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Pro's and Con's of stripping membranes??? and...did it start up labor for you???

208890 Views 30 Replies 29 Participants Last post by  mooliette
I am not to the point of deciding anything yet, but just wanted to know what all you mama's think.


SO...HERE ARE MY QUESTIONS:


Have you had it done?
How far along were you
How many cm dialated were you?
Did it start labor for you?
Pro's and Cons?

Thanks!!
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I haven't had it done, but I have something to say anyway.
During my first labor, my water didn't break until the very end...I think I had already started pushing. That labor was about 12 hours long, and things moved along in very steadily. My second labor started with my water breaking and I went into transition almost instantly. The contractions were A LOT more intense and more frequent than they were with my first. The labor lasted 3 hours. I went from 6 to 10 cm dilated in about 20 minutes.
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Have you had it done? Yes, with my second pregnancy
How far along were you 37 weeks 6 days
How many cm dialated were you? 3-4 cm and nearly completely effaced, 0 station....had been feeling the baby was coming at any moment for about 2 weeks and asked my midwife what we could do to nudge me over the edge into active labor
Did it start labor for you? yes - went into labor gradually throughout the day, and he was born 12 hrs after it was done
Pro's and Cons? I would only do it if your body seemed to be REALLY ready for labor/birth, like I was. I know there is a risk of accidentally rupturing the membranes, which then puts you "on the clock", so to speak. According to my midwives, aside from the chance of membrane rupture, there is really no other risk and it will only work if your body is ready. Some women say it hurts a lot, but it was painless for me...perhaps because I was so dilated already and it was easy for the midwife to get her finger through my cervix.
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I had it done last week at 40 weeks, I was at 2cm dilated and 50% effaced which is pretty much the same as I had been since 38 weeks. Didn't start labor (obviously), didn't really hurt that much afterwards and I only spotted for a little bit.

I had it done again today at almost 41 weeks, and my MW did cervical massage with EPO, clary sage & castor oil also. By the time she was done she said I was 3cm+ and mostly effaced
It was fairly uncomfortable, but if it starts labor its worth it to me! I had alot of spotting right after, which turned brownish then went away. Then I started getting menstrual cramp feelings that are coming and going and spotting reddish again, so I'm hoping it worked! I'll let you know


Pro's and Cons? IMO if your body is ready it can help at least with cervical ripening even if it doesn't put you into actual labor. There is the risk of accidental rupture of membranes (which would not be good if your body wasn't ready) and infection. Definitely don't do it if you don't think you are close to labor anyway (I've been having false labor for weeks and I've only got a week left if I want to have a homebirth) or if you are GBS+. Also, I did have it done a few times when I was pregnant with my dd (didn't know what it was then though) and it did *NOTHING*. So you have to be prepared that you might go through a painful procedure with absolutely nothing to show if your body isn't ready yet.
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There is no pro because there is no scientific study suggesting it does anything. So what's the point besides a placebo effect?
I had a few. One at 40 weeks, which was unsuccessful since i wasn't effaced at all, so it was more of a stimulation then acutally sweeping the membranes. And again at 41 weeks, which was kinda the same deal- didn't do much of anything for me, but get my hopes up.
I had it done at 38 weeks b/c the doc thought my baby was going to be too big to deliver.
A day later I lost my mucus plug, but it grew back. Then he did it again a couple days before my due date, and the next day I felt really sick and ended up losing my plug again and started contractions and went to the hospital with 102 degree fever and my water broke. There was meconium in the water, so they strapped me to the bed, and you can just imagine that was a horrid labor. 15 hrs, pitocin, epidural... They also put my baby on harsh antibiotics for my fever.
So, I'm pretty against stripping membranes now, after being one of the few where it turned out badly!
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I had it at 40 weeks 5 days. I was 3 cm at that point (don't remember the other measurements). It led to prodromal labor which led to pit, an epidural and an episiotomy. No, I would not do it again. Even if I have the same labor next time, at least I won't think that it was something I did or allowed to be done that caused it. I'm all for letting nature take its own course.
I had it done at 38w with my first, I was dialated to a 3 and 90% effaced, lost my mucus plug that day and the next day and (Th/Fri) and by Tuesday, I went in for induction
My water broke spontaneously on Tues am before the dr arrived at the hospital and labor really never progressed beyond a 6. So, after 24 hours, we started pit, labor still did not progress after 7 hours on pit, so I went to take a shower (expecting a c/s soon in my mind) and went from a 6-10 in 15 minutes.

This was before I knew better than to induce, esp that early. But, dh was getting ready to travel for business and at the time, I felt like I didn't have any good options.

this time around, I won't ask for membrane stripping until after 40 weeks.
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I've had it done all three pregnancies at 41, 41 and 42 weeks
I was dialated 1cm, 2cm and 1cm
It did not start labor for me any of the three times
There were no pros for me in having it done and I found it to be immensely painful.
Quote:

Originally Posted by huggerwocky
There is no pro because there is no scientific study suggesting it does anything. So what's the point besides a placebo effect?
Do you mean that there is no study looking at membrane sweeping as a sole method? Because there was a recent paper on a fairly large RCT where the results suggested that it is an effective method, although it increased women's reported pain. They were looking at it in conjuction with other methods, though. Link to abstract
I let my mw do this when I was overdue with # 4. I had a long prodromal labour and she did it a second time the day I delivered, I'm not sure if it helped or not as I was ready that day anyhow.
That study was ONLY women who had sweeping done as part of an induction procedure that included using progestin suppositories or amniotomy. The only real difference was that the ones who were "swept" had less Pitocin and slightly shorter labors.

However there is no report of how many of the babies got infections, had prematurity signs, had meconium or other signs of distress.

Sweeping the membranes is a very aggressive intervention. It can increase your risk of infection. If you aren't induced immediately after sweeping there is NO proof that it will do anything to decrease the duration of your pregnancy or length of your labor.

And any baby who is induced at all is at very high risk of many complications-- prematurity, infection, distress, surgical birth, etc.
Not in your DDC, but thought I would answer


Have you had it done? Yes, with DD#2
How far along were you? 39 weeks exactly
How many cm dialated were you? 3
Did it start labor for you? Yeppers, on my way home from the appt. I was having pretty good contractions
Pro's and Cons? No cons here, it put me into labor immediately, which I know meant my body was ready!!
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I have to ask what does it mean to have one's membranes swept? It sounds different from having the water broken and different from just checking out the cervix, but I am unclear about what it means exactly.

Could someone please enlighten me? TIA!!
I had it done at 39w5d on a Monday. Didn't do a thing and hurt like the dickens! I was 0cm. Following Sunday, I went in at 11pm with contractions and was 0cm, went back at 2am Monday and was 5cm. I just happen to be one of those people who doesn't dialate until I'm in active labor, lol. Oh and I won't be having my membranes stripped ever again. Hurt way too much!

Having your membranes stripped is when your they rub your waters and hope it will stimulate labor. Or at least that's how I understood it, lol.
i had it done at 40 weeks i think and i didnt have my first till 42 1/2 week no other induction method used. so it didnt do anything to actually put me in labor. i dont remember it hurting but right now during this pregnancy even internal checks are painful so i dont know if i want it done this time.

I never new it could brake your water? that is a concern but i was always told it was harmless. i also dont know exactly what it is that they do.
Have you had it done?yes
How far along were you? four days late
How many cm dialated were you?2 maybe 3 its been awhile
Did it start labor for you?yes about 8hours after i started to spot and then contractions started
Pro's and Cons? My baby came the next day it was awsome...it was really akward(basicly it didn't hurt just wierd to have a mans hands there other then my spouses) but worth it.
Quote:

Originally Posted by brown eyed girls
That study was ONLY women who had sweeping done as part of an induction procedure that included using progestin suppositories or amniotomy. The only real difference was that the ones who were "swept" had less Pitocin and slightly shorter labors.
Yes, that's true. I was simply confused about the statement "no scientific study suggesting it does anything," since I had recently discussed this paper with my MW.

Quote:

Originally Posted by brown eyed girls
However there is no report of how many of the babies got infections, had prematurity signs, had meconium or other signs of distress.
They did track some of this in the study. ("Secondary outcomes recorded included meconium staining of liquor, Apgar score at 5 minutes, umbilical cord blood pH value at delivery, admission for neonatal care, indications for neonatal care admissions, indications for operative delivery, induction to delivery interval 12 hours or less, and induction delivery interval of 24 hours or less.")

The data are reported in table 2. Annoyingly, they don't report any means comparisons, although that probably means they didn't find anything that was stat sig. From a quick glance, I don't see anything that would make me run an analysis on the numbers. The numbers are just too small.

It's worth noting, though, that the negative events were higher in the sweep group (e.g. admission to NICU = 8 babies for sweep group vs. 4 babies for no sweep, meconium = 9 babies in sweep group vs. 3 in no sweep.) There isn't a big enough sample to run any statistical tests on that to say whether that's just coincidence or not, but it would certainly give me pause if I were looking at this from a decision-making perspective.

Quote:

Originally Posted by brown eyed girls
Sweeping the membranes is a very aggressive intervention. It can increase your risk of infection. If you aren't induced immediately after sweeping there is NO proof that it will do anything to decrease the duration of your pregnancy or length of your labor.

And any baby who is induced at all is at very high risk of many complications-- prematurity, infection, distress, surgical birth, etc.
Yep.
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I wouldn't do it. I told this to my MW yesterday and she was a little surprised. I wouldn't do it because I really believe your body will go into labor when it's ready. If you're ready, stripping may jump start things, but I would rather wait a day or two rather than risk breaking the water (starting the clock), risking infection, pushing my body into a process it's not ready to go into yet, and then, the pain.

And for the pp who asked, stripping the membranes means manually separating the cervix from the membranes behind it. It does this naturally as it effaces and dialates. Stripping makes this happen all at once.
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