stripping or sweeping membrains? anyone had this done?

Julie - posted on 01/24/2010 ( 105 moms have responded )

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I am 38 weeks and my dr says at my next apt she is gonna strip my membrains, I am trying for a vbac and I know nothing about this. I know how its done but is it safe and natural? Will my contrations be harder if I do this? Plz tell me your story if you had this done. I am 38 weeks 2 cm dilated and 25% effaced.

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Sierra - posted on 04/12/2012

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i am 40 weeks preganat. & i am past my due date. this my frist child. how long take go into labor
what the one thing can make me go into labor faster. i lost my m-plug. my water hasnt broke yet.
can sitting longer period of time can that hurt the baby. this all new too me. i am new to all this thing. & like i said this my frist child. i am still young too. can lot of pinapple go into labor faster. can that help. i am 2cm 1/2 . 40%. what other thing i can do go into labor faster.. i need help .

Megan - posted on 01/31/2010

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i never had anything done like that. but if it doesnt seem to work try some home inducements. i have 3 kids and my 2 girls were born with home inducement stuff. i tried nipple stimulation and sex. with the sex you need to hold it in instead of going to the bathroom right away.. be careful with the stimulation..it can cause hard contractions. i did that with my 3 month old baby and the contractions were the worst that i have ever had. do some research online to see what best fits you! Good Luck!!!

Amanda - posted on 01/31/2010

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Also I agree with Megan....sex with my husband has been a sure fire way for starting my labors! Worked like a charm each time! (FYI that is because sperm has small traces of the same thing that is in pitocin...the drug dr's give to induce labor). Don't be surprised if you try sex and the contractions start immeadiately, that's what happened with my last 2 kids lol!

Cara - posted on 02/02/2010

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I had my membranes stripped on my due date--I was almost 3 cm & 75 % effaced. It caused me to have a pink/red bloody discharge for a few days and a slight increase in contractions....but I didn't go into labor until a week later. But I think it is usually a little more effective than that at moving things along. In my opinion, it is a "middle of the road" tactic for helping things along--not exactly noninvasive, but better than having a medicated induction--Pitocin is no fun! It's possible that becuase you are trying to do vbac your doctor wants to move things along and help baby get here before he/she is too big? Good luck!

Heather - posted on 01/31/2010

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Hi. I had it done. I think the same week even as you, I was 1cm and less than 25%. It didn't affect me at all. It was a little uncomforable as the dr did it, and the mid wife at my next appt said she never did it because it rarely affected the mother and her labor progress at all, in her opinion. If a medical professional is doing it, it's safe. The biggest threat is introducing infection, but they wear gloves and all that, so risk is very minimal.

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Angela - posted on 01/31/2010

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I had my membranes stripped at 40 weeks and three days later I had my son. He came on his own without getting induced. I would assume it's safe and natural. I think it's just meant to help get things going. I was 2 cm dilated. It pretty much just felt like checking to see how far along you're dilated, but just a little bit more intense.

Amanda - posted on 01/31/2010

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Totally safe and natural. I had this done with my last baby (my 3rd) because I was 2 days past my due date. The thing with stripping membranes is that if your body is already ready to go into labor it will help the process along but if your not ready yet then the membranes will just grow back and it won't make you go into labor if your body isn't ready yet. This is a really good alternative to having your doctor induce you (by giving you pitocin) which DOES make your contractions stronger and more painful. I had mine stripped when I was 2 days past due like I said...but my stubborn little princess still didn't come for 5 more days haha!! I was dialated to 4 cm for the last 3 weeks of my pregnancy....I couldn't WAIT to meet her but of course by the time she came...it was totally worth the wait. Hope this helps to ease your mind...oh and one more thing, the procedure is painless. Just in case you were worried about that too!

Aimee - posted on 01/31/2010

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I had mine swept when I was 5cms and my waters had not broken. The contractions got a lot stronger and the labour sped up. Within an hour I had dialated 2 cms when the average is only 1. It helps to open things up and aid the baby down the birth canal with less hassle. Good luck!

Jenny - posted on 01/31/2010

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I had it done with my 3rd daughter and I was in active labor by the next morning. She was born very, very fast and thank god because there was no time for an epidural!

Cherie - posted on 01/31/2010

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i hit a button and cut my message off. Anyway, at 38 wks 25% is a little thick of a membrane. That's why the doc will do it. It doesn't feel any different than the regular internal because that's all it is. You won't go into labor from it, won't contract more. You'll probably cramp after just because you had an internal, no more than normal. I really is a normal practice, most drs don't tell pt's their doing it. You'll be ok, your dr is just trying to help nature along :)

[deleted account]

had this done on my second preg at 4oweeks it was done and i wasnt asked.and my labour started after 5-ten Min's later but as i had other complications not none of at that time my labour stopped and started for the next 3days.if i hadn't of had does complications i would of gone fast i would say.it was pressure i felt while done.mine was a sweep and not a stripping of the membranes they were left in tact just pushed over to one side.

Michelle - posted on 01/31/2010

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i had a membrane sweep at 40+9 and 4cm dilated it didnt hurt but didnt help me progress, i went in to hospital a few hours later and was 6cms by 9.45pm i should have been 10cms but failed to progress, im now pregnant with my second child and also want a VBAC i will not be getting and sweeps or let them break my waters and will stay at home until i feel ready to push or need pain relief, u no your body and your baby will come when ready, raspberry LEAF tea is the one to try from 32weeks drinking up to 4 cups a day from 35 weeks until birth, good luck and keep me posted

Katherine - posted on 01/30/2010

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I had mine done at 37... It really helps the labor progress, but it hurts a bit. If you think about it though a little extra pain for a few seconds is better than hours more of contractions. but like everything in labor, a little pain is very worth the end result!

Courtney - posted on 01/30/2010

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Although you run the gamut with all the previous posts and they all pretty much carry the full message for your question about stripping the membranes...
It is a personal choice because each woman and each pregnancy is different.
It is uncomfortable, but not excruciating. It can lead to true labor, but not a guarantee.
In regards to VBAC, if you don't go into natural (sweeping the membranes is not a drug intervention) labor on your own, most hospitals require induction and doctor presence (like the one you see is on duty when you are there to deliver) because of all the malpractice lawsuits. But even with these restrictions, I promise you a VBAC is so worth it! It is so rewarding, not only in getting to meet your baby face to face, but because you had a c-section prior, you will feel so empowered! I insist that you avoid an epidural, don't even think of it as an option. If you have an induction, make sure that your OBGYN and/or midwifes know your wishes and are willing to work with you until you achieve your VBAC! FYI, had emergency c-section at 29 wks along and with second really wanted VBAC. Unfortunately, my body did not go into labor unassisted. I did not mind the membranes stripping. I did not want to be induced, but I didn't want a repeat c-section less, so I took the better poison (induction by pitocin). I went in Saturday morning and Monday night was when she was born!
Be determined to get your VBAC and you will do terrfically. Congrats!

Desiree - posted on 01/30/2010

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well everyone is different, i had it done with my second an he came 4 days later. And I just had it done with my last an now it is just a waiting game. And it really didn't hurt, it depends on your ob or whomever you see.

Cori - posted on 01/30/2010

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i had my membranes stripped at 39 weeks and 6 days at 3 pm... i was at the hospital by 6 am on my due date and he was born at 6:24 pm that day! it hurt and i wasnt expecting it to hurt that much! i had been warned by friends but damn it hurt! i was only 3 cm dialated but 75% effaced on that appointment when i had my membranes stripped!

Edina - posted on 01/30/2010

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hey Julie,i had it done when i was 41 weeks( 8 days overdue)..it hurt me a lot though i was told it wouldnt..i had it done at about 4 oclock in the afternoon and my period-like pains started at 11 pm,had my girl at 10.23 am the next morning neturally without epidural.i hurt but it wasnt as bad as i thought it was gonna be...Good luck to you!:)

Skye - posted on 01/30/2010

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i had mine done and nothing happened... if it wasnt safe they wouldnt offer it. it didnt hurt me but it was uncomfortable

Melanie - posted on 01/30/2010

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I was one week over and my doctor stripped my membranes. I was already 1.5cm dilated. A couple of hours later I started the get some bleeding and by midnight, my waters had broken. Whether it was natural or a result of having the sweep and stretch, I don't know, but it worked for my mother when she was due with my younger sis. As Julie said, works for some but not for all. Good luck with it :)

[deleted account]

Cant honestly understand why some women are in such a rush to have their baby. Your only pregnant a few times in your life what difference does a week or so make if you wait for labour to start naturally. Ive had three kids and been overdue as much as ten days and ive never considered being induced. Enjoy being pregnant because its over so quickly anyway.

Aymara - posted on 01/29/2010

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Hi, I had it done with my first child i was 11 days over due and i wanted to have a waterbirth, when i went in they said if i didnt give birth by that monday i was not going to be allowed in the birth centre as i was a higher risk. They asked if i wanted the sweep and was advised it would hurt but it was safe and that it would increase the odds of going natural. I had it done, and it hurt , they only managed to do a shallow sweep but 2 days later my child was born in the water. I will add that by having the sweep i went into labour straight away no pre labour so the contractions were stronger and faster but i had a seven hr labour. This was what happened it is upto you as it is your body and only you know it best of all, but when i looked at my options for me it was worth the risk. Good luck and I hope every goes as you dreamed... :)

[deleted account]

I was 39 weeks, 2 cm and 60% effaced, the doctor stripped my membranes...went to Target after appointment, then went home...all of a sudden my water broke. Had my baby the next day.

Angel - posted on 01/29/2010

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i had that done starting at like 37 weeks and at my 38wk appt they did it for the 2nd time and as i left i started going into labor....it wasnt that bad to be honest...but i was definately in denial lol...so if u get it done and feel u are leaking water or are having uncomfy feelings on and off go in cause i went all the way home and by the time i got there i was in hard labor and had to go back to the hosp lol...i was 3cm dilated and 80% at the time too....i honestly think it is ok expecially if u are already dilated...good luck to u and hope i helped :-)

Becky - posted on 01/29/2010

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I don't think the contractions are harder, but my daughter had this done and was having off and on contractions for three days before the baby was born. She was not dialted or defaced at all before the doctor did this. She did say it was very uncomfortable having it done.

Michelle - posted on 01/29/2010

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with my first daughter i was 4 days late and 3cm dilated and had the strip and sweep and it was another 2 days until i had her with my second i saw my doctor at 3pm and was having contraction by 4.30pm and had him at 6.12pm that night all depends on the preg. Contrations are always hard but remember to breath the more you breath through the contractions the less you have to push after being fully dilated. Warm water over your back and did i say REMEMBER TO BREATH.

Cari - posted on 01/29/2010

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I had a sweep at 7 days overdue, a few hrs later I had a show. The next day my contractions started (about 36 hrs after the sweep). Contractions were sticking at 5 mins for about 20 hrs, so I went in and had a 2nd sweep, was 4 cm dilated then, contractions didn't come quicker for ages, didn't feel like the 2nd sweep did much but then maybe I was far enough along at that point. Best wishes :)

Casey - posted on 01/29/2010

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Hi- Had my membrane swept at 38 wk appointment (2nd pregnancy). My water broke 24 hours later & had a vbac w/ vacuum assistance. I don't think it'll affect your contractions, but it does cause some cramping- which is how it can kick start labor. I had it done w/ both pregnancies- 3x w/ the first... only took once w/ my daughter!
Good luck with the TOLAC (or VBAC)!

Angie - posted on 01/29/2010

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My doc did mine with my first baby. They say it "might" get things moving. It was quite uncomfortable but no worse than labor itself. I started contracting 3 hrs later. Then she was born 12.5 hrs. after that. For me it was a great and natural delivery. And she ended up being 1 day early! They also tired to with my second. They wanted to speed things up but this time because my BP was high starting at 38 weeks. I wasn't dialated enough so they weren't able to. They tired at every appt. She ended up coming on her on time again 1 day early. It was another natural delivery this time 6.5 hr. So it work with my first and not with my second. I would let them do it again. Good Luck with your decision and delivery!

Sweetpea - posted on 01/29/2010

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It is completed safe, I don't think it made my contractions any more worse then they already were.

Crystal - posted on 01/29/2010

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Im 39 weeks, 5 days and 2cm. I was actually going to ask if I could have my membranes stripped but I was told by my dr if they do it there's not a 100% chance that it will work and could be painful. They also said inducing w my first baby could make the chance of c-section higher. Sooo as of right now I'm just waiting. He's in the head down position and already "dropped" down. My next OB appt is on Monday so Im going to see what Im at then and then make an appt to be induced by the end of my 40th week. Let me know if it works for you though :-)

Sharon - posted on 01/29/2010

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I had it done on my 3rd child.. I asked to be checked to see if anything was happening. As i had a lot of false starts with the others..He said nothing happening and offered to do a sweep...and booked my induction for the following week.. I went into labour that night and had a very fast labour 2 hours.. my DD was born at 3.39am on her due date.

Sandra - posted on 01/29/2010

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I had my membranes stripped with my 2nd baby. Contractions started almost immediately. It's not any more uncomfortable to have them stripped than it is to be checked. And it won't start labour if your body isn't ready. Good luck!

Tricia - posted on 01/29/2010

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Why can't you just let it happen as it will happen? It seems this only works sometimes and not too well at that.

I never heard of this. I've had 3 kids and never needed anything like this done.

Becky - posted on 01/29/2010

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Having your membranes stripped is a natural way for you to go into labor. I was 40 weeks pregnant and 2-3 cm dilated when my Dr. decided to induce me in 2 days. When I went in 2 days later at 7am, I was already having contractions. Instead of my Dr, a midwife came in and suggested to strip my membranes since I was already in labor. She did this around 8am(it did hurt for me-it feels like an internal exam that is slightly longer). My son was born at 11:40am. If you want your experience to be natural, I suggest doing this rather than being induced. My midwife explained to me that being induced makes for a longer labor,and most likely may end up with a C-section. Good Luck!

Jennifer - posted on 01/29/2010

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It is very safe. Only the midwives do it here. I had my membranes stripped when I was 38 weeks with my two youngest children. One was born that day and the other was born the next day. It did progress my labour a lot faster and the contractions are the same as if you went into labour without having it done.

[deleted account]

I had the procedure done at 38 and 39 weeks. The second one worked. I went into labor instantly. I had mild labor for 4 hours, pushed for 20 mins... and then kissed my new baby boy. No drugs, and NOT as much pain as I've seen elsewhere. A tattoo hurt worse. Broken ribs hurt worse... lots of things hurt worse than labor. It could have been my state of mind though, because I had convinced myself I wasn't going to let labor be a big deal.

Kerryn - posted on 01/28/2010

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I had my membranes stripped at 40 wks. Dr said it would take two to three days to to it's thing, but would make labour a little faster. Was mildly uncomfortable, but I definately noticed it changed things and felt that it would do something to get things going. Went into labour two days later.. and our baby was delivered after three hours.

Kylie - posted on 01/28/2010

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hey there!! i had my membranes swept with my first pregnancy, a little uncomfy like a smear but not too bad, it's similar to removing the show i've been told and 2 days later i was 3 cm dilated and ready to be induced!! good luck

Renee - posted on 01/28/2010

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Hope your VBAC goes well too. I saw that you said you weren't going to go through with this but I thought I'd post my terrible story just for kicks.

This is the worst thing ever and I would never, ever do it again. It hurt so bad that my husband said that my face when stark white and then I turned green. I kicked the crap out of my doctor and no matter what my husband said or she said I made her stop. I was 38 wks at the time and 2cm. Well, from then on I felt sick. I was in so much pain. I couldn't sleep or rest. It was so painful from the time it happened until I called them the following morning. They said to come in b/c I was probably in labor. I hadn't had any contractions at this point and my water hadn't broke. I thought that maybe I was being a big baby. Well 2 minutes later the contractions hit and they were four minutes apart. Having the contractions felt better than what I had been going through. So, no, don't ever do this unless they absolutely think you need to. My doctor is a female and she told me that when she had it done that it was extremely painful and she did it out of desperation. I will never be that desperate. Never.

Kelly - posted on 01/28/2010

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Hope your VBAC goes well.



Around 40wks I had a membraine sweep, and was told to expect the labour soon anyway... it happened within a couple days (40wks 3days). It didn't hurt at all, though I did get bleeding. Had a great labour though (definitely not more painful), and didn't even need any pain-relief drugs :D (the shower was awesome).



Wishing you well!

Jamie - posted on 01/28/2010

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First congrats! Baby is on the way :) I had my membrains stripped, but not untill after my due date. I actually think I had it done on my due date. Is there a reason to do it early? If not I would wait until after your due date, and even then if you aren't in a hurry just wait for baby to come on his/her own. If you are getting antzy stripping the membrain is most natural way besides having sex to start the process. All it does is remove the membrain away from you...you could say detaches it. The wait of the baby is supposed to do the rest. It is a little uncomfortable, but if you push into it and don't fight it it will work better, and not hurt as much. That said it didn't work for me. I ended up requesting to be enduced, and if I can help I won't do that next time! It made my labor really long, 27 hours! I almost had to have a c section, and ways both baby and I ended up fine. It won't make your contraction any harder :) Good luck.

Heidi - posted on 01/28/2010

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I had been 75% effaced and 1-2 cm dilated for 2 weeks when my doctor stripped mine the day after my due date. I lost my plug that night and my water had a high break two days later. It was uncomfortable but it didn't really bother me all that much. It's just to get things going along!

Maria - posted on 01/28/2010

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This won't affect the intensity of your contractions. It is just to try to stimulate labor. It is uncomfortable, but doesn't do anything to hurt you or your baby.

I had this done 2 times and it did help with dialation.

I was induced later however due to a lack of amniotic fluid.

Brandi - posted on 01/28/2010

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at 9am i had dialated to almost 3cm and around 50% effaced and my doctor did it to me but didnt tell me. i didnt find out until i got up to use the bathroom and there was blood every where and i freaked out calling for a nurse. it worked for the most part it helped me get to 7cm then the doctor decided to break my water around 6:30ish (again without telling me he was going to) my daughter was then born at 8:19pm. it helped alittle but it is nice that your doctor is telling you first. good luck

[deleted account]

With my last daughter, (#3) I had it done twice. Once at 38wks and again at 40wks and she was still over due. I don't think it really does much. It's supposed to release hormornes but unless your baby really wants to be born it doesn't do anything. And yes it hurts. Lots of cramps!

Mary - posted on 01/28/2010

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It hurt like H#%*!!!!!! Pushed me into labor within a few hours. Also had a C-Section, I believe partly due to this. My body was not ready yet. First thing I told the doctors I would not do ever again. 2nd baby VBAC. Loved it!!!!

Melissa - posted on 01/28/2010

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its a better alternative to being induced. I was 4cm dilated and 90% effaced and within hrs I was in labour. but it hurts like hell. but not as much as my back labour that I had and the epi didn't touch the pain, unfortunatly.

Krysta - posted on 01/28/2010

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I had mine stripped and it took 3 days but my water started to leak. I wasn't really contracting much though so they did a pitocin drip. My daughter was born eight hours later! Good luck!

Elizabeth - posted on 01/28/2010

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i had mine stripped and within two and ahalf hours i was having contractions. before they did this i was 2 cm dialated. it was painful but not to bad.

Stacey - posted on 01/28/2010

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Hi!! I was 10 days overdue when my midwife stripped my membranes, I have had friends tell me they got this done and they went into labor that day or the next. When she did mine at 9am I started contracting at 4pm that same day and had him the next day at 1:24pm. I had contractions at home from 4pm-2am and they didn't hurt (more like period cramps). They were 4 min apart so we went to the hospital. I was dialated to a 3 and within an hour I went to a 4. By 6am I was a 5 and 100% effaced. My water broke on it's own at 11am and I had him at 1:24pm. I consider my labor "easy" compared to alot of my friends. I didn't have any drugs, not even neubane. I think this is the natural way to more or less induce. It just stimulates the uterus. I believe what it is is the Dr. goes in between the babys head and your uterus and "swipes/irritates" the mucus plug and bag of water. This natural helps you dialate and contract. After my experience I would be all for it:) Good luck. Just think at least you aren't having your baby 11 days past your due date, ugh!!

Stephanie - posted on 01/28/2010

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I had my OB strip my membranes at my 38 week appt late on a wednesday afternoon. I went into labor, (my water broke) at 9:30am that saturday and my daughter was born at 5:30pm the same day.

[deleted account]

Any type of inducement is going to make it more probable that you will need intervention during labour. Is there a reason why you need to be induced because if your pregnancy has gone well with no problems I would wait for baby to make his own mind up when he wants to come out. I went between a week and ten days late on all 3 of my kids and had no problems.

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