The Midwifery Today Forums are up and running again after a year’s lull. Many lively discussions happen on that site so check it out and start participating. This a.m., a young woman asks if she should allow her physician to “sweep her membranes” at 37 weeks gestational age. (Sometimes I think that people just want to get my blood boiling first thing in the a.m. and so they post questions like this that will inflame me! It is all about me, isn’t it?)
Here’s my response to the question:
Could we please go back to describing this procedure in language more accurately, it’s a stripping of the membranes. This whole, positive-thinking, “sweeping” nonsense is a euphemism that dumbs us down to the damage of this aggressive behaviour.
If you took a healthy young man and reefed around on his foreskin until you made it bleed, he would call the police and charge you with assault. Our young women need to do the same thing when practitioners “strip” their membranes.