Pro's and Con's of stripping membranes??? and...did it start up labor for you??? - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-11-2006, 12:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am not to the point of deciding anything yet, but just wanted to know what all you mama's think.

SO...HERE ARE MY QUESTIONS:

Have you had it done?
How far along were you
How many cm dialated were you?
Did it start labor for you?
Pro's and Cons?

Thanks!!
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Old 04-11-2006, 12:48 AM
 
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I haven't had it done, but I have something to say anyway. During my first labor, my water didn't break until the very end...I think I had already started pushing. That labor was about 12 hours long, and things moved along in very steadily. My second labor started with my water breaking and I went into transition almost instantly. The contractions were A LOT more intense and more frequent than they were with my first. The labor lasted 3 hours. I went from 6 to 10 cm dilated in about 20 minutes.

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Old 04-11-2006, 01:06 AM
 
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Have you had it done? Yes, with my second pregnancy
How far along were you 37 weeks 6 days
How many cm dialated were you? 3-4 cm and nearly completely effaced, 0 station....had been feeling the baby was coming at any moment for about 2 weeks and asked my midwife what we could do to nudge me over the edge into active labor
Did it start labor for you? yes - went into labor gradually throughout the day, and he was born 12 hrs after it was done
Pro's and Cons? I would only do it if your body seemed to be REALLY ready for labor/birth, like I was. I know there is a risk of accidentally rupturing the membranes, which then puts you "on the clock", so to speak. According to my midwives, aside from the chance of membrane rupture, there is really no other risk and it will only work if your body is ready. Some women say it hurts a lot, but it was painless for me...perhaps because I was so dilated already and it was easy for the midwife to get her finger through my cervix.
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Old 04-11-2006, 01:54 AM
 
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I had it done last week at 40 weeks, I was at 2cm dilated and 50% effaced which is pretty much the same as I had been since 38 weeks. Didn't start labor (obviously), didn't really hurt that much afterwards and I only spotted for a little bit.

I had it done again today at almost 41 weeks, and my MW did cervical massage with EPO, clary sage & castor oil also. By the time she was done she said I was 3cm+ and mostly effaced It was fairly uncomfortable, but if it starts labor its worth it to me! I had alot of spotting right after, which turned brownish then went away. Then I started getting menstrual cramp feelings that are coming and going and spotting reddish again, so I'm hoping it worked! I'll let you know

Pro's and Cons? IMO if your body is ready it can help at least with cervical ripening even if it doesn't put you into actual labor. There is the risk of accidental rupture of membranes (which would not be good if your body wasn't ready) and infection. Definitely don't do it if you don't think you are close to labor anyway (I've been having false labor for weeks and I've only got a week left if I want to have a homebirth) or if you are GBS+. Also, I did have it done a few times when I was pregnant with my dd (didn't know what it was then though) and it did *NOTHING*. So you have to be prepared that you might go through a painful procedure with absolutely nothing to show if your body isn't ready yet.

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Old 04-11-2006, 02:55 AM
 
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There is no pro because there is no scientific study suggesting it does anything. So what's the point besides a placebo effect?
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Old 04-11-2006, 09:20 AM
 
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I had a few. One at 40 weeks, which was unsuccessful since i wasn't effaced at all, so it was more of a stimulation then acutally sweeping the membranes. And again at 41 weeks, which was kinda the same deal- didn't do much of anything for me, but get my hopes up.

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Old 04-11-2006, 11:53 AM
 
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I had it done at 38 weeks b/c the doc thought my baby was going to be too big to deliver. A day later I lost my mucus plug, but it grew back. Then he did it again a couple days before my due date, and the next day I felt really sick and ended up losing my plug again and started contractions and went to the hospital with 102 degree fever and my water broke. There was meconium in the water, so they strapped me to the bed, and you can just imagine that was a horrid labor. 15 hrs, pitocin, epidural... They also put my baby on harsh antibiotics for my fever.
So, I'm pretty against stripping membranes now, after being one of the few where it turned out badly!
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Old 04-11-2006, 11:57 AM
 
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I had it at 40 weeks 5 days. I was 3 cm at that point (don't remember the other measurements). It led to prodromal labor which led to pit, an epidural and an episiotomy. No, I would not do it again. Even if I have the same labor next time, at least I won't think that it was something I did or allowed to be done that caused it. I'm all for letting nature take its own course.

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Old 04-11-2006, 01:18 PM
 
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I had it done at 38w with my first, I was dialated to a 3 and 90% effaced, lost my mucus plug that day and the next day and (Th/Fri) and by Tuesday, I went in for induction My water broke spontaneously on Tues am before the dr arrived at the hospital and labor really never progressed beyond a 6. So, after 24 hours, we started pit, labor still did not progress after 7 hours on pit, so I went to take a shower (expecting a c/s soon in my mind) and went from a 6-10 in 15 minutes.

This was before I knew better than to induce, esp that early. But, dh was getting ready to travel for business and at the time, I felt like I didn't have any good options.

this time around, I won't ask for membrane stripping until after 40 weeks.

Steph, wife to C, mama to O :, E , and I :.
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Old 04-11-2006, 01:32 PM
 
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I've had it done all three pregnancies at 41, 41 and 42 weeks
I was dialated 1cm, 2cm and 1cm
It did not start labor for me any of the three times
There were no pros for me in having it done and I found it to be immensely painful.
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Old 04-11-2006, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huggerwocky
There is no pro because there is no scientific study suggesting it does anything. So what's the point besides a placebo effect?
Do you mean that there is no study looking at membrane sweeping as a sole method? Because there was a recent paper on a fairly large RCT where the results suggested that it is an effective method, although it increased women's reported pain. They were looking at it in conjuction with other methods, though. Link to abstract

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Old 04-11-2006, 04:37 PM
 
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I let my mw do this when I was overdue with # 4. I had a long prodromal labour and she did it a second time the day I delivered, I'm not sure if it helped or not as I was ready that day anyhow.

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Old 04-11-2006, 04:40 PM
 
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That study was ONLY women who had sweeping done as part of an induction procedure that included using progestin suppositories or amniotomy. The only real difference was that the ones who were "swept" had less Pitocin and slightly shorter labors.

However there is no report of how many of the babies got infections, had prematurity signs, had meconium or other signs of distress.

Sweeping the membranes is a very aggressive intervention. It can increase your risk of infection. If you aren't induced immediately after sweeping there is NO proof that it will do anything to decrease the duration of your pregnancy or length of your labor.

And any baby who is induced at all is at very high risk of many complications-- prematurity, infection, distress, surgical birth, etc.
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Old 04-11-2006, 04:49 PM
 
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Not in your DDC, but thought I would answer

Have you had it done? Yes, with DD#2
How far along were you? 39 weeks exactly
How many cm dialated were you? 3
Did it start labor for you? Yeppers, on my way home from the appt. I was having pretty good contractions
Pro's and Cons? No cons here, it put me into labor immediately, which I know meant my body was ready!!

Busy Mama to three beautiful girls and loving wife to my hubby
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Old 04-11-2006, 05:39 PM
 
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I have to ask what does it mean to have one's membranes swept? It sounds different from having the water broken and different from just checking out the cervix, but I am unclear about what it means exactly.

Could someone please enlighten me? TIA!!
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Old 04-11-2006, 05:46 PM
 
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I had it done at 39w5d on a Monday. Didn't do a thing and hurt like the dickens! I was 0cm. Following Sunday, I went in at 11pm with contractions and was 0cm, went back at 2am Monday and was 5cm. I just happen to be one of those people who doesn't dialate until I'm in active labor, lol. Oh and I won't be having my membranes stripped ever again. Hurt way too much!

Having your membranes stripped is when your they rub your waters and hope it will stimulate labor. Or at least that's how I understood it, lol.

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Old 04-11-2006, 06:04 PM
 
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i had it done at 40 weeks i think and i didnt have my first till 42 1/2 week no other induction method used. so it didnt do anything to actually put me in labor. i dont remember it hurting but right now during this pregnancy even internal checks are painful so i dont know if i want it done this time.

I never new it could brake your water? that is a concern but i was always told it was harmless. i also dont know exactly what it is that they do.

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Old 04-11-2006, 06:08 PM
 
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Have you had it done?yes
How far along were you? four days late
How many cm dialated were you?2 maybe 3 its been awhile
Did it start labor for you?yes about 8hours after i started to spot and then contractions started
Pro's and Cons? My baby came the next day it was awsome...it was really akward(basicly it didn't hurt just wierd to have a mans hands there other then my spouses) but worth it.
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Old 04-11-2006, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brown eyed girls
That study was ONLY women who had sweeping done as part of an induction procedure that included using progestin suppositories or amniotomy. The only real difference was that the ones who were "swept" had less Pitocin and slightly shorter labors.
Yes, that's true. I was simply confused about the statement "no scientific study suggesting it does anything," since I had recently discussed this paper with my MW.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brown eyed girls
However there is no report of how many of the babies got infections, had prematurity signs, had meconium or other signs of distress.
They did track some of this in the study. ("Secondary outcomes recorded included meconium staining of liquor, Apgar score at 5 minutes, umbilical cord blood pH value at delivery, admission for neonatal care, indications for neonatal care admissions, indications for operative delivery, induction to delivery interval 12 hours or less, and induction delivery interval of 24 hours or less.")

The data are reported in table 2. Annoyingly, they don't report any means comparisons, although that probably means they didn't find anything that was stat sig. From a quick glance, I don't see anything that would make me run an analysis on the numbers. The numbers are just too small.

It's worth noting, though, that the negative events were higher in the sweep group (e.g. admission to NICU = 8 babies for sweep group vs. 4 babies for no sweep, meconium = 9 babies in sweep group vs. 3 in no sweep.) There isn't a big enough sample to run any statistical tests on that to say whether that's just coincidence or not, but it would certainly give me pause if I were looking at this from a decision-making perspective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brown eyed girls
Sweeping the membranes is a very aggressive intervention. It can increase your risk of infection. If you aren't induced immediately after sweeping there is NO proof that it will do anything to decrease the duration of your pregnancy or length of your labor.

And any baby who is induced at all is at very high risk of many complications-- prematurity, infection, distress, surgical birth, etc.
Yep.

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Old 04-11-2006, 07:14 PM
 
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I wouldn't do it. I told this to my MW yesterday and she was a little surprised. I wouldn't do it because I really believe your body will go into labor when it's ready. If you're ready, stripping may jump start things, but I would rather wait a day or two rather than risk breaking the water (starting the clock), risking infection, pushing my body into a process it's not ready to go into yet, and then, the pain.

And for the pp who asked, stripping the membranes means manually separating the cervix from the membranes behind it. It does this naturally as it effaces and dialates. Stripping makes this happen all at once.

Kat - mama to Clara (9/29/03): & Iris (5/30/06)
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Old 04-12-2006, 02:16 AM
 
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Have you had it done? Yes.
How far along were you? According to LMP, I was 11 days overdue.
How many cm dialated were you? 3cm and had been for around 2 weeks... I think I was slightly efaced, but not terribly ripe.
Did it start labor for you? Yes. I immediately (like, within 5 minutes) felt menstrual cramps and had blood to clean up before getting dressed (immediately after the procedure). Additionally, my plug came out a couple hours later and I had a big bloody show. My waters probably broke with the swipe, but I think DD's head help 'em in because when I finally laid down to sleep about 8 hours later, the water came out all over the place.
Pro's and Cons? I don't feel there were any pros. Labor lasted 20 and 1/2 hours and I'd say that's a con.

My midwife told me what she was doing, while she did it, but I had NO CLUE what that meant at the time. She explained it after she was done, in more detail, and I've been pretty upset that it happened at all since then. Mostly, I'm upset about it because I REALLY think she did it so that she wouldn't have to be in the hospital over the weekend. And it really upset me that she didn't make sure I knew what it was and then approve it.

In the future (with this and any subsequent pregnancies) I wouldn't have it done again unless I was around 43 weeks (and felt confident that the dating was correct).

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Old 04-12-2006, 02:41 AM
 
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Have you had it done?
Why yes, I did.
How far along were you:
42+ weeks and desperate.
How many cm dialated were you?
3cm
Did it start labor for you?
Not sure. I went into labor a little over 24 hours later, but I also had performed magical juju on my uterus acupuncture points and taken many potions, with the help of a naturopath. See my birth story... I was a day away from being carted off to the hospital. I was all crampy afterwards, so it did get my hopes up, and hey...sometimes, that's all you got.
Pro's and Cons?
Hmm. Didn't hurt for me. Felt weird. I was desperate. I would visit a naturopath first though if given a choice.
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Old 06-21-2006, 01:19 PM
 
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I had it done the day before my due date with my first. I was 90& effaced and 1 cm dilated. Didn't hurt at all, although it was a little uncomfortable (aren't internals always a little strained?). The next morning i woke up at 5 and my waters broke. Went into labor and had DD by noon. It was easy and simple and went wonderfully. I'm at 38 weeks this time and considering doing it again. I'm already 90% effaced again, and 3 cm this time! THought labor had started a day ago, but have just been feeling kinda sick and jittery instead. I'm not sleeping, and this little boy is totally positioned (left side, head engaged)....I don't think it could hurt to try at this point, though it seems pretty clear that one should be overdue or at least very "ready" (effaced, dilated, positioned) for it to be anything positive.
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Old 06-21-2006, 05:22 PM
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The hospital I am delivering at is conducting a study of the relation between stripping membranes and onset of labor in the absence of any other induction methods. I am considering participating when I reach my EDD, but I won't agree to it any sooner than that. I believe this is an area of medicine where there is conventional wisdom that says stripping the membranes can help begin labor, but it hasn't really been rigorously quantified in a controlled fashion, and that is what this study is attempting to accomplish.
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Old 06-21-2006, 06:57 PM
 
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Yes, I had it done. At 41 weeks and I was 3 cm, 60-70% effaced/ It hurt like crazy and so far, ( I had it done 29 hours ago) last night I had prodromal labor for 10 hours and today i lost my mucus plug. I am worn out, and i dont think i would do it again.

Kaitlin
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Old 06-22-2006, 12:17 AM
 
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Any vaginal exam poses a bit of an infection risk. Sometimes the benefits outweigh the risks, but it is important to remember the risks.
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Old 06-22-2006, 12:46 PM
 
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I had my membranes stripped. I was 41w3d. I was not dilated at all. The I started labor the next evening. I had them stripped again 41w6d and I delivered my Des late that night. The stripping was painful, but that's probably because my doctor was a b..... and she was rough. She did not even ask me or tell me she was going to do it. But it did work. Plus I was drinking red raspberry leaf tea. My advice would be to ask them to be gentle. Good luck!
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Old 06-22-2006, 06:42 PM
 
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Have you had it done? Yes. My BP started going too high.

How far along were you 40 wks 6 dys

How many cm dialated were you? 3 cm

Did it start labor for you? I went into labor 2.5 days after. I've read that if it doesn't happen within 24 hrs, it didn't work. I don't know. I do think it helped start my labor.

Pro's and Cons? The sweeping was painful. I don't think my dd was quite done cooking. She had a bit of a hard time adjusting to life on the outside. I think she would have been better off staying in a few more days.

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Old 06-23-2006, 02:07 AM
 
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SO...HERE ARE MY QUESTIONS:

Have you had it done?
I had it done with #3.
How far along were you I was 40 w 6 d (by their calendar, 41 w 5 d by my calculations).
How many cm dialated were you? IIRC 4 cm and 85% effaced (yeah 85--weird #, but that's what she said).
Did it start labor for you? Yes, within an hour or 2.
Pro's and Cons? I was doing my 2nd VBAC... I think it's something worth considering if you're doing a VBAC and "running out of time" (because it's a much better alternative than an induction). I wouldn't consider it (or even a vaginal exam) anywhere before 40 wks. It didn't hurt for me (but may have been because I was more dilated/effaced than some others here).
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Old 06-25-2006, 10:19 AM
 
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I'm here again, because i keep twirling this possiblility around in my head....Almost 40wks! I've heard so many women say it did nothing -but even still, after my first experience i have this idea that when i do "it" i'll go into labor. Hanging around at nearly 100% percent effaced and 5cm dilated for a week -constant 'labor' contractions which just don't progress. I have been doing all the moves to get him in the best position, just in case he's off a little or something- but stilll not here! Haven't slept in a week ...OK i just went off on a tangent. But really, i might sweep membranes this week and i'll let you know if it does the trick...
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