Tell me about a "stretch and sweep" ~ Edit, nevermind, baby is here!!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 03-06-2008, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
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It sounds scary!!

I'm 40 weeks today, and we were all expecting this baby to show up by now, because DD was born at 38w4d (not a good reason to expect baby #2 early, but still!). I had my 40 week midwife appointment and we discussed protocol for postdates ~ which is just standard for a 40 week appointment. Of course, this got me freaked out about having to consult with an OB, and having to face risking out of a home birth at 42 weeks.

I've also been doing EPO (both orally and vag.), bouncing on an exercise ball, tons of walking, and DTD when it's convenient. I'm also going to be making an appointment with my naturopath for acupuncture and possibly homeopathy.

She recommended a "stretch and sweep" at 41 weeks if nothing spectacular happens by then. She said I could decline, no problem and recommended I read up on it this week.

What exactly is it? Would it make labour more difficult when it does happen? How soon after this procedure do things typically get moving? ANy other info would be great.


Edit: While reading all of the responses, my mucous plug came out, and our 9pound 8 oz baby boy was born at 7:29 am yesterday at home (International Women's Day no less ~ a feminist already!). Birth story to be posted later to the March DDC.

Thank you so much for all of your info!!
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#2 of 3 Old 03-06-2008, 08:29 PM
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It's also referred to as "stripping the membranes". If your cervix is dilated enough she will insert a finger in and sweep it around between the membranes and the lining of the uterus. It is supposed to release prostaglandings, labor usually starts in a few days. It will not affect your labor.

I don't think you should worry about risking out now. It is common to go past your due date, you're no where need needing to worry about postdates. Statistically, your baby will probably arrive in a few days, definitely within 2 weeks!
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#3 of 3 Old 03-08-2008, 12:44 AM
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Some moms do find it quite painful. I agree with most of what the PP said, but I disagree a bit with the idea that it will not affect your labor.

I've seen some moms after membrane stripping thrown into annoying pre-labor/prodromal labor patterns that cause a lot of annoying contractions, made mom really tired, but didn't actually kick-start labor.

Here's are the Pros/Cons that Heci Goer lists is "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth":

Slightly decreases the number of oxytocin inductions by reducing the number of postdates pregnancies. However, routine induction for postdates pregnancy has questionable value.

Potential of rupturing the membranes, instigating infection, or causing hemorrhage if the placenta is overlaying the cervix (placenta previa). Does not decrease c-section rates.

In any case, I totally agree that you don't have to worry to much about it now. You and your midwife can weigh things and make the call sometime down the line, if needed.
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