Saturday, December 1, 2012

I don't do cervical checks.

With my first pregnancy- little man's pregnancy- I pretty much followed the rules.  
As a second time mom, I know better.

A cervical check is what your Ob may do toward the end of your pregnancy, where they will manually check your cervical opening by hand.  They typically use it as a 'gauge' to tell you if there is any progress in your dilation or if they feel that labor is impending.

However, I tend to be in the camp that feels it is an uncomfortable waste of time.

For example:  My water broke with little man on a Saturday night at 39 weeks and one day pregnant.  I had a doctor's appointment the day before in which they checked my cervical dilation, rather roughly I might add.  At that time, they said I was not dilated or effaced enough for them to believe anything was going on yet.  But then my water broke just the very next day.

Many women can walk around dilated even to 3 or 4 (or more!) centimeters for days or weeks before actually going into the labor and birthing process.  Just because you are checked and the doctor tells you that you've dilated some doesn't really mean anything.  Just as the doctor checking me and telling me nothing was happening didn't mean anything as my water broke the very next day.  

By checking your cervix, the doctor is telling you what your 'progress' is at that time, which means nothing if we're not looking at what is going on with the rest of your body.  And you as smart, educated pregnant women know what is happening with your body!  You feel every twinge, you know what feels off and what seems okay.  Your body is telling you what it is doing.

Having the doctor's hand up in your lady business is only introducing the possibility of infection when the importance of the information gained isn't significant enough to justify.  

Also, I've recently been told by several women that during a cervical check, their membranes were swept without their consent.  I significantly hope that was not the case with the last cervical check before my water broke during my first pregnancy.  Although- I have to recognize it was a possibility- as that doctor's office check was MUCH more uncomfortable than even the checks in the hospital while I was in labor.  

As educated women, I think that we need to recognize the possibility of this happening and protect our bodies from just one more unnecessary medical intervention.  When your birth is supposed to happen, it will happen, when your child is ready to greet this world.  

I was told at my most recent doctor's appointment that my Ob would start doing cervical checks at my next appointment, when I am only 36 weeks pregnant.  

I've already declined.  

And I will continue to decline at each opportunity they offer at my regular office visits.  

My body will tell me when I'm going into labor, not a doctor's hand.  If I'm not feeling anything out of the ordinary, chances are nothing is happening down there yet either.  And- for me- cervical checks are just too uncomfortable and present (however slight) too much of an opportunity for infection for me to consider having them done this time around.

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6 comments:

  1. I'm absolutely declining too!

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  2. Wow I had no idea! Im having my Second baby and im 37 weeks I already had two cervical checks....I'm afraid to start declining so how did you tell your Ob...he has delivered my first baby...thanks!

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  3. Typically the nurse comes in first to take my blood pressure and give me a gown to change into. I will just say to her, "I'm not interested in being checked, so I won't be gowning today." They've actually noted it in my chart so they no longer ask after two failed attempts at getting me to do so. The nurse initially asked me why and I just told her honestly that I don't see the point. The doctor doesn't seem to care as it saves them time in the room.

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  4. I declined with my second one too...especially since i was going to have a repeat csection...

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  5. I had CC when I was pregnant with C and I'd debated whether or not to decline them. I ended up allowing it mainly because I was curious about how thin my cervix was getting (as a possible indicator of how my labor might go). I don't know if I'll have them with #2 (whenever that may be) or not, it'll just be a bridge I cross when I get there.

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  6. I had one at 36 weeks when I got my strep B test, but have declined each week since then and don't plan on having any until I am in labor (and possibly not even until I've been at the hospital for a while). I kind of wish that I hadn't done the first one either, but I didn't have concerns about her stripping my membranes, and as a FTM I really wanted to know if "anything" was happening, even though I totally agree with you and think they don't really give you an indication of when labor will begin.

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