And for my next trick, I'll make this balloon disappear!
May 19, 2010 1:27 PM   Subscribe

My post-term wife is getting a foley catheter tomorrow in an attempt to increase dilation and induce labor. Advice? Experiences?

She wants very much to have an unmedicated childbirth. We have had NST and ultrasounds every few days and the little guy is extremely healthy - lots of movement and a great heartbeat.

She's 41 weeks 4 days (almost 43 weeks according to LMP), and we've decided it's time to start stimulating labor. She's about 1-2cm and 80% effaced. She had her membranes stripped yesterday, but it didn't appear to have started any regular contractions.

Before jumping to pitocin and the likes, we've decided to try the foley catheter tomorrow morning to encourage dilation. We're looking for your experiences/advice/input in regards to this medical procedure. Hoping it starts contractions so we can avoid the medication route next week.

We're trying to be patient with the little guy but he appears to be too cozy!
posted by siclik to Health & Fitness (15 answers total)
My wife had a similar procedure, but instead of foley catheter, hormonal "wafers" were used to persuade the cervix to dilate. The first day they tried this nothing much happened, but on the second day, boom, less than an hour after applying the wafer contractions began, and less than two hours our second son was born. I would have to say that on the first day my wife complained of severe cramping (with none of the benefits of dilation, contractions, etc.)

Also, our second son was born so fast that he had trouble breathing. Apparently, the process of labor helps squeeze amniotic fluid out of the infant's lungs. Since the actual delivery process was less than an hour for our second son (my wife was also only in labor for about an hour with our first son, and it's the same thing for her sister), the fluid remained in his lungs, and so he had to stay in an incubator for about 5 days, which was no big deal, except for the logistics of pumping breast milk (and we'd been through much worse - our first son became seriously ill after delivery, and spent a month in isolation).

Anyway, stimulating labor certainly helped with my wife.

BTW, our first son was 11 days late. All we could do was follow the traditional Japanese country remedy for this sort of thing - lots of walking, preferably on a sandy beach.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:42 PM on May 19, 2010

They used the foley catheter, followed by pitocin, to induce labor with my second. It was a successful induction, and the catheter is only a little bit uncomfortable to insert (they usually give you a fast acting dose of pain medication for that part).

Just keep in mind that once you start the induction process in the hospital, you can't really stop everything and go home if the induction isn't initially successful. A foley catheter will usually be followed up by pitocin, which means increased fetal monitoring and (for many women) a more painful labor.
posted by Wavelet at 1:49 PM on May 19, 2010

Response by poster: We confirmed with her midwife yesterday (who will be doing the procedure tomorrow) that if the foley catheter doesn't start labor, we can go home and rest for the weekend before advancing to other methods of induction. As long as her bag of waters remains in tact, she's free to leave at any time.

Although it is a risk, her midwife has never broken the bag of waters while doing this procedure.

The plus side is, no matter WHAT happens, her midwife (who is a strong advocate of her birth plan) is there all day and on-call the following night, so that really adds to the comfort level.
posted by siclik at 1:58 PM on May 19, 2010

You've tried the, uh, usual methods of stimulating labor?
posted by jquinby at 2:18 PM on May 19, 2010

Response by poster: @jquinby

We've literally exhausted ALL old wives tales. For goodness sakes, we were eating Mac & Cheese with A1 steak sauce on it for some reason this week! Acupuncture, acupressure every hour-on-the-hour, spicy food, 3 mile walks, stimulation . . . the list goes on and on.

I've dedicated my entire week to doing whatever I can to give my wife the birth she wants, but that little boy won't budge!
posted by siclik at 2:26 PM on May 19, 2010

I hear (and have seen) good things regarding eggplant parmesan, too, but it might just be from This One Spot in Town That Everyone Swears By. Best of luck to you guys and'll all be over soon.
posted by jquinby at 2:36 PM on May 19, 2010

Do you have a breast pump? Use it.
posted by k8t at 3:16 PM on May 19, 2010

FWIW, castor oil induction worked for us.
posted by gnutron at 3:19 PM on May 19, 2010

I was induced for medical reasons and wasn't able to use the foley but a friend swears by the castor oil , chocolate milk, and bourbon shake she used.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 4:54 PM on May 19, 2010

Response by poster: Looks like it might not get that far; just the threat of induction may have done the trick!
posted by siclik at 8:46 PM on May 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

Congratulations! Post a follow-up!
posted by IndigoRain at 1:37 AM on May 20, 2010

thirding castor oil....
posted by dzaz at 9:20 AM on May 20, 2010

Still checking back for updates, siclik - hope all went well!
posted by palliser at 9:15 AM on May 22, 2010

Response by poster: My wife went into labor the day before she was to be induced with the foley. After three grueling days (!!!) of intense contractions and no sleep, she never dilated past a five. She labored up until her c-section which was at 12:05am Saturday. We were shocked to find out that our son was 9 lbs! (he’s the definition of a “Bradley Baby”). Just weeks prior, her midwife wanted to do an ultrasound because her fundal height wasn’t changing and they thought he was going to be a very small baby.

(for reference, my wife was 95 lbs. before conception - so I imagine the contractions just weren't strong enough to push the big guy out of my wife's tiny body)

He is such a strong and healthy boy – he was never once distressed as we made every attempt at a natural, vaginal delivery. After a couple days of him not budging, we escalated procedures starting with the least intense (breaking water) to more intense (pitocin/epidural); even after being hooked up to IV’s, monitors, etc., my wife was on her hands and knees performing the Rebozo technique in a last minute effort (11pm!) to get him to change position.

Even though our birth experience was very different than our birth plan, we were very happy with the medical staff’s patience and cooperation, and are happy with the outcome. The gift we got to take home was worth all the effort!

He is a champion breast feeder so far and has been an absolute pleasure since his Mom got her milk in today!
posted by siclik at 2:44 PM on May 25, 2010

Phew -- poor thing, recovering from three days of labor AND a c-section. Glad everyone is safe and sound!
posted by palliser at 7:15 PM on May 25, 2010

« Older Memorization is Not Our Strong Suit   |   Gross!!! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.