Membrane sweep - Mothering Forums
February 2007 > Membrane sweep
preggymeaggy's Avatar preggymeaggy 08:39 PM 02-02-2007
So, I went to the doctor yesterday and saw my OB. I usually see my mw but I switch back and forth with the office visits. Anyway, she asked me if I wanted my membranes swept. I said....ummmm...what for, I'm only 39 weeks? She said sometimes people want to see if it will get things started. That it might lead me to have some contractions that then could possibly lead to labor, but it's questionable. I said "I think I'll wait.", cause I feel fine and I'm not even at my due date yet. I'll give her a little more least till next week.
I heard that this "membrane sweep" really hurts though and I'm kind of unsure about what it actually means. Anyone know? What exactly are they doing and why might it start contractions? I know about the mucus plug, effacement, and dialation, but what is this membrane that they are sweeping? Are they trying to dialate me more, or what?

LEAW's Avatar LEAW 08:56 PM 02-02-2007
They will use a finger or two and push the bag of waters away from the cervix, as well as push the cervix open a bit.

At the best I think it's uncomfy and will cause cramps. At the worst, they could "accidentally" break your waters.

Personally, I would refuse it. My midwife offered to "stir things up a bit" with dd, and I refused... went 42+ weeks. I would refuse again, but I doubt this midwife would even offer at this point.

IMO, OBs and MWs often do this anyway, if you allow htem to check you during a visit. Technically/legally they should tell you they are going to do it (and get permissoin) as it's a procedure, but they frequently don't.
preggymeaggy's Avatar preggymeaggy 09:43 PM 02-02-2007

ok, so I might have just answered my own question by going to the midwife archives, but keep the posts coming anyway. I wanna know what all of you thought of membrane sweeping personally. This link has a lot of information if anyone else doesn't know what the "sweep" means.
umami_mommy's Avatar umami_mommy 12:59 PM 02-03-2007
i would consent to it if my mw PROMISED not to break my membrane, if i was overdue and going to risk out of a homebirth.

th biggest problem is the "accidental" rupture of the membrane and the start of something nasty if you aren't ready to birth. usually they "allow" you 12 hours from rupture to birth, after that you get induced.

it's more flexable if you are homebirthing, but possible infection is still an issue.
mamabear&babybear's Avatar mamabear&babybear 08:38 PM 02-03-2007
Originally Posted by honeybeedreams View Post
usually they "allow" you 12 hours from rupture to birth, after that you get induced.
I had to jump in and say this is one of the reasons I love my mw and hospital. If your membrane ruptures they ask that you come in every 12 hours for a NST but they don't induce you.
birthjunkie27's Avatar birthjunkie27 01:56 AM 02-04-2007
Hi, I'm not in your ddc, but I like to read through the ddcs sometimes and live vicariously through everyone else. I miss it!

With my last babe, I had my membranes swept at 40wks 5days (my other 2 were born at 36wks and 38wks, so going past 40 seemed like I was a month overdue). I requested the membrane stripping because I was SO DONE being pregnant. My Dr. (a very gentle spirited female) did a "gentle" sweeping which wasn't in the least bit painful. In fact, I was disappointed because I wanted it to hurt and I wanted to bleed a little (just so that I knew it might actually have some effect). I had NO cramping. NOTHING. I was quite disappointed in my "gentle sweep". Next day I started feeling pre-laborish, went into real labor at 9pm and gave birth at 4:00 am.