Cervical ripening the morning of your induction

What is cervical ripening?

Cervical ripening is when the cervix gets ready for labor. The cervix becomes thinner, softer, and starts to open. Cervical ripening can happen naturally or be done with medication (misoprostol) or with a cervical balloon. If you would like to get your cervix ready for labor at home you can have an appointment at the hospital to receive either medication (misoprostol) or a cervical balloon to get you ready for your induction.

What are the benefits of having cervical ripening and going home?

Women who have cervical ripening and go home spend less time in the hospital before their baby is born. You can rest, eat, and drink at your home.

Is a cervical balloon safe?

Yes. In studies comparing people who stayed in the hospital with their cervical balloon with women who went home with it, there was no difference in the number of people who had complications. 

What should I do on the day of my appointment for cervical ripening?

  • Pack your hospital bag and have a good meal. Sometimes we may recommend that you stay at the hospital instead of going home. This can happen if your baby shows any signs of stress, if the fluid around your baby is too low, or if you are in labor
  • Arrive at Boston Medical Center at 8:00AM and go to the Women and Infants Center on the 4th floor of the Yawkey Building, 850 Harrison Ave

What will happen at my appointment for cervical ripening?

  • We will check your baby’s heartbeat
  • We will check to see if you are having contractions
  • We will do a vaginal exam to check how dilated (open) your cervix is
  • We will help you decide what will help the most to ripen your cervix

What if I get medicine?

  • We will monitor the baby’s heartbeat for an hour afterwards
  • You may have some cramping or feel nothing different
  • You may notice some vaginal discharge with mucus or blood that may have a pink, brown, or red color (bloody show).

What if I get a cervical balloon?

  • You may feel some discomfort and cramping while the balloon is being placed and for a few minutes after.
  • You may also notice some mucus with blood from the vagina that may have a pink, brown, or red color (bloody show).
  • You may have contractions or feel pressure in the vagina while the balloon is in place.

What do I do after I have had cervical ripening?

  • You can go home and rest, walk, spend time with friends or family
  • Eat well and drink a lot of water
  • Plan to return to the hospital at 8pm for your appointment
  • If the balloon falls out you can throw it away and still come for your 8pm appointment

You should come back to the hospital before your appointment if any of these 5 signs:

1.You think your water broke
2.If you start having contractions every 3-4minutes that are very strong for 2 hours
3.If you have vaginal bleeding like a period
4.If you have a fever (temperature higher than 100.4)
5.If you feel like your baby is not moving

If you need to talk to a provider about your appointment call 617-414-4364

You have a cervical balloon in place, now what?!

What do I do after I have a cervical balloon?

  • You can go home and rest, walk, spend time with friends or family
  • Eat well and drink a lot of water
  • Plan to return to the hospital for your scheduled appointment
  • If the balloon falls out you can throw it away and come at your scheduled appointment time

What can I feel after I have a cervical balloon?

  • You may feel some discomfort and cramping while the balloon is being placed and for a few minutes after.
  • You may also notice some mucus with blood from the vagina that may have a pink, brown, or red color (bloody show).
  • You may have contractions or feel pressure in the vagina while the balloon is in place.

You should come back to the hospital earlier than your appointment if you have any of these 5 signs:

1.You think your water broke
2.If you start having contractions every 3-4minutes that are very strong for 2 hours
3.If you have vaginal bleeding like a period
4.If you have a fever (temperature higher than 100.4)
5.If you feel like your baby is not moving If you have any questions or concerns contact Labor and Delivery at 617-414-4364

You received misoprostol for cervical ripening, now what?!

What do I do after I take the medicine?

  • You can go home and rest, walk, spend time with friends or family
  • Eat well and drink a lot of water
  • Plan to return to the hospital at for your scheduled appointment

What can I feel after I take the medicine?

  • You may have some cramping or feel nothing different
  • You may notice some vaginal discharge with mucus or blood that may have a pink, brown, or red color (bloody show).

You should come back to the hospital earlier than your appointment if you have any of these 5 signs:

1.You think your water broke
2.If you start having contractions every 3-4minutes that are very strong for 2 hours
3.If you have vaginal bleeding like a period
4.If you have a fever (temperature higher than 100.4)
5.If you feel like your baby is not moving

If you have any questions or concerns contact Labor and Delivery at 617-414-4364

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