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Thread: membranes/amniotic sac

  1. #1

    Default membranes/amniotic sac

    I was just wondering if anyone knows what the membranes are made of or what they look like.
    I geuss that these days they always break them before babies are delivered so its probably rare to see them.
    When are the membranes delivered? With the baby or afterwards? And how are they attached to the placenta? The placenta is attached to the uterus wall - do the membranes grow off the placenta or does the amniotic sac sit beside the placenta?
    :-k


  2. #2

    Join Date
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    The midwife at our antenatal class brought down a fresh placenta for us to look at :shock: . It all comes out together. The membranes are attached to the placenta. She held all the membranes up and pretty much 're-made' the sac that the baby was in. Kinda looks inside out coz the umbilical cord of course has to be on the inside of the sac for the baby, and then there's all the red raw stuff on the outside of the placenta which was attached to the uterus.

    She also showed us how tough the membranes are by trying to pop it with her fingers... which she eventually did after some effort, but she said that's why we need the sharp hook, coz they're so tough.

    It was very interesting. Gross!... but interesting. hehe.

  3. #3
    DoulaFelicity Guest

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    Just to add that you don't have to have your waters broken at any stage during birth if you choose not to. They provide a cushioning effect for your babe's head, and it's perfectly possible for your babe to be born with membranes intact ("in the caul" - considered blessed in some cultures). Whilst rupturing of the membranes may speed up labour, taking away that cushioning (the amniotic fluid) can also have the effect of ramming your babe's head hard down into the pelvis, intensifying contractions considerably - and there is a risk of cord prolapse with ruptured membranes (not a large risk, but it's there, and one that you may not always be informed of).

    It's a bit of a myth that labour always involves waters breaking. They usually break on their own in late first stage/early second stage. Or they may not break at all. Either way is fine, and there is rarely a good, evidence-based reason to break them (of course, sometimes there is). They're put there by nature for a reason, after all! Routine Amniotomy (artificial rupturing of the membranes, "breaking your waters") is a facet of actively managed labour, but usually not a necessity.

  4. #4

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    Well said Felicity

    dachlostar

    You can ask the midwife to show you the placenta and the membranes after birth if you want to see it.

  5. #5
    Janet Guest

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    There are some great websites showing photos of placentas which explain it all really well. The practice of rupturing membranes in labour is only conducted in hospitals and can have a deleterious effect, as Felicity said. It is common for it to be done at 3cm and with a woman who is confined to a bed this can often have the effect of cementing an OP baby into her pelvis without the cushion under it's head on which to move more easily. In hospitals the increase in pain from the cx at this point often lead to an epidural and then straight to caesarean. I've read that under normal physiological conditions rupture occurs spontaneously at around 8cm mostly but it's equally true that it doesn't happen at all for some babies and they are born in an intact membrane which is then gently peeled off their face. Magic, indeed! Nature has really good reasons for these parts of our bodies and they only increase our birthing potential if we leave them to do their work unhindered! There is also a small risk of injury to the baby from the hook used to rupture the membranes. I've seen some very nasty scarring on babies from this Rare but why risk it when combined with the other ill effects from this unnecessary procedure anyway?

  6. #6

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    erm... I hope you all didn't think my post was all about rupturing the membrane. She only showed us how tough it was coz in the class that night we had discussed intervention.. when/how/why etc.. and someone asked why such a sharp object was needed if the membranes had to be ruptured.

  7. #7
    Janet Guest

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    I didn't. Seemed pretty clear to me

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