What the heck is AROM?

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AROM is an acronym for Artificial Rupture of the Membranes, or in other words, breaking your bag of water. Your caregiver will insert an amnihook, which looks very similar to a crochet hook, through your cervix and poke a hole in your amniotic sac. The hope of this is that it was increase your contractions and help labor progress.

Why is this done?

  • Like mentioned above, to stimulate an increase in contractions. However this only works under the right conditions. Your baby must be positioned in a very particular way in order for it to speed up labor. If your baby isn’t positioned quite right it can cause labor to take longer to progress.
  • To induce labor without the use of medication such as prostaglandins or pitocin.
  • To see if your baby passed meconium
  • For Electronic Fetal Monitoring (EMF)

Some drawbacks?

  • Doesn’t guarantee a faster labor
  • Increased infection risk since the amniotic sac is open during multiple veginal exams.
  • Removing the shock absorber for the baby.
  • Risk of compression of the umbilical cord.
    • If your baby is breech, there is an increased risk of a prolapsed cord.

Alternatives?

  • Using other methods to speed up labor
    • Nipple stimulation
    • Walking
    • Sexual Stimulation–having an orgasam contracts the uterus, and oxytocin is released, which makes contractions longer, stronger, and closer together.
      • Semen also has prostaglandins in it naturally which can help stimulate labor
  • Using other methods for internal EFM
    • Ask the caregiver to listen to fetal heart tones
    • Use external EFM

Participating in AROM doesn’t always guarantee labor will speed up, however it may be worth taking the chance if your labor isn’t progressing quickly.  Always feel free to voice your concerns with your caregiver and ask them any questions that you have.

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