Stretching cervix to induce labor - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 08-14-2009, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Has anyone had her OB/MW stretch her cervix to induce labor? Tomorrow is my due date and there is absolutely NOTHING going on (no substantial contractions).

At my 39 week appt on Wednesday, I was 4 cm and 80% effaced. My OB offered to stretch my cervix to 5+ cm and she told me it would put me right over the edge into labor. I chickened out at the last second...but I made an appointment to have it done tomorrow so my DH could be with me. I googled 'membrane sweep' but it looks as if they are two entirely different procedures. Maybe I should request that as well.

I had a really crappy induction with Misoprostyl (sp?) & Pitocin with DS so I'm trying to avoid any of that.

I am cranky and uncomfortable and we are really eager to meet Little Miss Stubborn. I'm willing to try anything at this point!

Leah...wife to Colin, mommy to Liam 3/19/05 and Molly 8/18/09 :
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#2 of 6 Old 08-14-2009, 12:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LiamsMommy31905 View Post
Has anyone had her OB/MW stretch her cervix to induce labor? Tomorrow is my due date and there is absolutely NOTHING going on (no substantial contractions).

At my 39 week appt on Wednesday, I was 4 cm and 80% effaced. My OB offered to stretch my cervix to 5+ cm and she told me it would put me right over the edge into labor. I chickened out at the last second...but I made an appointment to have it done tomorrow so my DH could be with me. I googled 'membrane sweep' but it looks as if they are two entirely different procedures. Maybe I should request that as well.

I had a really crappy induction with Misoprostyl (sp?) & Pitocin with DS so I'm trying to avoid any of that.

I am cranky and uncomfortable and we are really eager to meet Little Miss Stubborn. I'm willing to try anything at this point!
At 4 CM, if they just are a little rougher while checking you, it could put you over the edge. Are you having contractions?
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#3 of 6 Old 08-14-2009, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a a couple little piddly contractions every few hours or so...none that really take my breath away.

A few times I had some decent ones (3 or 4 in a row every 8 or so mins) but they just peter out.

I haven't lost anything resembling a mucus plug either.

Leah...wife to Colin, mommy to Liam 3/19/05 and Molly 8/18/09 :
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#4 of 6 Old 08-14-2009, 02:14 PM
 
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If you are already dilating naturally, why would you assume that your body can't continue on its own? MWs in the UK openly admit that a sweep will only have an effect if natural labour is iminent anyway. A sweep may accelerate things by a few hours, but it is another intervention that is becomming normalised. Personally, I'd steer clear but it is your choice.

Married to DH since 2004 : Mum to Jack (28/03/09)
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#5 of 6 Old 08-14-2009, 02:29 PM
 
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sounds like your body is working just fine, I wouldn't mess with it. 40 weeks isn't an expiration date!

Christine, mom to C(7.5) - E(5) - J(3) - B(10 mos)

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"Never miss an opportunity to make others happy, even if you have to leave them alone in order to do it." ~Anonymous

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#6 of 6 Old 08-14-2009, 02:37 PM
 
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I had several sweeps with dd1 (weekly, starting at 39 weeks, dd1 wasn't born till 42+ weeks)... none of them did anything to start labor, but none of them had any negative side effects.

I had one sweep at 40 weeks with dd2 and was in labor about 8 hours later and holding dd2 within 24 hours of the sweep.

I had a sweep yesterday (41 week visit) and have been having bloody show and stronger contractions since then (after three weeks of prodromal labor with no progress, not even effacement). So I guess this one would be a draw maybe?

In each case I've found the procedure uncomfortable but not horrible. Other mamas though have found sweeps to be really really painful. So that's something to keep in mind.

There is more information about sweeps here (as well as links to various studies)... it's generally seen as one of the more "medical"/"invasive" of the "natural" induction methods, and it does have some risks (increased chance of infection, possible ROM, it's often uncomfortable). It works by manually lifting the bag of waters off the cervix. This provides some dilation and stimulates hormone production. It's actually the same "mechanism" as the foley cath, only being done manually and for a shorter period of time.

It's an intervention I'd turn to before something like castor oil or the cohoshes simply because you can't "turn off" CO/herbal remedies once you've taken them while a sweep is over and done with and the rest is up to your body. However, other mamas feel differently. It's important to know the pros/cons of any induction technique you're considering (natural or medical)... you may feel the benefits outweigh the risks, or that it's something you'd rather skip.

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