Anyone get checked at 36 weeks for cervical progress? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-13-2006, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My doc. wants to check me this wednesday. Should I let him? What is the earliest you would let your doc. check you?
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Old 03-13-2006, 11:40 AM
 
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Well I was checked for preterm labor at the hospital once this time around already I was nearly 31wks , had some dialation and effacement already at that point.

I think in my past 2 pregnancies first time i was checked was 36wks and then 35 with my 2nd pregnancy, my 2nd they checked with my GBS test after they took what they needed she checked me.

So i am 33wks now and I would say 35 or 36 wks would be ok for me, both my past children were born in my 38th wk
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Old 03-13-2006, 12:07 PM
 
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I was checked only once w/ my first, and that was at 39 weeks! With my second, I had a different doc and he checked EVERYTIME! I thought it was a little much, but he told me that since I had a uterine abnormallity, it was the norm. We moved... again, so a new doc this time. I was checked several times b4 12 weeks cuz I was bleeding and almost miscarried, I go to my 35 week appt tomorrow and I think he starts the weekly check then. Good luck!
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Old 03-13-2006, 12:26 PM
 
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If I were going to a doc now I probably would fight with them on this-- not until 40 weeks or I'm in labor. I'm too paranoid about them sneaking in a stripping of the membranes or something similar without telling me, which is what my doc did last time. As it is I agreed with my mw she can give me my first exam when I'm feeling pushy or we think it's a good idea for checking for position.
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Old 03-13-2006, 01:07 PM
 
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I had the GBS swab last week at 35w, and my mw did a "visual check."
I plan to have her check at 37w because my son came at 37w 4d, so I'd just like to know what's going on.
I don't know how she feels about checking, she implied that it was up to me.
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Old 03-13-2006, 01:37 PM
 
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With my first they started checking at 37 or 38 weeks. With my second they didnt check until I was at the hospital. This one I may be checked tomorrow just because I have been having contractions every 10-15 minutes since Saturday and I lost some plug. I'd ike to know if I am dialating since I am only at 35 weeks.
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Old 03-13-2006, 01:50 PM
 
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I did get checked last week, but not specifically just for cervical progress. There was some confusion as to whether or not the baby's head or his butt was the engaged part so I had the option of either a vaginal exam to verify that was his head, or getting an u/s. I chose an exam and she asked if I wanted her to check for dilation then too, and I figured she might as well even though it means nothing. I don't plan on having any more exams without a good reason because they are not helpful for knowing your 'progress' and they can always introduce bad bacteria or accidently send you into labor when your body isn't ready.

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Old 03-13-2006, 02:33 PM
 
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I'll be declining checks until active labor. They may tell you what is happening at that very moment but really don't have any predictive value whatsoever. You can be firm, closed and posterior and start labor the next day, or you can be a soft 3-4 for weeks. I think it has the potential to just induce more anxiety unless there's a good reason to know (ie to determine preterm labor). Plus, it's uncomfortable and the last thing anyone needs at this point is more discomfort!!

In some places practitioners don't even consider cervical checks before the onset of active labor. FreeSpiritMama can confirm this, but I believe most British mws would think we are a little nuts for all the "checking" we do ahead of time.

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Old 03-13-2006, 02:38 PM
 
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I was just discussing this issue with my dh last night (whether or not to have the mw check). I had no intention of it and she brought it up last week (35 weeks) b/c I've been contracting a lot and I think also to verify that baby a is head down. I told her that maybe I'd have her check me but no sooner than 36 weeks when she'll be willing to do a homebirth (wouldn't want to accidentally have her send me into labor). However, after thinking about it I decided not to b/c:

1. Knowing how dilated I am now means nothing (you could walk around 5cm for a month, kwim?)
2. If she were to find that the baby was breech then SHE would be all wigged out about it (I wouldn't be) and I don't need that kind of stress.

So anyway, in my situation where I like to keep things very hands-off (she literally won't be in the same room with me unless I change my mind and request it or need help) I don't think it's a good idea. I also think vag. exams during labor to check progress of dilation is a big mistake, so that's where I'm coming from.

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Old 03-13-2006, 02:59 PM
 
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I got checked at my last appt. This past Thursday since I was having so much pressure and all. Just to satisfy my own curiosity.
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Old 03-13-2006, 03:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyNluv
What is the earliest you would let your doc. check you?
Ummm.... after the Baby is born?
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Old 03-13-2006, 03:17 PM
 
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Personally I wont be getting any vaginal checks ( my reasoning is similar to love_homebirthings), luckily I have an awesome MW who is totally on board with this
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Old 03-13-2006, 04:17 PM
 
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I chose to have a check today because one thing that was very discouraging to me with my dd was that *nothing* happened, even at 42 weeks. I was not soft, not dilated, not effaced, dd wasn't even really engaged when they started inducing me. So in a way I did feel like I was "defective" and wouldn't have gone into labor without help.

I have feel like maybe *something* was happening this time, so my MW offered to check (my choice- I could have said no) and I decided to let her as a baseline... and I am glad I did b/c I got reassurance that I needed that my body is responding and getting ready. My cervix is very foward, I'm soft, 60-70% effaced, and dilated 2 cm. Now, I am perfectly aware that I could still go to 42 weeks like I did with dd, and that's fine... but for me it is encouraging and exciting to know that stuff *is* happening.

I've also decided not to take 5W or EPO on a 5-4-3-2-1 schedule as my MW suggested last time, since things are moving along fine on their own. I really don't want this baby to come before 39-40 weeks, and now I can relax and trust her to come out when she's ready. I'm so excited to meet her but I still have some stuff to do!

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Old 03-13-2006, 04:17 PM
 
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yeah, my midwife wouldn't have done one...and I told myself there was no real reason to have one done...but I did. And now I could kick myself. But I will say this...If I had still been seeing the doc I had for my LAST two? I prob would've been checked SEVERAL times by now. But there isn't any reason for it... and I also totally agree with love_homebirthing as well.
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Old 03-13-2006, 04:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wittyone
I'll be declining checks until active labor. They may tell you what is happening at that very moment but really don't have any predictive value whatsoever. You can be firm, closed and posterior and start labor the next day, or you can be a soft 3-4 for weeks.
I had a doula client who was checked at 37wks and found to be 4cm (first time mom) Her doctor flat out told her you will be in labor by this weekend. When she was not in labor by then she was so upset. She went another 2 weeks at 4cm. Checking really is not going to tell you much of anything other than your body is working and you will have a baby, which you know right now anyway! LOL.

I have had no VE's this entire pg (well one in the ER when I had alot of bleeding). My MW does not do them unless mom requests it, so I may very well go this entire labor and birth with out one.

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Old 03-13-2006, 04:55 PM
 
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I might not get checked again, but for me, it *was* helpful. If I hadn't gone so long with dd I probably would have skipped it. But I am glad that I don't feel like I have to take so many pills now!

An extrovert, married to my introverted dh since '01, mothering my girls C (2003) and G (2006).

 

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Old 03-13-2006, 05:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyNluv
My doc. wants to check me this wednesday. Should I let him? What is the earliest you would let your doc. check you?
What will the information mean to you? To the doctor? These exams are typically done because they are routine. I have had several clients who have chosen to decline the vag exam have their doctors tell them that usually women want them so they routinely offer them, but that they don't really mean anything.

How will you feel if the news is that you are dilating? What if you hear that you are 2cm already- will you feel anxious that it could happen anytime? What if it doesn't?

How will you feel if you hear that you aren't dilated at all? Disappointed? Relieved?

Is there any medical reason for an invasive exam?

It's your decision, not his. If the information would be useful to YOU, then go for it. If not, then why introduce bacteria into your vagina for no reason?

Kristina in Kitsap County, WA
Doula, Student Midwife, Mama, Wife & More
http://redspiral.blogspot.com
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Old 03-13-2006, 11:14 PM
 
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I was checked last week, at my 34 week appointment. The only reason though is because my first baby was born at 35 weeks and I had lost some of my plug the day before and I'm feeling lots of stuff going on down there. So, for me, I just wanted to know the status, even though I know it doesn't predict a whole lot. She also did my group B strep culture at that time because she thought it wasn't wise to wait until 36 weeks. My daughter was born before the 36 week appt, so they didn't get to do the test, and by the time I came into the hospital it was too late for antibiotics to help. I was 7cms. We didn't have any problems anyway.

My cervix is soft and dilated a fingertip. Pretty normal for baby #2.
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Old 03-14-2006, 05:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyNluv
My doc. wants to check me this wednesday. Should I let him? What is the earliest you would let your doc. check you?
No checks yet, I'm 37 weeks. I preferred having a u/s a few weeks ago to check the positioning, because I wanted absolute verification on that, and in my opinion a u/s is less risky/invasive than a cervical check. (all of my mom's babies were breeches, and in IL, it is essentially illegal to do anything but a c/s for a breech birth due to the fact that doctors can't get malpractice insurance for any vaginal breech procedure anymore. So if I had to get all spinningbabies.com on that kid's ass, I NEEDED to know!). I won't get any cervical checks if I can avoid them, now that i know the baby is head down, and that's all I cared about. If I find out I'm 4 cm dilated and am like that for three weeks, I will go INSANE- I prefer not to know! (I do get my GBS culture tomorrow, so hopefully I"ll be able to maintain my "don't check me" stance then.)
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Old 03-14-2006, 02:32 PM
 
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No checks yet. I am 36 weeks. I go on Friday and I don't imagine I'll get checked then either. With #2 the doc only checked 2 days before I was due.

I had my GBS culture last week and I did it myself. He gave me the swab and told me how to do it in the washroom. Is this normal?? I thought it was great because I didn't have to get undressed or anything!

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Old 03-14-2006, 03:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by thirdchild
I had my GBS culture last week and I did it myself. He gave me the swab and told me how to do it in the washroom. Is this normal??
I don't know if it's "normal" but I've heard at least one other person here on MDC mention it. Sounds like a great idea IMO. What a humiliating test!

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Old 03-14-2006, 03:20 PM
 
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The birth center where I work offers this option to moms who would prefer to DIY. That's what I plan to do in a couple of weeks

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Old 03-14-2006, 04:17 PM
 
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I have a hard time not knowing so i always let them check 36-37 weeks. YES, i know it means nothing but its just neat to know.

BUT, BUT, BUT.........this time i will not because i feel getting checked was a very negative thing my last pregnancy. at my 36 week appiontment my m/w was going to check me. i hummed and hawed about it because i didnt really want her to till at least 37 weeks. but curiosity took over and i let her. well i was 6cm dialated and 80% effaced. she told me since my babies were 4 or 5 pounds that i might not need to dialate to a full 10 and that i needed to go strait to the hospital. i was firm about going home and doing a few things. mainly eating a lot of food, since they wouldnt let me eat anything once i got to the hospital and i still had my belly cast left to do. so i stayed home for a few hours. but every hour my midwife would call asking if i was coming yet. i never felt like i was in active labor but eventually i just went to the hospital because i thought i should. in the end being ignorant to how dialated i was may have helped me relax, stay at home a lot longer and maybe even keep them in for a couple more days.

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Old 03-14-2006, 04:33 PM
 
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I did my GBS myself. I think it's great, cause you can skip over that whole butt thing.
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Old 03-15-2006, 04:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosemommy
I did my GBS myself. I think it's great, cause you can skip over that whole butt thing.
*snort* that's hilarious. The "butt thing", for people on here who haven't had it done yet, is just that after the swab they touch it to the outside of the Specific Butt Area, lightly. No big deal. The somewhat harsh scraping inside the vagina was, though, for me uncomfortable. I think it's important that they know if it's in the Butt Area, too, since it just sort of goes everywhere once you have it anywhere.

I would have really liked the option of doing the swab myself- what a great idea. But, it was really no big deal otherwise. My husband was there and I think he was VERY curious about what was going on, but thank god he didnt' get up and come over and look. I told him that would have freaked me out. It's so WEIRD to have him there when getting any sort of vaginal exam, and I'm not usually a shy person by any means. It's just weird.

I did not get a cervical check, and the mw totally agreed with me that it was actually useless and had the potential for freaking me out and making me impatient with the last few weeks of the pregnancy. So that was cool!
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Old 03-15-2006, 02:07 PM
 
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We're not doing any internal exams until active labor. And I've already told them not to tell me what they find... I really don't care, it doesn't mean anything and I'm just planning to follow my body's cues for this birth. They have to do it that one time to "check the box" and that's fine and that will be it. I haven't had an vaginal since the beginning and we declined the GBS test as well. I just don't like the idea of introducing anyone's germs to that area and increasing the chances that GBS could be introduced.

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Old 03-15-2006, 02:23 PM
 
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Had GBS swab and it was painlesss and to my knowledge there was no butt-ing involved at all. Which was fine with me.

I asked her to check me while she was down there (I can't reach my cervix myself else I'd do it), and though am not dilated at all, I am effaced quite a bit and cervix is no longer posterior.

Not that any of that matters terribly since things can change drastically overnight, but I was pleased to know what's going on with my body.

When we were ttc I checked my cervix for position, firmness, etc., monthly and it has been weird not knowing what's going on down there, so it was reassuring to me to know.

SAHM to Guinevere (04/05/06) and Eowyn (02/13/09)
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Old 03-15-2006, 02:59 PM
 
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No internal exams here either. That "information" is just not worth it to me & no one but my body knows what it really means anyway. My body will go into labor when it's ready, I don't need to "check" it's progress, especially when no one knows it's time frame.

My midwives have all their mommas swab themselves for GBS with a qtip

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