Are there any cons to having one's membranes stripped? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 01-07-2005, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Other than the risk of infection I can't think of anything.
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#2 of 12 Old 01-07-2005, 05:59 PM
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Chances of accidental rupture of membranes.
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#3 of 12 Old 01-07-2005, 06:19 PM
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It can also be painful as well as cause some cascade effects. It is still an intervention. As a doula one of the things I do is assist with gathering information so that clients can make informed decisions. I do not make decisions for anyone, that is for you to do. If you are familiar at all with Gloria Lemay - this is some interesting information to assist with gathering information (I can't get it to quote right in the brackets):

[QUOTE]It's so easy for midwives to see it when the doctors are doing it, but it's more hidden from view when its our own interventions. When the membranes are stripped to induce the birth, it means that the body may go forward with much of the birth in a seemingly normal way but it is common for there to be a "glitch" with the placenta coming out.

I recently heard about a birth here which started with stripping the membranes in a midwife's office. The mother dilated smoothly but then had
-no urge to push
-no stretching of the perineum (epis cut)
-an adherent placenta (manual removal)
One of my favourite midwifery educators, Gail Hart, uses the analogy of a bicycle combination lock to describe the problem with inducing.
She says that if you don't have all the numbers lined up to give birth, you can't open the birth lock.

When the mother requests that you strip her membranes, your job is to say "No" and explain to her the problems that can ensue. Education is our main job. A wise midwife does not pick unripe fruit. She also doesn't engage in inductions at 38 wga with the potential to cause infection, prematurely release the membranes, cause a cord prolapse, have a RDS problem with babe, etc. I wish you many peaceful home births in the future and urge you to be firm with your clients about saving interventions for only the very rare cases.
Gloria Lemay, Vancouver, BC[QUOTE]
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#4 of 12 Old 01-07-2005, 06:21 PM
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The chance that your membranes will get broken rather than "stripped," or the possibility that it will trigger annoying but ineffective contractions; some women have reported painful backaches; the chance that it won't work and you'll be disappointed, the chance that it will work and baby isn't ready or isn't in a good position.
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#5 of 12 Old 01-07-2005, 06:59 PM
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Because I had it done with my second baby and it didn't do a darn thing, I thought there was not really a risk.

November, though, I had a doula client who at one day past her edd had her midwife sweep her membranes. This was at 9 in the morning. She immediately started having contractions 6-7 minutes apart, ALL DAY LONG. At 9 pm we went to the hospital. She was still only dilated to a 2 (same as she had been in the am), but now she was fully exhausted and already feeling worn out. The next morning, after continuing to have contractions all night, they gave her an epidural and started pitocin (she was still only dilated to 2). I saw the cascade of interventions unfold before my eyes. She ended up never dilating past 7, and she had a c-section later that night.

From that experience, I am more tempted now to say, DON'T DO IT! Let your body come to this in her own time.

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#6 of 12 Old 01-08-2005, 01:08 AM
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That is how we "induced" for my last labor. It worked fine. But my con is that it made it be a pretty crampy labor. I'm convinced that I would have had a pain free birth if I would have gone naturally without messing with the sweeping the membranes. It was the right decision at that time, but I wouldn't do it again. When I got into the jetted tub, it took the cramping away, but the contractions were pretty hard--I got through them fine with hypnobabies relaxation techniques, but I still think labor would have been so much easier and quicker without getting it done!

I guess it depends on how desperate you are! Would you rather have a nice, comfortable labor, or not be pregnant anymore? lol Or even worse--go through the pain of getting it done and having it not work!!
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#7 of 12 Old 01-08-2005, 03:13 PM
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I read somewhere that having sex 3 times in an hour or so (with both your and your partner havin an orgasm) had the same effectiveness as stripping the membranes and none of the side effects (you're body won't go into labor if it's not ready just from sex but might from membrane stripping). My friend had her membranes stripped and had an extremely painful labor and her midwife cut an episiotomy for lack of stretching. I agree with pp- I wouldn't do it.

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#8 of 12 Old 01-09-2005, 04:40 PM
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There is also the risk of sending your body into labour before your baby has worked its way into an idea position for birth. I had a doula client who had her membranes stripped (without her permission) and it did indeed send her into labour (mild cramping started and ROM later that night). She had a horrid labour with every intervention in the book, and an eventual c-section for an OP baby whose head was never well applied to her cervix.

I've also had clients for whom it has worked perfectly - but the risk is always there.

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#9 of 12 Old 01-10-2005, 11:04 PM
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#10 of 12 Old 01-10-2005, 11:09 PM
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#11 of 12 Old 01-11-2005, 01:45 AM
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When I first read this heading, my immediate thought was, "There are pros???"

A stretch and sweep is just an intervention and while less extreme than syntocin, for example, you're still causing your labour to begin before you know for sure your baby is ready. There are good reasons why babies are the ones who decide when labour begins since they're the junior partner in the duet and need to be thoroughly cooked before they come. If you're not in labour it is for a good reason - baby not ready or mature enough for life earthside, in a poor position for labour, that sort of thing. So starting labour before bubs is ready is more likely than not to lead to the whole cascade and then to forceps, epidural, ventouse or c-sec with its attendant trauma for mother and baby.

The only time I'd consider a stretch and sweep would be if I were 43 weeks from conception, not LMP, and with dramatically rising BP. Otherwise, like any other induction technique it's just too risky, IMO. Oh, and in the studies opinion too

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#12 of 12 Old 01-11-2005, 04:14 PM
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well, Adria is 39-ish weeks pregnant w/ b/g twins...who were 5.5 lbs 3 weeks ago...and is in nearly constant pain. If I were in her shoes, I would probably be asking to have my membranes stripped too.
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