Anyone else not get "checked"? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 02:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Everyone talks about getting "checked" at such early time frames like 36 and 37 wks and then every week after that. I just don't get it since it can potentially introduce bacteria. Why would a caregiver take the chance?
There's really nothing that can be done regardless of the results since the body has it's own timetable. If anything, the results can cause more stress for the mama-ie. "you're 3cm and 75% effaced" might sound like she might have the baby in the next day or 2 but it could also be another week or more!

I didn't have any checks last time and haven't this time. I'm glad I haven't this time because I'm 5 days "late" and knowing I was a few cm dilated a week ago just would have driven me nuts making me think it was imminent and then I went late.

Anyone else just let "sleeping dogs lie" so to speak and just wait without the checks?

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#2 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 03:29 AM
 
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Sure, I'd imagine a lot of us here didn't get checked. I didn't get any checks at my prenatal appointments. My midwife didn't even offer them. (Though I imagine she would have done one if I'd asked).

I didn't really get checked in labor either...The midwife did check me when she arrived, when I was in transition, and I was 9 cm dialated with a lip. I think it was super important for my peace of mind for me to not get checked during labor. I know how I am, and if I had known how far dialated I was at this point or that point in labor, I would have been doing the math and freaking myself out.

Best wishes for your upcoming birth!

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#3 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 08:47 AM
 
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I didn't have any checks w/ #1 until labour, had maybe 3 during labour.
None with #2 until 9cm.
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#4 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 09:49 AM
 
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I didn't get checked until 10 cm with my second, and didn't get checked until after birthing the placenta with my third. With my first I was clueless and had one check at 39 weeks and was told nothing was happening so I would "get to schedule my induction at my next appointment!" like it was a big treat. My birth began naturally the next day, and I got to rub it in the OB's face, much to my husband's dismay.
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#5 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 10:10 AM
 
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I was not checked at all, even in labor, with my last 2 (both homebirths). I don't plan to, or expect to get checked this time either.

Chrissy, lucky mama to Noah (9), Lilah (6), Rowan (3) and Laney (1).
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#6 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 10:15 AM
 
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I was never checked before, during, or after birth. I don't think my midwife does checks unless you request them or she thinks there might be something wrong, and neither applied to me.

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#7 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 10:26 AM
 
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I've not been checked at all, and MW doesn't offer. She doesn't really even check during labor, unless requested, I suppose.

OTOH, I am soooo tempted to be checked this Thursday at my next appt. I'll be 39w4d.

I can see pros and cons for each side of the argument, and I can't decide. Thinking I'll just talk to MW and see what she thinks. Practically, I am close enough that whatever news I get, it won't be long until labor.

Anyway, no checks so far, but dithering on whether I should request!!

mama to Journey (1/07) Sequoia (1/07) and Camellia (7/09)
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#8 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 10:33 AM
 
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I don't get checked before or during labor.

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#9 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 10:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by SequoiasMom View Post
I can see pros and cons for each side of the argument, and I can't decide.
What are the pros? (Can't think of any...)

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#10 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 10:50 AM
 
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I had to ask to be checked at around 38 weeks- I was a little paranoid and just wanted to see whether I was dilating at all. My midwife seemed surprised by the request, but checked for me. At my 40 week appointment, they said they'd want to check at 41 weeks if I hadn't given birth by then....but I had.

During labor, she checked three times: upon arrival at the birth center, right before I started pushing (I was having a break from contractions- if I had already started pushing, she wouldn't have bothered), and about an hour in to pushing because the baby had made very little progress at that point.

My water broke during the last check. I don't know whether it qualified as AROM or an accident, but I didn't care at the time and I don't care now. Either way, it didn't speed things up, as I pushed for three more hours before DD was born.

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#11 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 11:01 AM
 
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I was checked at my request the morning I had my son - I had been contracting for a couple of days, and I just wanted to get an idea of what was going on. I was 3cm - hand on baby's head. I know there's no reason to do it, necessarily, but I wanted to know. I think it depends of your comfort level and 'need to know' - I wouldn't do it as a matter of routine...
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#12 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 11:04 AM
 
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No, never. There's no reason for it, it can introduce infection, cause cramping and bleeding, and even early labor.

I refused all checks before and during labor. No problems.

SANDRA, 41 year old VERY laid-back mama to VERY free range kids Brett (16), Justus (11), Autumn (4), and Ayla (1)... four perfect NCB's! :::
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#13 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 11:47 AM
 
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What are the pros? (Can't think of any...)
I agree with this...can't think of any either!

The only thing might be, if there are true medical indications of need for an induction - you would want to get checked for your bishop's score to know how likely induction would be to work, right? Aside from that - I generally advise mamas to skip it.

I think the poor anxious new mama desperate for some insight that might suggest she won't be pregnant forever can feel that just "knowing what's happening" is a "pro". But since (as pp's pointed out) a woman with no dilation can have her baby the next day, and a woman with 2 cm dilation can stay that way for 2 weeks, the "knowing" is an illusion of control. Still, I know how powerful the desire to know can be. I let myself be swayed to the checks at 38 and 39 weeks for baby #1 but skipped them the second time around when I had more confidence.
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#14 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 11:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AnnR33 View Post
There's really nothing that can be done regardless of the results ..... If anything, the results can cause more stress for the mama

Yes, yes and yes! ITA with your whole post.

I didn't have a single vaginal exam through most of my pregnancy. The only ones I did all through labor & birth:
  • GBS swab - at which point she did a VE to check baby's position (I was paranoid about breech, so I figured it was worth checking that way to be sure!)
  • Had my membranes stripped when I reached 41W4D
  • Checked when I felt the urge to push to be sure I was 10cm (my choice)
That was it.

The funniest part is that as I went late, people - co-workers, friends of friends, were asking if I was even dilated.

I said, "Well, there's really no point checking. I could be 3cm & still have a week to go, I could be totally closed & have the baby tomorrow. Why risk getting stressed if I"m 0 or excited if I'm 3 when it means nothign anyway?"
& women were like, "Oh, oh yeah, that's true."

Plus, I knew one lady who got induced because she had been at 3 or 4 cm for like a few weeks & the OB said, 'I've just never heard of that." So that was the reason for induction. (It was a casual convo at a party, not sure of the details, but it sounded like that was the reason for induction. Even though I had CNMs who were NCB friendly, I didn't want to risk giving anyone more fuel to push induction!!
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#15 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 12:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by GoGoGirl View Post
I think it was super important for my peace of mind for me to not get checked during labor. I know how I am, and if I had known how far dialated I was at this point or that point in labor, I would have been doing the math and freaking myself out.
Exactly! I felt the exact same way! Like, If I had labored for 10 hours, was at 5cm, I would have thought, "Oh no, another 10 hours to go!" even though, intellectually I know it just doesn't work like that - emotionally, I would have FELT that way.

Best not to know, IMO.
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#16 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 01:18 PM
 
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So how common is this with OBs? I was pretty uninformed when I had my dd and it wasn't really presented as something to "choose". Has anyone had any trouble refusing checks in an ob practice? Now with future births I'm hoping to have a MW but I'll be a VBAC so I'm sure will have to have OB back up.

A, WOHM hoping to be a SAHM married to E (7/7/01), mama to R :: (2/8/08) : : hopeful for ::
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#17 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 01:21 PM
 
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So how common is this with OBs? I was pretty uninformed when I had my dd and it wasn't really presented as something to "choose". Has anyone had any trouble refusing checks in an ob practice? Now with future births I'm hoping to have a MW but I'll be a VBAC so I'm sure will have to have OB back up.
I never had any problems. My OB always asked if I wanted to know this worthless ifnormation (lol, that's how she worded it) and I always said nope.

"No" is a very powerful word. And a doctor won't be angry if you use it.

SANDRA, 41 year old VERY laid-back mama to VERY free range kids Brett (16), Justus (11), Autumn (4), and Ayla (1)... four perfect NCB's! :::
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#18 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 01:28 PM
 
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With my first two (first induced for preeclampsia, second induced for doctor's fear), I was checked constantly, as per the usual OB/GYN hospital protocol. With my youngest (homebirth) I wasn't checked until late in labor and then it was at my request. I wanted to know the work I was doing was getting us somewhere. In my case, it worked out because I was progressing really fast. It could have just as easily backfired had I not been, but I really wanted to have some "evidence" of progress. There's really no reason to be checked, though and I'm not sure why it's such common practice.

Mama/stepmama of 4 goofy girls (7/99, 11/00, 4/03, and 12/08) and co-parent with my favorite husband. We do this stuff - : : : : : :
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#19 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 01:37 PM
 
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With my first, I went to a big OB practice and they started checking at 36 weeks. The day before my due date I was a fingertip dilated, and I cried because I was so ready to be done. However, I went into labor 12 hours later.

This time, I'm seeing a naturally-minded OB. He said he usually doesn't check until 39 weeks (but if you don't want to be checked, that's fine.) He said he will check you at 37 or 38 weeks if you really want to be checked. I declined at my 38 week appointment. I didn't want to get my hopes up for no reason. He said the only time he'd require a cervical check is if the woman is being induced for some reason (since the way you induce depends on the ripeness of the cervix.)

My friend walked around at 5+ cm dilated for a week with her second child. (She went 10 days past her guess date.)

mama to DD (7), DS (3.5), and another DS arriving in August!

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#20 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 02:16 PM
 
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Unless there's a problem, I don't want to be checked until maybe I start labor and my midwife arrives to see if it's the 'real thing' or not. I had a routine pap smear at 8 weeks, and nothing has been up there since. Otherwise, I think it creates more stress. Just because you dilate some doesn't mean labor is imminent. I mean, you can be at 4 cm for two weeks before active labor kicks in, but knowing you've dilated that much can put you on edge. Or if you haven't dilated at all, I think that can cause some mental havoc also. Also, I don't want to risk bacteria, either. I think my midwife will do cervical checks if requested, but she doesn't encourage them.

Andi, 32 - SAHM to Aaron Patriot born at home on 8/7/09 and devoted wife to Paul. : EC, Non-Circ ::
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#21 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 03:45 PM
 
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With ds (my "elective" cesarean just shy of 40 weeks) I was checked several times. With dd (my HBAC) I was only checked once. I had experienced fairly regular contractions all night that then petered out come morning. I already had a prenatal scheduled and requested that my midwife check me. In the end it was very reassuring because I knew something was happening - I ended up feeling a bit more relaxed about the process. After that I never felt it was necessary.
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#22 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 04:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rainashine View Post
So how common is this with OBs? I was pretty uninformed when I had my dd and it wasn't really presented as something to "choose". Has anyone had any trouble refusing checks in an ob practice? Now with future births I'm hoping to have a MW but I'll be a VBAC so I'm sure will have to have OB back up.
extremely! My first OB (his partner actually) just shoved his hand in there w/o asking at my GBS test. I was pretty pissed about it. But even after complaining was told that's what is done and was not given a choice about more. ahh. the days of my ignorance. How I DON'T long for them.

My last OB was pretty respectful. he starts doing checks at 40w, but does not push it all. He makes it very clear we can say no. We did continue checks b/c we were looking at possibly inducing (long story) and needed to know for bishop's score but when it came to labor the only check I had was when I was asking for the paracervical block and when I was apparently starting to push about 10 mins later. (I didn't realize I was pushy - my doula noticed!)

I don't plan on allowing checks this time. We'll see how I feel when I hit 42 weeks though.

Stinkerton 12/10/01 9lbs8oz, induced to c/s; Little Man 5/20/03 7lbs11oz, r c/s, fear of another labor; Jillybean 11/18/07 10lbs8oz 37cm head, induced VBA2C; and the Wee Beastie, 9lbs8oz, 35cm head, rpt VBA2C
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#23 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 05:35 PM
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I wasn't checked with #2 or #3 though I wish I had with #3. I had a precipitous labor (1.5 hrs) and my midwife missed the birth. Perhaps if I had considered it an option at 41 w 6 d after 2 doses of castor oil, she might have already been here. I totally dismissed the idea of checks (thinking there would never be a pro), but even though things were fine without my midwife, I wished it had been presented as an option because then she most likely would have been here for the birth (and perhaps I would have had an inkling that baby was coming fast and furious if she'd checked and I'd been 7 as opposed to being checked and being a 1)...
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#24 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 05:45 PM
 
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I wasn't checked with #2 or #3 though I wish I had with #3. I had a precipitous labor (1.5 hrs) and my midwife missed the birth. Perhaps if I had considered it an option at 41 w 6 d after 2 doses of castor oil, she might have already been here. I totally dismissed the idea of checks (thinking there would never be a pro), but even though things were fine without my midwife, I wished it had been presented as an option because then she most likely would have been here for the birth (and perhaps I would have had an inkling that baby was coming fast and furious if she'd checked and I'd been 7 as opposed to being checked and being a 1)...
Hey, there's a pro!
My idea of pro would be that I am 39 weeks, will be 39w4d at next appt. and if I do decide to get checked, I'll know more about what's up with my body. True, it could mean any number of things, but just having more information would make me feel better. That's my pro.

I am going for a VBAC, so the thought of going over is terrifying to me, as I am not able to be induced at all. Just to know there was *some* progress would set my mind at ease and more than likely contribute to lowering my stress level. Another pro for me. I suppose I was just speaking personally.

mama to Journey (1/07) Sequoia (1/07) and Camellia (7/09)
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#25 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 06:00 PM
 
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What are the pros? (Can't think of any...)
I'm 90 minutes away from the birth center, so I have been getting checked fairly regularly (2x so far and I'll be checked again tomorrow at my 40w appt). If I'm at 2 cm I know I'll have more time to get to the birth center than if I'm at 4 cm. My first birth was fairly short, so this has been a bit of a concern of mine. With DS I was only checked once to see if I was at least 4 cm so that I could get in the water (before then it can slow progress) during the birth. If it weren't for the distance I'll have to travel, I would not be getting checked at all.

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#26 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 06:25 PM
 
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Now with my last pregnancy, I had a false alarm a week before baby was born. I actually asked to be checked because I felt things fizzling out, but I've also had precipitated labour before and I didn't want the midwife to leave if things were progressing.

When I went into actual labour I thought things were going to go slowly. When the midwife arrived about a hour after my water broke, I felt like I was already in transition, except a couple of things were different to all of my previous labours. I actually asked the midwife to check me and I was in fact 7 cm. It was good for me to have known this.

I had no checks during the pregnancies.
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#27 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 06:31 PM
 
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So what are the "pros" for the OB? I'm not wondering so much about our own cynical speculations (e.g. looking for an induction excuse), but what is their stated rationale for routine checking?

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#28 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 06:44 PM
 
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I plan on declining the early ones for sure....so far no one's offered, but I have an appointment on Wednesday, so we'll see. If I get to 40 weeks, I might get curious.

Amy, wife to Paul 5/20/01, SAHM to Daniel 5/23/07, Claire 7/15/09, and Elaine 9/4/12

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#29 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 07:09 PM
 
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I'm 90 minutes away from the birth center, so I have been getting checked fairly regularly (2x so far and I'll be checked again tomorrow at my 40w appt). If I'm at 2 cm I know I'll have more time to get to the birth center than if I'm at 4 cm. My first birth was fairly short, so this has been a bit of a concern of mine. With DS I was only checked once to see if I was at least 4 cm so that I could get in the water (before then it can slow progress) during the birth. If it weren't for the distance I'll have to travel, I would not be getting checked at all.
Good luck. I was checked with #2 and went from 4 to 10 in under 10 minutes.

I really don't think it matters one iota what you're at and when you'll go.

SANDRA, 41 year old VERY laid-back mama to VERY free range kids Brett (16), Justus (11), Autumn (4), and Ayla (1)... four perfect NCB's! :::
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#30 of 53 Old 07-06-2009, 07:09 PM
 
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So what are the "pros" for the OB? I'm not wondering so much about our own cynical speculations (e.g. looking for an induction excuse), but what is their stated rationale for routine checking?
Habit. They're used to doing it. There's no real medical reason for it.

SANDRA, 41 year old VERY laid-back mama to VERY free range kids Brett (16), Justus (11), Autumn (4), and Ayla (1)... four perfect NCB's! :::
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