Stripping membranes? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 03-12-2007, 10:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Midwife offered to strip my membranes at end of week if I wanted... any one have luck with this bringing on labor? problems? concerns? words of wisdom on this??
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#2 of 13 Old 03-12-2007, 10:56 PM
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My experience is that it only caused discomfort, no labor, and disappointment that labor didn't start! However, this was back before I knew much about birth...

I wouldn't do it now because it can cause AROM and then you'd be on a clock. Also, anything inserted can be a source of infection. So unless you're seriously post-dates, I wouldn't do it. And even then, there are better ways to get labor going.

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#3 of 13 Old 03-13-2007, 01:06 AM
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My midwife did a very gentle stripping of my membranes at 40 weeks but all it did was cause me cramping. At 41 weeks when I still hadn't shown much progress... and the m/w was starting to feel pressure from the OBs in th practice to do a NST and such... she did a rather uncomfortable stripping of my membranes. I went into labor that night and delivered after only 5 hrs of labor. From everything I've read it is unwise if you are GBS+ and it generally does not work unless you really are ready to go into labor. DH and I DTD that night as well so that could have had more effect on things- who knows?

I'm planning a homebirth for my 2nd (due mid-Sept) and will not allow this until I am past 41 weeks.
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#4 of 13 Old 03-13-2007, 01:40 PM
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it opens you up to infection. they did it with my daughter (didn't ask me) and it caused my water bag to break 2 days before i ever had a contraction.
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#5 of 13 Old 03-13-2007, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by YumaDoula View Post
I wouldn't do it now because it can cause AROM and then you'd be on a clock. Also, anything inserted can be a source of infection. So unless you're seriously post-dates, I wouldn't do it. And even then, there are better ways to get labor going.
: I have never had it done, but I wouldn't do anything to start labor until well past 40 weeks, depending on how I was feeling.
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#6 of 13 Old 03-13-2007, 02:19 PM
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this is not necessary and it has many KNOWN risks! don't let your mw downplay those risks.......
you expect OBs to offer this but when mws do it, it really really bugs me.....aren't mws supposed to be following the midwifery model of care!?

check out this:
and this:

stripping the membrames is different from rupturing the membrames but it can make it easier for your membrames to rupture. There are real and known risks involved and being post date is not a risk in and of itself. The following is from Henci Goer's site:

"rupturing membranes: Because amniotic fluid prevents umbilical cord compression during contractions, rupturing membranes increases the odds of episodes of abnormal fetal heart rate and cesarean section for fetal distress.12,15,28 This may be more of a problem during inductions because contraction pressures are often higher. Since the interval between rupture and birth may be long with an induction, rupturing membranes increases the risk of infection in women who subsequently have vaginal exams and women colonized with group B strep. In rare cases, it precipitates umbilical cord prolapse. Cord prolapse is most likely when membranes are ruptured early in labor when the head is still high, as would happen with inductions."

don't believe the hype!

(I just posted this on the other thread of the same topic at "Birth and Beyond")
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#7 of 13 Old 03-13-2007, 06:19 PM
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very interesting info... is stripping the same as a stretch and sweep?
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#8 of 13 Old 03-13-2007, 06:33 PM
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My midwife lightly stripped my membranes (what was left) at 40 weeks and 5 days. I had been having contractions - not BH but early labor that would go nowhere for 3 weeks. We all swore the baby was coming early because she had been engaged in my pelvic area forever.

I wasn't sure about the stripping b/c i didn't want to interfere with the natural course of labor. so mw said we could just do an exam - see if i had opened up anymore. I was well on my way and she did lightly strip one area if i remember correctly but I was already 4cm and totally effaced.

My labor started in about 15 min. (11:30am) I had mild/moderate contrax until 7:30pm and then went into active labor in the pool and my dd was born at 12:46am (13hr labor) at home. My water broke 12 minutes before she was born. She was a shoulder dystocia, I had back labor (but it was short) and she was 8lbs 3 oz. so something must've been holding her up/back. So I'm glad we did the membrane stripping, or she would have just kept growing.
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#9 of 13 Old 03-13-2007, 11:32 PM
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I had my membranes 3 times with DD - I agreed b/c I was heading for an induction and was willing to do anything to avoid it. The outcome - 3 painful times my cervix was dug around at, and no labor. I wouldn't do it again.
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#10 of 13 Old 03-14-2007, 12:30 AM
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I had it done twice, the first time unknowingly (it was very gentle during my exam with my OB). The second b/c my CNM was threatening induction and I wouldn't let her schedule it (I was 8 days "overdue).

However, both times it worked. I know so many women it doesn't work for though. My cervix was already very, very ripe and I'd had prodromal labor for weeks. My second time she did it very aggressively and I would never choose to have it done again like that, it was painful. I did start into labor before walking out of the office though and had the baby later that night.

I would have to be 41+ weeks and very ripe again to agree to having it done. I'm hoping to not have it done this time with my CPM. I know that she does do it however for moms who are starting to get close to 42 and who are ripe and it has worked. Doing it at 40 weeks just because though is not a good reason in my opinion and the risks stated above by everyone are very real.

Yes, sweeping the membranes is the same thing as stripping. When threatened with an induction imo it's a better option. It works (supposedly and only sometimes if mom's body is ready) by separating the bag of water from the cervix. By doing so it stimulates the mom's natural production of prostiglandins which is a natural labor stimulator/enhancer.
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#11 of 13 Old 03-14-2007, 11:12 AM
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I've had it done twice. Once with my third pg - ds2. I had a CNM. I went in for my 37 wk check. I was 2-3 cms dilated and 50% effaced. She stripped me with out my permission. I realized what she had done when she pulled out her fingers and the gloves were covered in blood. She very proudly said "we'll have a baby by the weekend." I went into labor the next night. I couldn't believe she did it at 37 wks with no permission. : Thankfully, he was 7lbs 6oz and everything was fine. It was my easiest birth.

The second time, was with my 4th pg - dd2. I had a homebirth with a CPM - (the same one who did my first - dd1) In the five years since I worked with her, she changed her practice a lot. She's a lot more medically minded - although a wonderful mw. I had PTL starting at 32 weeks. I got up from bedrest at 36wks. She was worried I was going to go really fast (I was 4cms and the baby was a +2 station for 4 weeks : ) and I think she was worried I was getting discouraged about getting up and still not having the baby. Like my bedrest was for no reason. At 38wks she suggested we "nudge" things along with evening primrose oil and stripping. For some reason I agreed. (I tend to just submit to the "authority" when I'm birthing - it's not going to happen again!)

I started having ctx 15 min after the exam. I ended up having a 12 hour labor and it was really, really, really, hard. I went through transition and had pushing ctx. She checked me and said I had a lip and would like me hold off pushing for a few ctx. No big deal, I've always had a lip. She also gave me some tincture to "relax my cervix." I remember thinking in the back of my mind "if I'm fully dilated except for a lip and I have pushing ctx why do I need to relax my cervix..." After 3 or 4 ctx I said screw this, push the lip out of the way, I'm pushing. What she didn't tell me was that I was 6 cms!!!!! Later she said she didn't want to discourage me. 6 cms is a whole lot different than a lip in my opinion. I would have changed positions, done what it took to fully dilate.

Anyway... she manually dilated my cervix while I pushed my dd out and it was the most excruciating thing I have ever felt. She came out all white and floppy and took a while to start. It was really traumatic and I'm just now (22months later) starting to get over it.

SO... after the novel, I've had it done twice and I will never do it again. For some reason, I needed that experience to help me get over my fear of confrontation and my ridiculous submissiveness. It worked for me, both times. But I don't think my body was ready. I would only use it if there was a medically justified reason to induce and I could avoid pit...
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#12 of 13 Old 03-14-2007, 03:53 PM
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I agreed to it at 40w2d and it is what put me into labor(or it was a very strong coincidence) not 2 hours later. It didn't cause a rupture of membranes.

I would consider doing it again if I was well dilated and effaced at term.

Non Practicing Midwife, going back to school! Mamma to my 3 loves, living each day to the fullest.
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#13 of 13 Old 03-14-2007, 06:19 PM
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I would only do it if I were 42 weeks or had medical reason to consider induction. Either way I would do it only if I had a good bishops score and the baby were in a good position. I would be adamant that the care provider be really gentle and avoid AROM at all costs.

I asked in your other thread how many weeks you are and how your health is.

and planning to eat it again
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