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VBAC

Stripping the Membranes


Stripping the membranes is where a health care provider will separate your bag of water from the cervix, it is not intended to break your water, however, it may. It may also cause infection, and may be painful for some.

The reason that we tell people that we are stripping their membranes is to "get things going" in regards to labor. This little technique is usually done during a vaginal exam at the end of pregnancy, with or without the knowledge or consent of the woman.

Stripping the membranes, we are told, is supposed to stimulate production of prostiglandins in the cervix and bring on contractions. I have heard doctors tell my clients after stripping their membranes they will have the baby in two days. While this may appear to work for some, at term it's all a guessing game. There is no scientific work to date that can back up the routine procedure of stripping membranes.

You may want to ask your care provider to avoid this procedure if you are worried about the effects and risks. Or you may want to avoid vaginal exams during the end of pregnancy for the same reasons, because unfortunately the cannot accurately predict when we will give birth.


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