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Old 04-21-2011, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My midwife mentioned at my appointment last night that next week (I'll be 38+2) if I'd like, I can have my cervix checked and my membranes swept.  I have such mixed feelings about it--on the one hand, I feel like it's "okay" because it probably won't do anything unless I'm pretty darn close to going into labor anyway.  On the other hand, I feel like I shouldn't be jumping the gun and getting so impatient when I'm just now full term.  (By the way, she offered this based on the fact that I was 3 cm Sunday, so the assumption is that I should still be at least 3 cm next week... although if anyone's cervix decided to close, it would be mine LOL.) 

 

What are your thoughts/feelings on membrane sweeping?


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Old 04-21-2011, 10:34 AM
 
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My OB swept my membranes with DS at around 38 weeks (I was about 3 cm dilated, too).  I was naive and had NO idea what she was going to do.  She just said that it would help get things started and I thought, "Sure, why not?"  I don't know that it helped move things along any...  it just made me VERY crampy and I had lots of mucus/bloody show for a few days.  She swept my membranes on a Monday and DS was born on a Friday.  I don't think I'd do it again.

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Old 04-21-2011, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My OB swept my membranes with DS at around 38 weeks (I was about 3 cm dilated, too).  I was naive and had NO idea what she was going to do.  She just said that it would help get things started and I thought, "Sure, why not?"  I don't know that it helped move things along any...  it just made me VERY crampy and I had lots of mucus/bloody show for a few days.  She swept my membranes on a Monday and DS was born on a Friday.  I don't think I'd do it again.


With my last pregnancy, my doctor swept at 38 weeks when I was 2-3 cm.. caused a lot of contractions, but not labor.  We even went and walked around the mall for a couple hours afterward LOL.  My next appointment was at 39 weeks 3 days and I was 3-4 cm.  She didn't sweep, but she did check my cervix and I remember thinking that exam was more uncomfortable than her sweeping the week before... odd?  My son was born less than 48 hours after that.  So I have no idea if it helped things along at all, if that last cervix check did more than the membrane sweep the week before or WHAT.

 

I'm so undecided. 

 


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Old 04-21-2011, 12:21 PM
 
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I declined the membrane sweep with my oldest child. I remember telling my mother and she was shocked that I'd refused. She said she had her membranse swept with her youngest (at over 41 weeks though) and the baby came about 6 hours later. She thinks it was teh greatest thing since sliced bread.


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Old 04-21-2011, 12:23 PM
 
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I'm planning on having the Dr sweep mine at my appointment on Tuesday. I'll be 39 weeks. I've read that it doesn't really bring labor on if it wasn't already close to starting but that it can help to get your cervix ready to start work on it's own. I just read an article, that I can't find again of course, about how they started to see a pattern that women who get their membranes swept are a lot less likely to go more than 3 or 4 days past their 40 week mark.

BUT 40 weeks is only a guess. What the Dr thinks is 40 weeks might only be 38 for your baby or it might be 42. There is such a chance for error.

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Old 04-21-2011, 12:44 PM
 
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I will most likely do it if I'm late, but probably not before that.  I don't love the idea of hands up in there at any point if I can avoid it (I avoid vaginal exams during labour, too - I didn't have any at all during pregnancy and birth with DS2), but if I were feeling on the clock and desperate to hang on to home birth and avoid induction, I would see it as an acceptable means to an end. 

 

Aside from the germ thing, my other beef with stripping membranes is kind of along the line of why I am not interested in vaginal exams...personally I feel like they would introduce false hope that things are going to happen soon when really it could be another several days or even weeks before baby decides to show up.  I would rather just assume nothing is happening than be like "I'm 2 cm AND crampy from that membrane sweep, I wonder if tonight will be the night?".  That just spells stress to me (but that's a personal thing!).

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Old 04-21-2011, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by bluepetals View Post

I will most likely do it if I'm late, but probably not before that.  I don't love the idea of hands up in there at any point if I can avoid it (I avoid vaginal exams during labour, too - I didn't have any at all during pregnancy and birth with DS2), but if I were feeling on the clock and desperate to hang on to home birth and avoid induction, I would see it as an acceptable means to an end. 

 

Aside from the germ thing, my other beef with stripping membranes is kind of along the line of why I am not interested in vaginal exams...personally I feel like they would introduce false hope that things are going to happen soon when really it could be another several days or even weeks before baby decides to show up.  I would rather just assume nothing is happening than be like "I'm 2 cm AND crampy from that membrane sweep, I wonder if tonight will be the night?".  That just spells stress to me (but that's a personal thing!).


What you said really explains why *part* of me is leaning against it.  I also thought maybe I would only do it if I've dilated more (it seems like it's more successful at 4+ cm than at 3 or less cm).  Gee, maybe she'll decide she wants to come before next Wednesday and I won't have to make a decision.  Ha!! ;)

 


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Old 04-21-2011, 12:52 PM
 
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I'm guessing you have to me dilating already to sweep the membranes?  Because no one's ever suggested it to me (even when I was 41+3), but then I never dilate more than a fingertip before labor begins. 


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Old 04-21-2011, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm guessing you have to me dilating already to sweep the membranes?  Because no one's ever suggested it to me (even when I was 41+3), but then I never dilate more than a fingertip before labor begins. 



I *think* (but don't quote me on this) that you would have to be dilated enough for them to be able to get their finger THROUGH the cervix in order for them to "sweep" between the membranes and the cervix.  So funny how some women are like you and don't dilate much until they're IN labor and then some of us walk around at 3+ cm for a month! LOL


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Old 04-21-2011, 04:04 PM
 
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Since I'm a VBAC patient, I would most certainly have my membranes swept if it increased my chances of going into labor, therefore avoiding a RCS.


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Old 04-21-2011, 04:12 PM
 
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With DD1 my midwife stripped my membranes at 40 wks so I wasn't feeling like there was a problem doing it then.  All it did though was create a lot of crampy contractions that eventually went away.  At my 41 week appt she did it again but was a bit more vigorous- it was definitely uncomfortable.  That combined with some male prostaglandins and DD1 arrived by day break.  I definitely feel like it only worked because my body was totally ready and by 41 weeks I had already told the baby it was eviction time- LOL.  Since I am 40 yrs old with this baby, I will ask them to strip my membranes if I get much past 40 wks.  I really hope to not go past my due date.  I know my dates are accurate and I have a bit of fear about going to long at my age.

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Old 04-21-2011, 04:19 PM
 
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What you said really explains why *part* of me is leaning against it.  I also thought maybe I would only do it if I've dilated more (it seems like it's more successful at 4+ cm than at 3 or less cm).  Gee, maybe she'll decide she wants to come before next Wednesday and I won't have to make a decision.  Ha!! ;)

 


I would do it IF I were 40 weeks or more and dilated more.  That said...I was dilated to 5cm and 80% effaced with DS1(at 39w2d) and had my membranes swept and it didn't do anything...that was on Monday and he was born on Friday...so even if you are dilated more, if your body is not ready it won't work is my personal opinion.

 


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Old 04-21-2011, 05:22 PM
 
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My Dr said last time that the ideal is 3cm or more. Anything less than that is really painful and almost always not productive.

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Old 04-21-2011, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would do it IF I were 40 weeks or more and dilated more.  That said...I was dilated to 5cm and 80% effaced with DS1(at 39w2d) and had my membranes swept and it didn't do anything...that was on Monday and he was born on Friday...so even if you are dilated more, if your body is not ready it won't work is my personal opinion.

 


Is membrane sweeping just something they/we do to make us feel like we have some control over when our babies come? ROTFLMAO.gif  Changing the subject now, I know, but just curious--did you have a pretty quick labor with DS1 (asking since you were 5 cm and 80% effaced 4 days prior to his birth)? :)

 


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Old 04-21-2011, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by SallyNichole View Post

My Dr said last time that the ideal is 3cm or more. Anything less than that is really painful and almost always not productive.



I was 3 cm on Sunday (I think I already mentioned that) and I'm thinking maybe I'll only opt for the sweep if I'm 4+?  Or maybe not... I probably won't decide til I'm in the office.


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Old 04-21-2011, 07:07 PM
 
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I would do it IF I were 40 weeks or more and dilated more. That said...I was dilated to 5cm and 80% effaced with DS1(at 39w2d) and had my membranes swept and it didn't do anything...that was on Monday and he was born on Friday...so even if you are dilated more, if your body is not ready it won't work is my personal opinion.


Is membrane sweeping just something they/we do to make us feel like we have some control over when our babies come? ROTFLMAO.gif Changing the subject now, I know, but just curious--did you have a pretty quick labor with DS1 (asking since you were 5 cm and 80% effaced 4 days prior to his birth)? :)


Yes smile.gif first real contraction to birth was under 4 hours...first 2 hours I had contractions 8-20 minutes apart, then, tmi, had a bowel movement and contractions immediately went to 2-5 minutes apart, not lasting very long...DS was born an hour and a half later...we were at the hospital for 35 minutes. My next labor total time was even shorter and I wasn't as far dilated(at least that I knew of).


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Old 04-21-2011, 10:24 PM
 
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wow, my midwife didn't talk of doing any interventions like that until 40 or 41 weeks I can't remember. Maybe because I never dialated past 2 cm until labor actually started? I don't know. I wouldn't do it unless I went past 40 weeks. Even then, I still think I might wait a few more days. It's funny we're talking about this, because my friend who's a nurse said she'd strip my membranes for me if I want..I was like, yeah. no thanks!


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Old 04-22-2011, 10:29 AM
 
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I'm always so militantly against interventions,.... then my due date shows up, dh gets home and it's all I can do not to jump on a trampoline or something (which of course I would never actually do... but... ), start googling castor oil and such. So far I've been strong and waited for things to go naturally with both kiddos, but it's a battle in my mind every time.


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Old 04-22-2011, 12:32 PM
 
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I had mine swept at my midwife apt yesterday. 38weeks 2 days and I was 2 cm (3 after). My first was induced at 10 days and we had talked about it weeks ago. She had a study that I forget the location of that doing weekly sweeps had babies come 5 days earlier. So for me, worried about going late, it is great. They did sweeps with Monkey too and it probably helped with my body getting ready, but it is not going to make anything happen. It adds an extra element to the cervical check, which is already not comfortable, but not bad either. I like being checked and having concrete markers so for me it is not a big deal. I was more worried about how my toddler would react to the whole thing. He sucked his lollipop and played with the blood pressure cuff, so no worries there.

My midfwifes are very good at presenting options and then being good with the choices I make so they are happy to do checks and sweeps or happy to just measure and do the doppler.


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Old 04-22-2011, 06:18 PM
 
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I wouldn't have mine done this early in the game, maybe if I was getting closer to 42 weeks (where the practice I'm at would want me to go in for an induction) to get things moving but I'm a big believer that It doesn't do much unless you're ready and most of us aren't ready at 38 weeks. 

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Old 04-22-2011, 07:40 PM
 
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I'm always so militantly against interventions,.... then my due date shows up, dh gets home and it's all I can do not to jump on a trampoline or something (which of course I would never actually do... but... ), start googling castor oil and such. So far I've been strong and waited for things to go naturally with both kiddos, but it's a battle in my mind every time.



ME TOO!!  I haven't had a vaginal exam, US...etc, this entire pregnancy. It's pretty much been a UP as well...though I have had a few MW appts.  I am totally against interventions for myself to induce...yet here I am fantasizing about having sex, having DD nurse and making myself go into labor! LOL!  The last few weeks are SO hard! Ugh!


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