stretch + sweep membranes? - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-28-2006, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
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My midwife today suggested that we do a stretch + sweep, which I declined. (I'm almost 39w...) but she said if I don't progress next week (or deliver), then she'd want to do it... what do you think???

thanks!!

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Old 09-28-2006, 07:57 PM
 
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This is your 2nd pregnancy, right? I would tell her to keep her hands off! Your body knows what to do, and this baby will come in it's own time. (says the woman with the scheduled c/s ) I have never heard a midwife suggest a stretch and sweep before 41 weeks. What's up with that

Mama to 4 darlings. A ('03), O and K ('06), A ('09), and wife to M since 2002.
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Old 09-28-2006, 08:01 PM
 
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Don't do it. Let your body go when it is ready to go. I got my membranes swept last pregnancy and it put me into hard labor for 52 hours. My body simply was not ready to be forced like that.

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Old 09-28-2006, 08:24 PM
 
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I would tell her to SWEEP HER OWN MEMBRANES AND LEAVE YOURS ALONE!!!


Hmm Ask her what is she going on vacation or something : : :



Michele
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Old 09-28-2006, 08:25 PM
 
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I concur with the pp's. Let your baby come on its own....I remember you were posting earlier about trying different things to avoid an induction. Is your mw suggesting these based on your estimated due date. Again, its just an estimation and your baby does know what the time is right for him/her.
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Old 09-29-2006, 12:53 AM
 
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it's just an intervention that can inturrupt your body's natural cycle of things... If you try to jump the gun, you may end up with other issues that would prompt yet another intervention...and then the ball may really get rolling down the hill!
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Old 09-29-2006, 04:00 AM
 
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With my dd, my MW stripped my membranes TWICE to get things moving but all it did was make me bleed and cramp and generally feel yucky...I was 39 weeks and my water broke all on its own. I would decline if I were you - there is no guarantee anything will happen - or like others have said - it will rush your body into something it is just not ready for. HTH!
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Old 09-29-2006, 05:30 AM
 
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I also refused that with my DD last time and I went into labor on my own THAT night!

Michelle, vegan mama to my two sweeties, L, 4/21/04 and C, 10/29/06 married to my Bryce for 20 years.

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Old 09-29-2006, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the encouragement!! I just told my doula about this too. The midwife on Thursday said my cervix is posterior, so if I had gone ahead and done the stretch and sweep with a posterior cervix, and went into labor, my cervix wouldn't have been aligned with the baby's head or the birth canal, resulting in who knows what!! (like lots more interventions or pain perhaps?)

I'm not sure why she said she would want to do it by my next appt at 39w... she said a few times she wants to avoid an induction (I'm a vbac)... I see a different midwife next week, so we'll see what happens. Still 10 days to go till my 'due date'...

In the meantime, I'm drinking red raspberry leaf tea, and taking eve. primrose oil. Don't want to intervene, esp. if the big guy isn't quite ready...

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Old 09-30-2006, 01:45 AM
 
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I agree with Mamajody. I was all for the sweep and stretch last pregnancy. I went 8 days over 40 weeks (which they call overdue, but is actually the average length of human gestation - 41 weeks and one day). I was so impatient and worried that I couldn't give birth at the birthcenter if I went 14 days over that I was trying little things on my own (putting a capsule of evening primrose oil by my cervix to help it dialate, asking for the sweep, eating spicy food, sex, stairs, bumpy cars - you name it). Sure enough, I went into labor the day after my 41 week visit (during which she did the sweep). She had done it the week before - but nothing happened. I don't know if that caused the labor or if it was just time, but now that I have read more about it...I don't think it is a great idea. First of all, vaginal exams increase chance of infection - especially after the water sack has broken. Knowing how much you are dialated tells you nothing (some women have been known to be 4cm dialated for 7 weeks before birthing, and others have gone from 4 cm dialted to 10cm in 5 minutes or less - so irrelevant). Second, they can lead to a premature rupture of the amniotic membrane.

Most of us imagine that the water breaks at the beginning of labor (like in the movies), but it is actually between 8cm and during pushing that the average bag of water breaks. This is for good reason - the presence of the water sack around the head of the infant makes contractions and even pushing (if it is still intact in second stage labor) less traumatic on the head of the infant. It also makes the baby slide more evenly through the cervix (the bag of water equalizes pressure). So the longer the water sack stays intact - the better for labor. Too many vaginal examins and stretches/sweepings can cause it to break before the optimal time. Of course, if you are super "over due" (if there is such a thing - that is debatable) and you must speed things up, a sweep is far better than castor oil and of course, pitocin. At least, that is my humble opinion. Try going without it. You aren't too late yet

Mandi - Doula/Childbirth Educator, Loving my DH, DS, DD, DD, missing my three (last m/c 4/2010)
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Old 09-30-2006, 01:50 AM
 
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I did it to my self and maby you can to if you feel like you want to get the show on the road( even though it will be a longer road). I don't see teh rush though you are not over due until 42weeks!

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Old 10-06-2006, 10:35 AM
 
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I am going through the same thing. Well, my midwife asked me this week (40 weeks)if I wanted her to sweep/stretch my menbranes-she told me that she is "very gentle". I told her NO-she told me to read about it and let her know next week. I have been di=oing a lot of walking this past weekend (before this appt). Friday night I walked in the park with my husband & 2 1/2 yr old dd & when we got back to our house I FELT my baby DROP! Saturday, I just walked at Oxford Valley MAll for 3 hrs while my dh took my dd to Sesame Place. Sunday, I did a lot of laundry (up & down stairs). Monday i went food shopping. Anyhow, just keep active, but it is also important to rest (I was up until 3:30 am Tues cleaning and putting together my dd's room-my dh had to fix the ceiling fan, it wasn't stable--we just moved in June and did a lot of renovations at one time--new kitchen. So I was tired og waiting for him and my Mom to do things for me and did it myself!)
Anyway, I was SCARED into being induced with PIT when I had my dd by my OB/ghn at the time even though my mucus plug broke that morning and when I went in, I was already contracting on my own! Should have been sent home-whatever.
So just do what you think is/feels right for you! I have no problems with walking and having sex(we did it the other night) and taking the evening primrose oil (I'm taking it orally, 500mg 3x's a day cause it didn't work for me vaginally).
I wa starting to feel "pressure" to have this baby because I hired a doula (Very important to let ypur doula know what's going on because she will send you information to help you make a decisdion) and rented an AquaDoula and want to be able to use it by 42 weeks.
Good Luck!
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Old 10-06-2006, 12:23 PM
 
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I begged my OB to sweep my membranes at my last visit. I've got a section date scheduled that I really don't want to still be pregnant for (VBAC, IDGDM, isoimmunization and assorted other minor complications), and, frankly, I'll do just about anything to get into labor before my section date. It's not always a terrible thing to try to move things along when the alternative is another section.

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Old 10-06-2006, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
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maxmama,

did the sweep help? Did it cause labor the same day/night? How far along were you when you had it done? I totally agree about avoiding another c, and trying everything possible... I'm just curious why my midwives keep pushing it and have been pushing it since 38w...

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Old 10-06-2006, 12:32 PM
 
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I begged my OB to sweep my membranes at my last visit. I've got a section date scheduled that I really don't want to still be pregnant for (VBAC, IDGDM, isoimmunization and assorted other minor complications), and, frankly, I'll do just about anything to get into labor before my section date. It's not always a terrible thing to try to move things along when the alternative is another section.
I am in a similar situation. I have preexisting hypertension and my midwives and backup OB will not let me go past 41 weeks (next Wednesday). My BP has creeped up some, but still managed with medication and no signs of PIH. Soooo...I let the midwife sweep my membranes, having sex daily (DH is thrilled), nipple stim, walking, etc. We will probably try some castor oil this weekend as well. Last resort will be to rupture my membranes at the birth center on Wednesday if labor hasn't started by then. I am 3 cm now, so hopefully we will see some progress soon!
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Old 10-06-2006, 12:42 PM
 
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maxmama,

did the sweep help? Did it cause labor the same day/night? How far along were you when you had it done? I totally agree about avoiding another c, and trying everything possible... I'm just curious why my midwives keep pushing it and have been pushing it since 38w...
I was 37+ weeks when I asked him to, and my cervix was completely unfavorable, so it wasn't much of a sweep. But I've been contracting a lot since then, so we'll try again at my visit on Monday, then on Friday (I'll be 39 weeks) he's willing to try a foley catheter for ripening. I know, I know -- intervention bad, right? But damn it, this baby can't wait indefinitely, and I do NOT want a repeat section. Our docs/midwives will strip membranes repeatedly, because it often doesn't work the first time.

mama to Max (2/02) and Sophie (10/06); wife to my fabulous girl
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Old 10-06-2006, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
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maxmama,

is the foley catheter the balloon that they insert? My midwives said they'd rather do that than a prostaglandin gel... I hope we both have no c-sections!!

twins 7.02 ⢠DS 10.06 ⢠OMG #4 1.08 ⢠ebf + tandem nursing!
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Old 10-06-2006, 12:53 PM
 
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maxmama,

is the foley catheter the balloon that they insert? My midwives said they'd rather do that than a prostaglandin gel... I hope we both have no c-sections!!
Yeah, it's the balloon. There's no "rather" about it for me; using prostaglandins on a scarred uterus increases the rupture rate eight times. So it's a foley or low-dose pit.

Good luck on skipping a section!

mama to Max (2/02) and Sophie (10/06); wife to my fabulous girl
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Old 10-06-2006, 01:12 PM
 
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hope everyone is getting closer

Mandi - Doula/Childbirth Educator, Loving my DH, DS, DD, DD, missing my three (last m/c 4/2010)
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Old 10-06-2006, 02:46 PM
 
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Spu and maxmamma,
have you tried walking as much as possible, going up & down steps, swimming, intercourse and nipple stimulation--but when you do nipple stimulation, you are supposed stop in between contractions, drinking red raspberry leaf tea-3 cups/day, and taking evening primose oil 500mg 3x's day orally or 1-2 times a day vaginally (trying to get it as far as you can to your cervix) at nighttime or naptime?
GOOD LUCK!
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Old 10-06-2006, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
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I've just started feeling well enough to walk outside or at malls (I have a kidney stone, and I'm on my second uretal stent... ouch...) I'm drinking 2 strong big cups of red rasp. leaf tea, and taking evening primrose 1000mg am and pm orally. Intercourse is tough since it hurts with the kidney stone/stent...I feel like I'm closing up...

I think alot of it is my mind-set. I just talked with another midwife, whose opinion and values are alot like mine, and she said to most certainly decline the sweep until atleast 41w, and then, I see her anyways if I haven't had the baby by then. She's really earthy and has a hands-off approach, so I feel more comfortable having her say when it's time and when it's not the right time... In fact, she's on call at the place where I'm delivering this Sunday night, so I would love to have the baby when she's there!

...weird... as I sit here typing, there's an ambulance parked out in front of my house. We're in a new subdivision, with lots of woods that haven't been cleared yet, and we don't have a street sign yet... at least they know where we are! (with DDs we've called 911 from our old house...). I should go introduce myself!

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Old 10-06-2006, 05:59 PM
 
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Spu and maxmamma,
have you tried walking as much as possible, going up & down steps, swimming, intercourse and nipple stimulation--but when you do nipple stimulation, you are supposed stop in between contractions, drinking red raspberry leaf tea-3 cups/day, and taking evening primose oil 500mg 3x's day orally or 1-2 times a day vaginally (trying to get it as far as you can to your cervix) at nighttime or naptime?
GOOD LUCK!
Been there, still doing that. I'm really getting to the end of my time to wait.

mama to Max (2/02) and Sophie (10/06); wife to my fabulous girl
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Old 10-06-2006, 09:11 PM
 
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I would, also, recommend you wait to sweep as a LAST resort! I didn't know what my midwife was doing last time... she was supposed to be checking me only. Anyway, I ended up with a successful swipe and went into labor immediately. However, it caused a VERY painful labor and it broke my waters, which caused issues with 'possible infection' at the hospital. Thankfully, all that said, I still ended up with a completely drug-free labor and delivery, but it was NO walk in the park. (Not that laboring is, generally... but still.)

This time I'm 42 weeks tomorrow - according to my midwife. But from the very beginning I expected to go all the way to October 9th and so far I'm completely on track. I'm rather hoping to "pop" tonight since it's a full moon and I'm VERY big in the belly... but if not tonight then we'll be doing an evening primrose suppository on Monday. But by Mon, I'll be 42 weeks and 2 days by my midwife's count and the suppository is the first step in herbal induction (hopefully it will be completely unnecessary!). Swiping will be an ABSOLUTE LAST resort!!! I don't want the pain that comes with broken waters unless it happens ALL on it's own!!!!

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