This is something that can be done to help begin labor It can be done in your care provider’s office at a regular check up near your due date. In order for this to have a chance of starting labor, it is helpful if the cervix is favorable—dilated at least 2 cm and over 60% effaced. While not comfortable, this is a manual attempt at starting labor. During a routine vaginal exam the care provider will aggravate the cervix with a gloved finger. This releases prostaglandins and can sometimes encourage labor to begin. There is often some light bleeding after the membranes are swept which is normal. The benefit is that it is not a pharmaceutical effort at induction. If it is going to work it will work within about 12 hours. If, within 12 hours labor has not begun, it did not work. The risk involved is that the bag of waters would inadvertently release during the process, if that is the case you would be admitted to the facility and would be expected to have had the baby or be in very advanced labor within 24 hours. Stripping of the membranes can be done more than once if necessary and is something to discuss with your care provider.
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