Membrane Stripping--Your Thoughts? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 10-19-2010, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello all!
So sorry for yet another question. But I thought I might get some helpful feedback here.
I was curious if any of you who have had your membranes stripped could tell me a little about your experience with this procedure. Was it effective? How long did it take you to go into labor after having this done? Would you recommend this over waiting and possibly having a doc break your water or administer pitocin?
Just to give a little info about where I'm coming from with this question, I'm 41 weeks with my first. As of yesterday, I was 2cm dilated, 70% effaced, with the baby at -2 station. My goal is to have a completely unmedicated labor and delivery, so obviously, pitocin isn't the best option for me. I'm considering requesting to have my membranes stripped if baby hasn't come by the end of this week. My thought was that this would be preferable to going to week 42 and having my doc insist on induction because of the risks to baby. So any feedback would be much appreciated. Thank you!
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#2 of 6 Old 10-19-2010, 01:14 PM
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My OBGYN tried it when I was 38 weeks with DS1. She did it at 5 pm, and he was born about 9 hours later, lightning fast labour and delivery, all natural, relatively pain free. My BP was sky high and I was facing an induction. Same scenario with DS2, so I had it done at 40 weeks. It didn't work so we tried again 4 days later. Again it failed. I went into labour a few days later, but I had 40 hours of horrible back labour. DS2 was likely posterior so perhaps he wasn't quite ready to come out. Despite the hard labour, it was still a great delivery, without meds. Bottom line, imo, is that it will work if you're close to labour, but it will not start labour if your body is not ready. I know others will disagree, but this is how it felt to me. Also, the procedure itself wasn't exactly pleasant, but it was quick and not otherwise painful. Good luck and happy birthing!
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#3 of 6 Old 10-19-2010, 01:16 PM
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I had it done with my first, who was 41+3. It HURT, and didn't put me into labor. I was 2-3cm when I had it done.
The only way I would recommend it is if I had hit 42 weeks. My midwife and I had planned on doing it with my last baby when I hit 42 weeks to try to move things along, but I went into labor on my own the day before that.
I dunno, I think it just begs for infection. Yes, I think it's preferable to pitocin or cervadil or any other medical induction, but I would wait until the last possible minute.

Em, married to Alex, mom to Samantha (11 yrs) and Cullen (5yrs) and Maybe (5/16/2010) Trying to grow 4,000lbs of produce on .2 acres. See my blog!
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#4 of 6 Old 10-19-2010, 06:55 PM
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I started doing it myself every couple of days starting about 41 weeks, ramping up to a couple of times a day in the last week or so. DD2 wasn't born until 43+6 weeks. It clearly had *NO* effect on me!!

And I did consent to having it done by a MW once, as I started to doubt myself - whether I was doing it correctly - but in comparison my own 'stretch & sweeps' were far more vigorous than the one she did. Hers didn't even produce a contraction, whereas mine would set off a good set of BH contractions, and often get a bit of mucus/bloody show too.

However, despite it not working for me, I believe there are quite a few studies showing that it can reduce the incidence of post-dates, and I doubt it would work unless your body was close to being ready to go into labour anyway, so I would see it as a relatively safe intervention if you're up against the wall.

Lisa - mama to Eleanor Rose 01/08 and Saoirse Lily 09/10
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#5 of 6 Old 10-19-2010, 08:14 PM
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I wouldn't consider it until 42 weeks, and even then I'd try just about every other natural method first--acupuncture, a chiropractic adjustment, EPO, sex, herbs, maybe even the dreaded castor oil. It seems like something that would invite infection. I avoid internal exams during pregnancy for the same reason.

Loving wife partners.gif and mama to my sweet little son coolshine.gif (Fall 2008) and a beautiful baby girl babyf.gif(Fall 2010)


When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty. --George Bernard Shaw

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#6 of 6 Old 10-19-2010, 09:17 PM
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I had my midwife do it with #2 because of decreased fetal movement/lower end of normal heart rate, being almost 42 weeks, and facing the possibility of a hospital induction. It worked like a charm; I went into labor almost immediately. She was born in the evening the next day, following 24 hours of gentle contractions and 2 hours of hard labor. It was a good thing too, because the placenta looked aged when it came out. With #3 I was having a hospital birth anyway and they wanted to induce for low fluid levels, so I had my OB do the membrane strip and scheduled the induction 2 days after the strip to give me time to go into labor. At first I thought it wasn't going to work, because I was just crampy for two days with no real contractions-until the morning of my induction when I was into full on hard labor at 6am, and hour and a half before I was supposed to show up at the hospital. Ds was born five hours and a half hours later.

Bethany, crunchy Christian mom to Destiny (11) Deanna (9), and Ethan (2)

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