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#1 of 22 Old 01-26-2011, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a question... my OB said that at tomorrow's appt he could sweep the membranes as a way to get labor going.  I'm dilated to 3 cm and baby has descended a bit.  Tomorrow I will be only 38 weeks 2 days. 

 

I think he wants to do this b/c I'm a VBAC candidate this time and we don't want to risk going much past my Feb 8th due date.

 

I'm wondering at what point I ought to consent to this?  I was originally thinking that I would allow it at my 39 week appt.  I really don't want to jumpstart a baby that may not be ready. 

 

But I also don't want to be overdue and be in a position where I have to consider more invasive procedures.  He doesn't induce VBACs, so I'm guessing we would be talking repeat c-section once I'm past 40 weeks?  He hasn't said as he's sort of a let's take this one day at a time guy- and also thinks I have a 90% chance of having a successful VBAC (yay).

 

What do you ladies think...wait on sweeping, skip it altogether, do it tomorrow?

 

Thanks for any input!

 

Steph

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#2 of 22 Old 01-26-2011, 11:00 AM
 
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I had it done with my last baby at 39 weeks & 4 days. Combined with castor oil the same day it did work. I was 3 cm and had a "bulging" bag of waters. It's tough to say if you should go ahead at 38 weeks. If it were me and I was faced with having a section (I was faced with possible induction because of size) I might just go ahead and let them do it. It's not going to work if your body isn't ready. I think the major risk is your water breaking. Maybe discuss your concerns with your dr and ask if you could wait another week?

If you do have it done it's uncomfortable, but it doesn't take very long. I bled quite a bit after and was a little sore. Either way good luck ;)


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#3 of 22 Old 01-26-2011, 11:12 AM
 
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I had it done with #2 and #3 (and would have this time if I hadn't gone into labor myself before I was scheduled to be induced). I went into labor that day both times. I had it done just before 40wks and was about 2.5cm. There are risks like breaking water and infection.


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#4 of 22 Old 01-26-2011, 11:19 AM
 
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I personally wouldn't do it. I had it done with my first and went into labor a few days later with my water breaking prior to labor starting. Because I'm having a VBAC this time I don't want to do anything that could result in my water breaking prior to baby settling in a good position.

 


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#5 of 22 Old 01-26-2011, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your feedback, ladies.  I guess I'm going to see how long my doctor is willing to let me go past due date and make a decision based on that.  My doula seems to think it's a long shot that can cause more problems than it solves.  But then I appreciate the stories here about how it helped labor along, with vaginal deliveries.

 

I have a great OB-- and I trust him on everything else.

 

I just climbed stairs for 20 mins-- who knows, maybe some of the more natural methods will work!  Although, my due date isn't for two weeks, so I may as well just relax for now.  I just really want this labor to be so different from the last that resulted in a c-section!

 

Thanks again, all.

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#6 of 22 Old 01-26-2011, 11:39 AM
 
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Swepping the membranes is an intervention. All interventions have risks.

 

 

Here is a starting point for some further self education. Only you can decide if a membrane sweep is the right decision.

 

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#7 of 22 Old 01-26-2011, 12:22 PM
 
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I had it done w/ my first pregnancy. My family practice doc swept my membranes weekly for 3 weeks prior to the start of labor, and my son came exactly on his due date at 40 weeks. I'm glad that his pregnancy did not go beyond term, for the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck twice & his apgar was zero upon birth -- he was fine after resuscitation and suction. The labor was prolonged b/c the cord would not let my baby advance through the birth canal until the doc manually unwrapped it. Very scary for me.

 

With this pregnancy, my OB hasn't even mentioned it. I'm now at 39 weeks, and he did recommend sex and nipple stimulation. However, I have been cramping lately & don't really want either (ie. Braxton-Hicks, crampy irregular contractions w/ absolutely no change in cervical dilation, unfortunately). Since there is no indication that my baby is under any distress, I'm just going to let labor happen naturally this time, w/ the option of trying something around the 41 week mark if still nothing is happening.

 

Good luck w/ your decision. It seemed fairly noninvasive to me at the time, though perhaps a bit painful. You have a strong rationale for doing it, so maybe the doc would have insight on why it can't wait until 39 weeks. My doc started at 37 weeks or so, I think b/c it's not a proven technique & must be done several times to be effective? The person above me posted great links, and hopefully a midwife can provide more info...

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#8 of 22 Old 01-26-2011, 01:51 PM
 
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Ive had it done twice. It didn't put me into labor right away either time, so I can't say how effective it was (one baby was born 2 days later, the other was 4 days later).  All interventions carry risk, but this one seems pretty low risk to me.  If it came down to a c-section or a membrane sweep, personally, I'd go for the sweep. But I probably would wait until I was 39-40 wks along first.


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#9 of 22 Old 01-26-2011, 01:55 PM
 
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Personally I wouldn't do it.

If you're ready to go into labor then you'll go into labor on your own.

If you're not ready, why rush it?

The baby will come when ready.

 

I did have an OB with my first who was obsessed with poking and prodding and stripping and basically inflicting as much discomfort as she could so I've had them stripped (didn't put me into labor) but I did bleed and cramp afterwards in a way that wasn't all that much fun.

 


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#10 of 22 Old 01-26-2011, 02:26 PM
 
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I wouldn't unless I was faced in an induction anyway. If I make it to 41ish weeks I might think about it since hospital policy here is to do an induction at 42 (yea, I know I can refuse but it would be harder than it is in the states.. there is only one hospital I can deliever at).


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#11 of 22 Old 01-26-2011, 02:31 PM
 
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I'd ask him to wait until 39 weeks.     I think it's a fairly noninvasive intervention and I'd choose getting membranes swept over an induction or c-section in a heartbeat.

 

I've never had it done but several friends have.  I think it doesn't really work unless your cervix is ripe and your body is ready for it anyway.


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#12 of 22 Old 01-26-2011, 03:07 PM
 
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I would wait. I would definitely prefer a membrane sweep over a c-section though.

 

I had it done with my first a day before I hit 42 weeks. I was in labor within an hour. We tried to do it a few days before I hit 43 weeks with my last baby but I wasn't dilated at all so we couldn't. So obviously, I have done it as an "I am a few weeks past my due date and need to get things moving" option but it was never anything I would consider prior to 40 weeks. 


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#13 of 22 Old 01-27-2011, 06:33 AM
 
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I've always refused it:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18515514?dopt=Abstract


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#14 of 22 Old 01-27-2011, 07:49 AM
 
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I had them in both of my pregnancies, after 40 weeks. With DS I had my membranes swept 2 times and nothing-although I did go into labor 4 days after the last sweep at 42+1. With DD 4 times and nothing-ended up getting an induction at 42 weeks, she was born the next day.

 

I will say that with DS it was very uncomfortable. It gave me hot flashes and made me feel like I was going to vomit. With DD it was nothing. One of the times a student midwife did it and she wasn't good at all.

 


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#15 of 22 Old 01-27-2011, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again for all of the replies and those links-- interesting that the studies showed that it was completely ineffective-- but noticed that the test wasn't run on women already dilated to 3 cm, like myself.  So I suppose there's a chance it could get something going- but also break my bag of waters prematurely.

 

Oi, these decisions are so hard- esp when I really trust my doc!  I'm trying so hard to avoid a repeat c-section- and he seems to be very wise in this area.

 

Think I'll talk to him more about why he has suggested this two weeks before my due date (although I suspect it's b/c I'm at 3cm and baby is descended).  I have no problem waiting- and the baby is not especially large- so I'm not sure why this subject has even come up.

 

I'm tired of the cervical checks and the guessing games altogether.  I may just refuse the check today- or at least ask him to not tell me the results.  

 

He's a very wise man and I don't want to offend him-- good news is that I'm bringing him birthday cupcakes, so any refusal should be taken a little more willingly-- since it comes with cupcakes, right? :)

 

THANKS again, ladies!  I'll post back and let you know how the appt goes in case you are interested....

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#16 of 22 Old 01-27-2011, 11:45 AM
 
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I never had it done but might consider it on Monday it the ultrasound shows a rapidly aging placenta. I'd rather try this before I am facing chemical induction.

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#17 of 22 Old 01-28-2011, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I keep talking to more and more people, and reading more.  It seems like if you're not already dilating and have a soft cervix, it's more likely not to work, and just possibly result in breaking your bag of waters before labor is ready.  

 

My cervix is at 3 and 100% effaced and baby is moving down.  I think I'm going to allow the doc to do it at some point- just need to discuss when it's medically necessary as a first step to try to avoid a c-section (he won't use any chemical methods with a VBAC, and I don't want him to).  

 

I was supposed to go to doc yesterday but he had a delivery so I'll know more on Monday.  I was thankful for that answered prayer as I was dreading the appt-- I get my hopes up so high that things are moving along- and it was going to take all of my willpower not to ask about dilation or to refuse the cervical exam!

 

Two moms in my toddler group said it did not hurt- and I'm hoping they are right!

 

Who knows, maybe Adelaide will come before the weekend is up and this will all be a non-issue :)  Prayers for that are welcome ;)

 

Thanks again ladies!

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#18 of 22 Old 01-28-2011, 12:29 PM
 
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That sounds like a good plan! FWIW, neither of my sweeps hurt. There was some bloody show afterward and more contractions, too.  Are you interested in doing something like castor oil or an enema to get things going?


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#19 of 22 Old 01-30-2011, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi homemademom,

 

Thanks for that tip on the pain.  I've heard a lot of people say it "doesn't feel great" and then some say they didn't even know it was happening.  So it's good to know it could go either way- b/c I'm a pain wimp!

 

I may consider castor oil or enema when/if the time comes.  I really would like my body to just do what it needs to do when it's ready- of course, I know we all do.  

 

Last night had a false alarm and walked the hospital for two hours.  I guess my uterus is practicing!  My abs sure were sore from the stair climbing I've been doing-  oops.  Gonna lay off that for a day or two :) 

 

Thanks,

Steph

 

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#20 of 22 Old 01-31-2011, 06:57 PM
 
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I had it done with my last birth, number 3.  I was 41 weeks and 5 days and I was not going to let my midwife do anything else as far as induction wise.  I was induced with my first one and it was not cool.  As far as having my membranes stripped, it felt similar to a pap smear.  I didn't bleed or anything.  I went into labor the next day.  I figured its one of the least invasive ways of being induced, in comparison to things like pitocin or cytotec.  I wouldn't not do it again, but I also wouldn't do it before 41 weeks.  But then again I'm not worried about VBAC things either as I've never had a c-section.

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#21 of 22 Old 01-31-2011, 07:15 PM
 
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This is so personal, clearly, but I would do it at 40 this time.  Just becasue wouldn't it be nice if baby and grandpa shared a bithday AND a middle name.love.gif


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#22 of 22 Old 02-01-2011, 05:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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terese,

 

thanks for that story.  I went to the doc yesterday and even with the VBAC he's willing to let me go to 42 weeks without any sort of induction- woo hoo!  He offered pitocin but said that that decreases the VBAC success rate.

 

I may still have the membranes swept-- he didn't mention it yesterday and that's fine with me since I'm not even 40.  I think I'll wait until 41  weeks and some days, as you did.  Just enough to use it as a possibility to avoid a section.  I would much rather labor begins when my body is totally ready.  Last labor was 36 hrs and baby never came down.  I want to stack the odds in this ones' favor :)

 

Glad to hear that it didn't hurt- that's one of my other fears.  Like I said, I'm a pain wimp!

 

That's great that it worked so well for you!

 

Steph

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