"Stretch and Sweep"...HUH? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 05-18-2005, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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This morning I met with the mw and she checked me because of all the preterm labor from before. I just knew the last time they stopped labor I would go all the way to the end...just a strong feeling. But anyway, she did something called "stretch and sweep" which was not exactly very comfortable. She said I am an easy 2 cm if not more and she "stretched things" inside there. Can anyone tell me what exactly this means or does...and is it really effective? I would love to know more information about what just happened and if this is legitimate or just another "myth" like rasberry leaf tea and epo, etc..

THanks mamas

Oh I forgot to add...after she finished and I was "cleaning up"....I wiped away a huge gross amount of yellow and blood tinged mucous....is this normal? It was n-a-s-t-y! I've been having some really weird sensations since she did this...tightning with discomfort really really low and mild cramping...part of me wants to lay down, the other part of me has this urge to clean the house top to bottom right now. :LOL
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#2 of 5 Old 05-18-2005, 01:36 PM
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"Stretch and sweep" is a gentler way of saying "stripping membranes" I think. It releases prostaglandins and can help you begin labor.

If you're not ready though, nothing will put you into a good labor pattern.
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#3 of 5 Old 05-18-2005, 01:42 PM
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I would be concerned that she did this intervention without first getting your consent. "Stretch and sweep" or "stripping the membranes" is an intervention and does run the risk of rupturing the membranes or causing infection (although I don't think the risks have been really studied). Honestly there isn't much out there that has conclusively proved it to be effective. I had a long discussion with my midwife about it last week and she didn't feel it was effective and had too many risks, so she doesn't do it anymore. I personally feel it was the membrane stripping which caused my infection last time - I was GBS+ and had to be induced at 42+3 becasue I came down with a fever.

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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#4 of 5 Old 05-19-2005, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
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She didn't do it withOUT my consent persay.....I consented to her checking where I was at because I had alot of PTL between 32-36 weeks and in the process she said something about being able to stretch the cervix...I guess there was considerable time for me to oppose but I couldnt for the life of me imagine why she would suggest this if it was a bad thing. I am a little concerned about the risks now but what is done is done and I will talk to her more about this tomorrow when she comes by. I've read conflicting information about it but was reassured a bit when Ina May discussed it in her book as an old school practice (my mw is old skool). Nevertheless, I should have educated myself a bit more before just assuming it was ok.
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#5 of 5 Old 05-19-2005, 01:17 PM
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I just saw my MW yesturday and talked about this with her as well. They rather not do it unless you are post dates and really uncomfortable. There is a risk of infection and they don't recommend it if you are GBS+.

The glob o' goo you saw was probabley part of your mucus plug. As the plug continually regenerates itself it is not much to worry about.

The procedure can definitely start labor going if your body is ready, and did with both my boys! With in 48 hours with DS#1 and within 3 days with DS#2. So finish up your nesting just in case!

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