Foley Bulb experiences — The Bump
Natural Birth

Foley Bulb experiences

I'm a STM facing induction at 41w for medical reasons. I'm giving birth in Puerto Vallarta and Cervidil is not an option. I think I would rather get a Foley Bulb vs. Cytotec, but I'd like to get natural birth friendly experiences and perspectives. I refuse cervical checks so I don't know where I am at present. I had a long and ultimately medicated vaginal birth with my first and am attempting to go epi free in a hospital with a doula and natural birth friendly OB. Any thoughts and experiences are appreciated. Currently 40w1d. Went 41w1d with my first.

Re: Foley Bulb experiences

  • I had Cytotec because no one informed me of the risks.  The nurses at my child birth class, my CNM, and the oncall OB who actually induced me all led me to believe that it was the least invasive, gentlest, safest way to induce labor.  I found out the truth about 4 months later.  With that being said I do not recommend it.  I had contractions coming on top of each other and I only got to 4cm in 24 hours.  After 12 hours of those contractions I caved and got the epidural.

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  • barista411barista411 member
    edited August 2013
    Please research Cytotech. It is not FDA approved for inducing labor and is beginning to be banned in hospital due to maternal death. The Business of Being Born talks some about it and Ina May talks about it in her Guide to Childbirth. I believe foley bulb is safer but I have heard it can be very uncomfortable if you are not fully effaced.
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  • Please research Cytotech. It is not FDA approved for inducing labor and is beginning to be banned in hospital due to maternal death. The Business of Being Born talks some about it and Ina May talks about it in her Guide to Childbirth. I believe foley bulb is safer but I have heard it can be very uncomfortable if you are not fully effaced.
    Not only is not approved for inducing the labor the manufacturer has a warning on it about the risks.  When a drug manufacturer is telling you not to use their drug for something you know there is a problem.  

  • Thanks for the responses. Perhaps I was unclear in my OP. I already know the risks of Cytotec, which is why I was asking about experiences with the Foley Bulb. My preference would be Cervidil, but since that is not an option here and I don't want Cytotec, I was interested in hearing people's experiences with the Foley Bulb. Thanks!
    Monique (38), Wife to Steve (32), Mom to DS Sacha (4), DS Ronen due Aug. 1st! BabyFetus Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • No actual experience with the Foley, but my cousin just had one at 41w6d and ended up having an emergency c section after pushing for an hour. I asked my friend who is an L & D nurse, and she said they only work if women have a pretty thin cervix with some dilatation prior, otherwise she always sees them end up as sections. Based on this, I would have a cervical check first if I were you. Good luck!
    Me:32 dx anovulation, unknown reason DH:41
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    BFP #1 3/14/12 EDD 11/21/12 MC 3/23/12 5w3d 
    Back to TTC Femara + Ovidrel April/May 2012 

    BFP #2 5/19/12 EDD 1/27/13 No hb @ 7w1d 6/11/12 1st dose cytotec 6/18/12 8w1d 

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  • MrsPBandJ said:

    No actual experience with the Foley, but my cousin just had one at 41w6d and ended up having an emergency c section after pushing for an hour. I asked my friend who is an L & D nurse, and she said they only work if women have a pretty thin cervix with some dilatation prior, otherwise she always sees them end up as sections. Based on this, I would have a cervical check first if I were you. Good luck!

    Wow, 41w6d and still a section? This is not encouraging. Had she given birth vaginally before? I would definitely get a Bishops score before proceeding, but a section would be a nightmare for me. Ugh!

  • I went in at 41w1d for an induction, hoping for a pain-med free birth. I had a great Bishop score and was already contracting put not painfully. I was a tight 3 cm, 60 % effaced, and my midwife suggested to start with a Foley catheter to get me to 4 cm before starting Pitocin. I lost the ballon about 4 hours after insertion, and started contracting about half an hour before they were to start the Pitocin. 

    From what I was told it is sort of unusual to start contracting with only the foley bulb. I would personally get the foley bulb over any medication. I assume they would also continue your induction with something else, since the foley, cytotec, cervidil are used to dilate the cervix. I did not find the bulb to be particularly painful. I do not believe that a foley bulb has a very high risk for c-section, unless it is used in combination with other interventions. 

    FTR I ended up having a successful vaginal delivery, almost 24 hours after the foley was inserted, and 20 hours after I started contracting. I also got an epidural. 

    Best of luck to you if you need the induction :)

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  • I was induced with a foley bulb at 42 weeks because I was totally unfavorable for a chemical induction (barely effaced, zero dilation). My midwives inserted the foley bulb the night before I was supposed to go to the hospital. They hoped it would improve my chances for a pitocin induction (If i'm recalling correctly). I don't remember it being any more uncomfortable than an internal check (so no picnic - but certainly no tears).

    I had the foley inserted around 6 pm and labor started around midnight. My foley never actually fell out and had to be removed at the birth center around 8 am the next morning. I never made it to the hospital for the rest of the induction. The bulb got me to 4 centimeters and once it was removed I went from 4 to 10 in a little over an hour.

    Like B&E888 I was told it was a little unusual to go into full blown labor just from the foley bulb. Also, I apparently had scar tissue on my cervix that was keeping me from dilating and the foley bulb helped break that up. Once that scar tissue was busted up I had no problem dilating on my own.

    Baby was born med free a few hours later. Hope this helps!


  • Thanks ladies. These stories are really helpful. I appreciate you sharing. :)
    Monique (38), Wife to Steve (32), Mom to DS Sacha (4), DS Ronen due Aug. 1st! BabyFetus Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • dmhrn13dmhrn13 member
    edited August 2013
    The purpose of the foley bulb is cervical ripening only. It is a mechanical opening of the cervix, it does not induce labor.  You need contractions to push it through the cervix ( leaving you 4-5 cm's). So typically it is used in conjunction with a medication to give you contractions. I almost never use them with mothers who have had a baby befor because they usually don't need it.
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  • dmhrn13dmhrn13 member
    edited August 2013
    MrsPBandJ said:
    No actual experience with the Foley, but my cousin just had one at 41w6d and ended up having an emergency c section after pushing for an hour. I asked my friend who is an L & D nurse, and she said they only work if women have a pretty thin cervix with some dilatation prior, otherwise she always sees them end up as sections. Based on this, I would have a cervical check first if I were you. Good luck!
    OK but what was the "emergency" that required a C/S? If she was pushing the foley bulb was out long before so it didn't have anything to with it.
    TTC since 1/2008
    BFP 7/2009 m/c
    BFP 9/2009 m/c
    Clomid IUI 12/2010, 1/2011, 2/2011 All BFN
    IVF #1 6/2011 BFN, no frosties
    IVF #2 2/2012 BFP
    DD born 10/2012
    FET 9/3/2013 BFN, no more frosties
    IVF # 3 11/3/13 Canceled after retrieval d/t severe OHSS, 3 frosties
    FET #3 2/2014 BFP Twins!
    B/G Twins born 9/2014 at 36w4d

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

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