labor... so hopefully just one!  :)


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#4 of 14 Old 09-17-2011, 09:21 AM
 
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Most likely starting at 40 weeks. During my last pregnancy I was still 0% effaced and "closed up like fort knox" at 41.5 weeks (although knowing what I know now about when I ovulate, I was likely past 42 weeks). My biggest fear is not going into labor on my own this time. I'm going to start natural induction methods as soon as my midwife thinks it's safe, and then I want to see if we're making any progress. If I am starting to dilate then I'm not going to have my membranes swept unless we're right at the 42 week deadline. (In my state licensed midwifes can only deliver until 42 weeks)


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#5 of 14 Old 09-17-2011, 10:09 AM
 
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I've never had a cervical check until I'm actually in labor. And then I've only had 3 total in my 2 pregnancies. But then I've also never gone past 40 weeks. I think if I get to 41 weeks then I would consent to a cervical check. But honestly I don't see the point to them prior to labor.


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#6 of 14 Old 09-17-2011, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think having the doctor check every week made for more stress than not. This is a different OB with more of a natural birth leaning, so maybe she'll be okay with just skipping them until I'm around 40 weeks or we want to try sweeping the membranes.

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#7 of 14 Old 09-17-2011, 08:15 PM
 
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My midwife never checked me, and I never asked. I did check myself but I put zero stock in it. It tells you next to nothing. Yes it might be more likely you'll go soon if you're starting to dilate. But many many women walk around for weeks slightly dilated and effaced. I really hate when women get their hopes up and then go overdue. And on the flip side, you can go from tightly closed to holding a baby that night. You never know. Baby will come when he's ready, I say. I'm gonna keep my fingers out of there this time for fear of infection if my waters break.


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#8 of 14 Old 09-17-2011, 09:20 PM
 
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Most likely starting at 40 weeks. During my last pregnancy I was still 0% effaced and "closed up like fort knox" at 41.5 weeks (although knowing what I know now about when I ovulate, I was likely past 42 weeks). My biggest fear is not going into labor on my own this time. I'm going to start natural induction methods as soon as my midwife thinks it's safe, and then I want to see if we're making any progress. If I am starting to dilate then I'm not going to have my membranes swept unless we're right at the 42 week deadline. (In my state licensed midwifes can only deliver until 42 weeks)

 

 

My midwives also only deliver until 42 weeks and I had an irrational fear that I would be risked out. So I started gentle labor prep very early. I started RRL tea in my second trimester, ramping up the strength in my third until it was VERY strong by 37-38 weeks. I started primrose oil orally at 37 weeks on a low dose and increased the dose every week. I started taking a homeopathic labor prep (combo of pulsatilla, caullophyllum, and cimicifuga) at 37 weeks. I got a massage at 38 weeks. I drank lots of water, walked often, and had lots of sex throughout my pregnancy. And I ate a whole pineapple on my due date to reward myself that I had gotten to the goal line; now I could go into labor any time :) I went into labor at 40 weeks, 4 days (75% effaced and 1 cm. dilated) and gave birth at 40 weeks, 6 days. 


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#9 of 14 Old 09-18-2011, 10:15 PM
 
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My water broke prematurely just at the 38 week mark with #1 so I never had any checks.  The midwife practice I'm going to this time doesn't do them because they don't feel it provides much reliable info.  I'd rather just keep any internal checks to a minimum overall.

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#10 of 14 Old 09-19-2011, 03:27 AM
 
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I never had any internal checks until my 6 week pp visit when I had my pap done. I requested none and my mw respected my choice.


Tina - mama to DD1 10yrs, DD2 5.5 yrs and DD3 22 mo and wifey to DH.
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#11 of 14 Old 09-19-2011, 02:09 PM
 
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When I did have checks done with my 1st it made me stressed I wasn't dilating or showing enough progress.  

 

With # 2  we did checks and even though that time I was very dilated (4cm at 38 weeks and 6-7cm at 39 weeks) it again made me more stressed.  I thought for sure I would have the baby at any second and he would just fall out.   I was 7cm for a week, it wasn't fun. 

 

For #3 I did my own checks and learned little, I think the only purpose it served was knowing when he was about to crown and then bracing for it during labor.  

 

I wont be having any checks this pregnancy, or in labor unless there is some issue with the scar tissue I have on my cervix inhibiting labor in an abnormal way. 


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#12 of 14 Old 09-20-2011, 09:46 PM
 
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All I learned from checking myself was that I was doing it wrong, because I thought I was at 5 cm one night and went into the hospital with false labor.  They said I was at 1 cm.  I learned my lesson!  :)


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#13 of 14 Old 09-21-2011, 10:49 AM
 
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Wow, I'm impressed with those of you who checked yourselves. I tried once, but there was no way I could reach my cervix with my huge belly! I'm in the "no" camp. Like Janel said, the only time I think they are useful is to check if you've been having signs of pre-term labor. Otherwise they mean nothing. I've known mamas who've walked around at 5cm for 2 weeks, and moms who weren't dilated at all go into labor a few hours later. To me the risks are too much for something with little to no benefit. There is the risk of infection and breaking the waters accidentally. It can also affect your labor if you get discouraged by the #. Plus, if you're in the hospital, and you aren't dilating at the rate their book says you should, then they start pushing interventions. Also, it seems like it would irritate the cervix being poked at while it's trying to stretch. 

 

I didn't get checked at all with my last pregnancy and labor, and I knew when it was time to push without being told. As far as getting an OB and hospital to agree to that, I guess you can tell him you don't want them, and if he insists, then ask him what the benefits are, and tell him that you don't want the potential risks. I would genuinely be worried about the risk of PROM being a VBAC mom. Once the membranes rupture, you know that starts the clock, and if labor doesn't start on it's own they can't (or shouldn't) use pit to get things going (not that it's a good option anyway), so you could get stuck with a repeat c/s before the baby is even ready to be born, all b/c of an unnecessary cervical check.


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#14 of 14 Old 09-21-2011, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm trying for a VBAC, so pit in early labor isn't the best idea. I think I'll tell her that I'd prefer to avoid them as much as possible, since it is very uncomfortable and I know that I'd be discouraged if I wasn't dilating fast enough. I'm going to try to stay home as long as possible while in labor, as well.

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