What Does Stripping Your Membranes Mean?
There comes a point in pregnancy when mama will do just about anything that could bring baby to the outside world. Man, do the last weeks get unbelievably long! For some women, little tricks and procedures seem to work, and for others, the waiting and guessing game is just how it goes. Having your membranes stripped is one procedure your doctor may offer as you near your due date.
When I was 39 weeks pregnant with my first baby, my doctor offered to strip my membranes. I honestly only knew about it because my sister-in-law had told me that she went into labor within twelve hours of having hers stripped. So, I didn't know what it meant or what exactly was going to happen, but I knew I wanted it done because I was VERRRRY ready to not be pregnant anymore.
This is a very simple procedure that can be done in your doctor or midwife's office. The point of the procedure is to gently separate the amniotic sac from the uterine wall. Doing this releases hormones that can start contractions. It is somewhat like having your cervix checked, but can be much more uncomfortable. It is also common to feel crampy and have some light spotting after the procedure is done.
For some (like my sister-in-law), this works like a charm, and for others, there is absolutely no change. It didn't do anything for me! Some doctors may offer this as early as 38 weeks and others not until 39, or not at all depending on your medical history and your pregnancy.