I have read a lot of different things concerning the topic of stripping the membranes during pregnancy. Some say it is dangerous and can actually cause severe cramping. But in my experience, stripping the membranes of the cervix to bring on labor contractions actually works!
I have had this done for 3 of my pregnancies and I went into labor almost immediately. Of course, it does not always work this way for everyone. Some doctors are not comfortable doing this and would rather you just wait for things to happen naturally. Now a days doctors are very quick to use the drug pitocin to help induce labor. But there are major side effects to that as well.
I had pitocin for baby #3 and man was that nuts! The drug causes your contractions to come on faster and harder. The pain is so intense, like nothing I have ever felt before. I don’t use pain meds during labor and delivery and looking back on that, I wish I was more informed because I would’ve. Most woman who have the pitocin usually get an epidural to go along with it. I suffered through that swearing I would never have any more kids. LOL
Stripping the membranes is a fairly simple procedure. The doctor gives you a vaginal examination by placing a gloved finger through the cervix and sweeps the amniotic membranes free of their attachment to the lower part of the uterine cavity. This process is believed to release hormone-like substances called prostaglandins, which helps to ready your body for labor.
My OB/GYN will do this procedure once I hit 38 weeks of pregnancy, though she did work with me for this past baby and did it a few days earlier than that so that I could be home in time for Christmas. You can read more about my labor and delivery experience here.
So, in my humble opinion, stripping the membranes can be a great natural way to induce labor. I actually begged my husband to try and do it at first, but once I read up on it and saw the picture above of how it is really done, I see that this should really be done by a doctor. It is not something you should try at home.
Some other great alternatives to help bring on labor are:
- Castor Oil
- Spicy Foods
- Nipple Stimulation