Stretching the cervix — The Bump
July 2014 Moms

Stretching the cervix

I had an OB appointment today. I asked her how long past my due date would she let me go. She said typically it is 7-10 days past due date before she would induce labour. Then she checks my file and get a funny look on her face, so I asked what was up. She said because of my age (39) she would prefer if I had the baby in the 38th or 39th week. She said she can stretch my cervix with her fingers to soften and thin it out, and that would bring on labour. I was completely happy with this answer until I starting thinking...wait a minute! How much is this going to hurt??

Has anyone had this procedure done? If you have, how long were you in labour for before you had the babe? Was it painful? I want ALL the details.


Re: Stretching the cervix

  • If it's the stretch/sweep to bring on labor then (IMO) it's extremely uncomfortable and unpleasant, sort of stings a bit but not full-on painful. Saying that, it depends on your pain tolerance. 


    Well, that's that then.
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  • My MWs striped my membranes with my first. It's not comfortable, but neither is it when the check to see how dilated you are. But by the time they did mine I was well past the get him outta me point!
  • All I flash back to is the large metal rods the GYN used to put in my IUD (never having a kid before cervix needed help). Oh that stretched shit out. And made me scream off the table.
  • It's definitely uncomfortable...painful might depend on your tolerance level. :)  But any cervix checks at that point aren't really pleasant because everything is so sensitive.

  • Had it with both kids and definitely plan on it with this pregnancy. I wouldn't say it hurt me but it's uncomfortable.
  • I had membranes swept with DS1, and it was not comfortable at all. I also didn't feel like it helped me progress any faster. I think I went into labor 2 days later, and the labor lasted 30 hours (not all active stage), so he was born only a day ahead of his due date. While in the hospital, they swept my membranes twice more and still wound up putting me on pitocin b/c I was contracting so hard and regularly but not dilating at all.

    On the other hand, one of DS's cousins has a tilted cervix. (I think it kind of points to the back or something??) The way she describes it, her OB actually does stretch her cervix before she delivers. I'm honestly not sure why or how soon before labor.
                 

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  • I had it done with dd and it was very uncomfortable but I wouldn't call it painful. It also did nothing to bring on labor.

    Just curious, but what does your age have to do with her wanting you to deliver early? Unless there is more of a reason than beging 39 I personally would not be comfortable with her trying to induce labor at 38 weeks.
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  • Big+LilBig+Lil
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    It wasn't the worst thing. The balloon thing and the catheter were worse in my opinion.
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  • cookieinvacookieinva
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    edited May 2014
    I have a friend who is pregnant now, also due in July, and is 39; her ob wants her to go early "because of age" too even to the extreme of potentially scheduling a c/s if she hasn't gone early. I don't get it. I am 38 and my ob doesn't have that concern at all and has done nothing differently solely based on age other than offer additional testing (Panorama).
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  • BP607BP607
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    My OB with my DS was about 6'3'' with giant hands and when he stretched me I thought he was just going to grab the baby by the head and rip it out.  It wasn't comfortable by any means.  Later that afternoon I lost my mucus plug and was 4cm when I went to the hospital (I was 2cm before he did that) to be induced the next morning, however, I think I would have went on my own if I had given it another day or two.  But, DS was 9 lbs 11 oz so I'm not sure I would have wanted to wait much longer!!
  • ChrisBChrisB
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    edited May 2014

    @LyndseylovesHugh

    I asked her how long past my due date would she let me go, her original answer was 7-10 after due date. Then she realized my age, and said she would prefer 38 or 39 weeks. I didn't think to question it. I just figured because I am approaching fossil status (haha), it would be the best situation. Hmmm, now I'm wondering.

    I was completely fine with it because I've been really sore (pelvic) and I thought if she is ok with it, then so was I. Now I am reading the responses and realizing this process doesn't always bring on labour. I will have to have another discussion at my next appointment.

     



  • I had a cerclage and my OB removed the stitches at 38 weeks with DS... He couldn't find one of them?? So he was reeeeally digging around in there and I wanted to DIE. After all that messing with my cervix I was about 3cm and he sent me to L&D to be monitored and I contracted for a while but got sent home. I ended up being induced, so it really did nothing for me except make me extremely uncomfortable. I understand he had to do it bc of the stitches, not to try to start labor... Regardless, it was very uncomfortable.
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  • I had my membranes swept at 39 weeks, 6 days with DD2. I was 4 cm before, then 5 directly after. Contractions started within 3 or 4 hours. She was born less than 24 hours after my appointment. It was extremely painful, in my opinion! Like tears running down my face, clawing hubby's arms painful. All that said, I would do it again, because despite the pain, it was only for about 20/30 seconds and I certainly think it brought labor on!

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  • TheAnne said:
    Big+Lil said:
    It wasn't the worst thing. The balloon thing and the catheter were worse in my opinion.
    PREACH!  That shit was horrible. 
    I don't even remember feeling the catheter but what is the balloon thing???
                 

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  • Big+LilBig+Lil
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    @unaveragejane‌ it's a Foley balloon for induction. It's basically a balloon that's between the amniotic sac and bottom of the uterus that's inflated with saline. They did it before the pitocin. Way more uncomfortable than a sweep!
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  • Big+Lil said:
    @unaveragejane‌ it's a Foley balloon for induction. It's basically a balloon that's between the amniotic sac and bottom of the uterus that's inflated with saline. They did it before the pitocin. Way more uncomfortable than a sweep!
    Oh, I see. Whew! I was afraid it was something new they've started doing since DS1 was born. I hope like crazy that I don't have to be induced!
                 

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  • Big+LilBig+Lil
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    @unaveragejane‌ I don't think it's super common, and I'm hoping to not be induced again!
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  • seellsseells
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    edited May 2014
    I would ask your doctor what your bishop score is at 39 weeks before getting all interventiony. The more (unnecessary) interventions the higher chance of a csection.

    Also keep in mind, although unlikely, she can break you water while doing a membrane sweep. That'll put you on the clock right then and there.

    Membrane sweep was beyond uncomfortable. I'm refusing one until 41 weeks this time around. They can't tell you anything. You could be high and closed and go into labor that day. Or you could be 4cm and walk around like that for a week.
  • ChrisBChrisB
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    Thanks for the input, ladies! I'll have to have another conversation about this with my OB!


  • A friend of mine had the oh-so-pleasant cervical foley. She affectionately refered to it as her twat balloon. It didn't work for her and she ended up needing a c section. (I don't remember all the reasons.)
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