Once your doctor strips your membranes, you may or may not go into labor immediately. There is a chance that this procedure will not start labor, give you contractions or mild cramping which may prevent you from resting, and it may cause your water to break on it’s own. If your water breaks, you should contact your doctor or head to labor and delivery as soon as possible. Talk to your doctor to determine if he or she feels that you can have your membranes stripped.
Breaking the Bag of Waters
Most doctors are hesitant to break your water unless they know that your body is favorable for induction because once your water breaks you have to deliver your baby in 24 hours. In fact, you doctor will likely break your water if you are receiving pitocin, if you are already in labor, or your labor has stalled or labor is no longer progressing. If you think that your bag of waters has broken (even a trickle) go to your doctors office or to labor and delivery immediately. Once your water breaks, the more susceptible you and your baby are to infections. They have a simple test that can confirm if your water has broken or not.
Foley Bulb Catheter Induction
Some women are totally against using medications to help induce labor and the use of a foley bulb catheter is an option that may be used to help get your labor started naturally. This procedure uses a a catheter that is usually inserted into the bladder when you are in surgery or can’t get out of bed to use the restroom. This method isn’t as popular and isn’t used very often since there are medications available to induce labor. If your doctor is willing to try the foley bulb catheter to attempt to jump start your labor, he or she will insert the catheter into your cervix. Then your doctor will slowly fill the balloon up with saline solution in attempt to put pressure on your uterus and bag of waters. Once the balloon is filled with the saline solution, your doctor will leave the bulb in place to see if your body reacts and begins labor. If the bulb insertion alone doesn’t help, then some doctors will move the bulb around, use counter pressure techniques, or even pull out the expanded foley bulb out several times an hour. If this method doesn’t work, often times the doctors will use pitocin to induce labor.
Try not to get discouraged if you haven’t gone into labor on your own. Your doctor will not let you go more than two weeks past your due date. Also, most doctors will begin increased monitoring once you hit 40 weeks. They will monitor to determine if your baby is showing any signs or symptoms of fetal distress. Your doctor may also order an ultrasound to check amniotic fluid levels. If the amniotic fluid is too low you will need to deliver your baby soon.
Did your doctor try any of these induction techniques to induce your labor?