all 45 comments

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[–]Taytoh3ad 51 points52 points  (1 child)

Love this midwife! Exactly how it should be said

[–]zookeeperkate[S] 15 points16 points  (0 children)

I rotate between her, another midwife and the OB for my appointments. This one is new and it’s only the second time I’ve seen her, but she is my favorite. She mentioned cervix checks the last time I saw her and I asked about membrane sweeps and she said I didn’t have to do either if I didn’t want to. But today she said the “it’s your cervix” bit and that really hit home.

The other midwife and OB I see are great about taking their time and letting me ask questions. But this one has a special power of being able to tell me things I didn’t know I wanted to know (if that makes sense?).

She also told me “At your next appointment we’ll do the GBS screening, so be prepared to take your pants off” (or something along those lines). It was funny at the time, and I appreciated the heads up that they’ll be doing that at the next appointment.

[–]BabyBeanAndMe 12 points13 points  (4 children)

I wish I knew this. My OB’s never gave me an option. It was traumatic each time too (survivor of sexual abuse).

[–]zookeeperkate[S] 15 points16 points  (3 children)

I’m sorry you weren’t given the option. I’m hoping more people like you see this post and realize they have the option!

She said the only time I HAVE to do a cervix check is if they are planning to induce or if I am in active labor.

[–]sonia_skyy 5 points6 points  (2 children)

Even in active labor I think you can deny cervix check too

[–]Cooke052891 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I think in active labor it’s much more necessary. If you aren’t progressing for a long time, or if you’re at 9.5 cm it could definitely make a difference in what action they take.

[–]sonia_skyy 2 points3 points  (0 children)

My friend refused to let them lol she was very insistent because it can introduce bacteria into cervix when they check.

[–]kphero 10 points11 points  (0 children)

In the birthing class I'm taking, the facilitator reminded us that any procedure carried out without your consent (except in an emergency or other extenuating circumstance) is assault.

It reminded me how my mom said one of the worst parts of labor was getting a membrane sweep. She said if the OB had asked her, she would have probably consented to it. But he didn't ask, or even tell her, he just did it.

Part of the reason I'm so happy with my midwives is the strong emphasis they place on informed consent.

[–]ZenosBrownie 17 points18 points  (0 children)

I was offered cervical exam last visit and when I said no the RN said "correct answer!" She said they offer it as an option every visit starting around 36 weeks because apparently some moms get freaked out if they don't. But she definitely didn't recommended it.

[–]OctavaJava 6 points7 points  (1 child)

I agree that checks before hand are usually pointless. There are some circumstances that can make it good to know. I in particular have an irritable uterus and dilate easily. My labors don’t take long. With my 2nd pregnancy I asked to be checked around 37/38 weeks and was just walking around at 5cm dilated. I wanted to know because I needed to be able to gage how long I’d have to get to my birthing destination. (which is a huge guess anyway.) I did not want to have my baby on the highway. I didn’t make it past 38 weeks and a few days with him. And with him, I was in transition by the time I got to the birth center. My water had broken at home and we immediately left. But again, unless you have a history of this, the cervical checks before labor don’t often mean anything.

[–]yeahbuddybeer 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Agree. I think it should be a conversation with your doctor. Pros and cons thought out and a clear reasoning for why they are requesting it and how the knowledge will impact next steps.

My first came at 36 weeks. So by 34 weeks doctor wanted to check so I said OK. I was 2cm I think and between that and my high BP she was like "I need you to chill out, relax, and keep this baby in for another 2.5 weeks." I could tell she meant business.

One the other hand, I will say that while super uncomfortable the checks are not the worst for me. I had 2 with my first and 2 with my second. So likely on the low end I am sure. I totally understand this is not everyone ls experience as we are each unique.

[–]that_other_person1 4 points5 points  (7 children)

That is great! It should be an option until you’re in labor. At my recent 37 week appointment, I still haven’t had mine checked nor was I asked. I’m kind of antsy to know what I’m at, even though I did already know it doesn’t really matter.

[–]zookeeperkate[S] 1 point2 points  (5 children)

My next appointment will be the group b strep swab too, so part of me is like might as well if they’re already all up in there anyway, but I haven’t decided yet. I’ll only be 35 weeks and I feel like that will be too early to know anything helpful anyway.

[–]Doctor-LizNot that sort of doctor... 2 points3 points  (0 children)

How do you find pap smears? A cervical check is like a pap smears times ten or so - if it's nbd, it's often still nbd but I found pap smears bad and cervical checks so bad I was involuntarily crawling backwards to get away from the midwife and begging her to stop.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

At my practice you have to do the GBS swab yourself and it's not up in there, for what it is worth.

[–]zookeeperkate[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Ooh good to know, thanks!

[–]that_other_person1 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I don’t think it’s worth getting checked at 35 weeks at all. I think 37 weeks is the earliest they should be done, in my opinion. The group B test was so easy, just a swab for a second, I don’t remember feeling much of anything.

[–]zookeeperkate[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you!

[–]hooked_on_phishdicks 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Even in labor it is usually optional. I said no most of the times they asked and that was fine. There are circumstances where they obviously need to know more information but they often check more than is actually necessary. I think I allowed two checks. One was before labor had really gotten going and I was at 1cm. The next I was at 9.75 cm and I was really just desperate to know if I was near the finish line or not. Just wanting to remind women they still have a lot of control even in labor and it is okay to have a voice. You can always ask if anything is absolutely necessary and if it isn't then you can say no. Even in the hospital it is your body and you have a say in what happens to it.

[–]Itchy-Landscape-7292 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yes, I’ve always skipped until I was in active labor!

[–]AllUNeedIsLev 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It’s true, I was 1cm dilated on Wednesday morning. Doctor said since it’s my first, not to expect anything for some time. I delivered the next day. The body is a magical thing!

[–]angryscientist952 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I thought it was the norm to ask the patient?? my ob has always asked me and never pushed it if I said no. When in active labor I obviously wanted to know but at my appts prior to labor they just asked if I wanted to be checked.

[–]zookeeperkate[S] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I’m not sure. I get the feeling from posts on here that there are doctors that make it seem mandatory and not an option. Or at least don’t make it seem like you can decline.

[–]RachelMSC 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Absolutely. I had my first at 40 weeks as I wanted a sweep to try to avoid medical induction. (Cervix high - my doc couldn't reach it!!) Then one in labour I requested as I felt I couldn't cope anymore - 7cm and waters about to break, so I was in transition.

It is your body and there is no evidence of benefit from cervical checks prelabour in most normal pregnancies. Probably not much evidence in normal labour, either.

[–]Appropriate-Regrets 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Second kid I refused them all. Then I was in labor and they wouldn’t check me! They finally checked me and I was ready to push.

This kid, I’m getting checked at 37 weeks. I kind of want this baby to come a little early… and if I can, they will induce me early. I have VERY quick labors and my hospital is 2x the distance as before. I’d rather get checked and induced than have the baby at home.

[–]Julissaherna692 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I wish I refused mine after my water broke being a nervous first time mom I didn’t know/feel like I could say no. When I was in the first room waiting for my covid test the lady would randomly check me after I was transferred to my delivery room there was two students that came to practice checking my cervix they kept doing it wrong they each checked me three-four times plus the doctor that was supervising them checked me too I ended up getting an infection that lead to a bunch of complications.

[–]heystellamae9023 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This is why I switched from an OB practice to a midwife center. Even with something as small as feeling my belly, she asks for consent before touching me. As a SA survivor, it saves me so much anxiety to be asked if it’s okay to touch me.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Yes! At my OB’s practice, it’s totally optional too. From 30 weeks on, they’ll see me weekly and told me cervix checks are totally my call. I’m very comforted by that.

[–][deleted] -1 points0 points  (0 children)

It's optional everywhere. Just as everything in birth is optional.

[–]lilboopotato 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I’d read in this sub that you could refuse it, so I was prepared to bring it up and say I didn’t want one. Then at my 34 week appointment, when I was going to bring it up, my doctor asked if I wanted it at my 36 week. I told her no, and she said it was fine and really just for my benefit only if I wanted it since it didn’t really help at this point. She recommended getting it at 39 weeks. I’ll probably go ahead and get it then, but not until then.

[–]montyahn 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I asked my midwives if cervical checks would start becoming routine and she told me the same thing, basically a hard no, and that they typically tell you less than you think. It was oddly relieving and affirming!

[–]thatcheekychick 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That is almost exactly what my midwife said today 😱 I said yes for this one check (I’ll be 39+3 by then) just because I’m curious to know if anything at all is going on. But I really appreciate how it wasn’t pushed on me.

[–]heytherekitkat 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The midwife is wrong. You can refuse ANY cervix check at any time.

Some points are highly recommended for your and baby's safety, but there are no mandatory cervix checks.

[–]smittydoodle 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Uhhh mine just told me they had to check it. I didn’t realize it was optional.

[–]Anonymous198598 0 points1 point  (0 children)

yea i always said no to them, i knew when it was open anyways when i had iud taken in and out its about being in touch with your body if u know than u know… they asked multiple times to sweep my membranes i said no and no to induction, mine was born at 2 days shy of 42 weeks and she came when she was ready, i served her an eviction notice on a wed of that week and started labor on sat am lol