Lucy Peck

Attempting Induction: A Last-Minute Change Of Plans

What is stripping membranes?
Stripping membranes is a method used to try to start labor. The health care provider puts her or his finger into the cervix and gently separates the bag of water from the side of the uterus near the cervix. It is easily done in the office during a regular pelvic exam.

How does it work?
Hormones are released when the bag of water is separated from the uterus. The hormones may soften the cervix and start contractions.

Is it always successful?
Stripping membranes does not always start labor. It may result in mild cramping, contractions or spotting. The procedure may be repeated every few days.

Source: Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health via WebMD

At our appointment on Friday, we learned that my doctor will be out of town from July 29 through Aug. 7. Although my original due date was Aug. 7, it was changed, by my doctor, at our first ultrasound appointment. However, the change apparently wasn't noted everywhere it should have been.

Because there is the chance that she won't be around if I miss my (new) due date this weekend, we decided to have her strip my membranes yesterday to see if we can't get things started a little sooner. I'm in my 40th week, so I feel pretty comfortable doing this. Also, it's the most natural way to have a doctor induce labor.

She told us it works about 30 percent of the time, but everything I'm reading online says it works about 50 percent of the time. *Sigh* I'm really hoping to have my baby with my doctor present. My sister even changed her plans and flew in last night. Keep your fingers crossed that this procedure works!

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