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Natural Ways to Induce Labor: Stripping Your Membranes

written by: CamillaPeters • edited by: BStone • updated: 4/15/2010

A look into how stripping your membranes can naturally induce labor.

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    How to Strip Membranes to Induce Labor Naturally

    Stripping the membranes of a pregnant woman is almost a guaranteed way to bring on labor naturally. Although this method is better left to medical professionals such as a doctor or midwife, a mother can do the process at home as long as she takes certain precautions.

    Stripping the membranes is when a midwife, doctor or even the pregnant women inserts two fingers into the vagina and makes a sweeping motion inside the cervix to loosen not only the mucus plug but the bag of water from the uterus.

    This procedure is best done when the mother has already started to dilate, or open up. Stripping the membranes when a mother is not dilated may cause discomfort and even pain. So it is much better to do this when the mother is at least 2 cm dilated.

    The reason that this procedure is a natural way to induce labor is because removing the mucus plug as well as disrupting the attachment of the bag of water to the uterus will cause the uterus to contract. Often times, once the mucus plug is removed (which is a thick collection of mucus that seals the cervix from anything trying to enter the uterus), labor starts within 3 days.

    It is important that when a mother attempts to strip the membranes that she always washes her hands and uses gloves. This will keep down infections and will also help prevent scratches to the cervix.

    One risk of stripping the membranes is the chance of prematurely rupturing the bag of waters. That is why it is important to strip the membranes during the last few weeks of pregnancy rather than earlier in the pregnancy.

    Stripping the membranes is a great way to induce labor naturally. Most women see results from this procedure within a few days – even some see results within hours! Never attempt to strip your membranes without first discussing this method and getting approval from you doctor or midwife.

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