|My MW just told me that starting next week they will start massaging the membranes to get labor going. Is this the same as stripping or sweeping the membranes?
Personally, I would ask directly, "do you mean you're going to attempt to strip my membranes?" Yes, it sounds like the same thing to me, but just get clear on it.
|If they do strip the membranes, what effect could it have? Would my water break right away, within the day? Right now my cervix is long & closed & baby is head down, but not really engaged in the pelvis yet. It seems like my body is not yet ready for labor so would stripping the membranes not be effective? Is it only effective if you are ready to labor anyway? What are the chances they could accidentally break my water? Is stripping the membranes something that is routinely done? What are some bad things that could happen? Could it hurt the baby in any way?
If your body is ready, it COULD cause you to go into labor. It COULD cause your water to break, but more likely the prostaglandins released would cause ctx. However, if your body is not ready, nothing will happen. I had it done with #3 and nothing happened. Because of that experience, I wouldn't want it done. It's invasive, and there are way less invasive ways to "get things going" -- if that's what you want! However, it sounds like you're not getting much of a choice in the matter. If it's not what you want, just say no! As far as it being routine... just depends on the practice, I guess. My mw offered to do it, and I took her up on it. Had some prodromal type labor for about a day and then nothing. My dd was born on her due date.
As far as risks: any vaginal exam is a risk of infection, whether your water is broken or not. And then, for most practices, once your water is broken you are on a clock. So I wouldn't risk it in the off-chance that your water breaks.
Good luck, and keep cooking that baby!