What to expect when having a sweep

(19 Posts)
firsttimemummy22 Fri 21-Feb-14 18:40:54

I'm due to have a sweep in a weeks time and have no idea what to expect.. Can anyone shed any light and do they actually work??

ShoeJunkie Fri 21-Feb-14 18:48:02

Think smear test and you won't be far off.
I think it depends on your cervix being open (or not) but I it did possibly help encourage DS to make his entrance. Very hit and miss though.

rach6122 Fri 21-Feb-14 18:54:09

Both mine worked but was a week over both times. Went into labour same evening both times. Didn't hurt me v slightly uncomfortable.

DangoDays Fri 21-Feb-14 18:59:05

Yep. Depends on cervix and how close you are. If your body is gearing up then it should help but if you are not quite ready then it may hurt a bit more but do very little... Only From my experience...

scarlettsmummy2 Fri 21-Feb-14 18:59:07

I went into labour within 48 hours after having sweeps on due date. It isn't nice, but not awful, you just have to grin and bear it! It is like a smear only with the midwife's fingers, and she roots around stretching the cervix.

fieldfare Fri 21-Feb-14 19:02:07

Worked for me, had a sweep mid afternoon and waters broke at 2 the following morning.
Feels like they're rummaging around in there, not overly pleasant but not really painful either.

TheScience Fri 21-Feb-14 19:02:23

You don't have to have them, and whether they work or not is a bit of a mystery! In women who are overdue, a certain % do go into labour within 24/48 hours. You might want to just clarify the risks vs. benefits with your midwife.

firsttimemummy22 Fri 21-Feb-14 19:24:10

I'm only 22 so never experienced a smear either! Thanks everyone, the midwife did say about possibly inducing if the sweep doesn't work as I'm going to be having a rather large little girl! Anything is worth a try now tho I am completely ready and so uncomfortable it's unreal.

Catsize Sat 22-Feb-14 11:03:17

I had three. None worked. I was induced very late on. I wouldn't jump for an induction though unless sound medical reasoning. Overdue again now so off for a spot of reflexology. Good luck Op smile

juniper44 Sat 22-Feb-14 23:55:42

It's uncomfortable, but so is being heavily pregnant.

I had one at 5pm on the Monday and gave birth at 7:30am on Wednesday, having gone into labour properly at midnight.

sleepywombat Sun 23-Feb-14 06:37:16

I had 2, neither worked & caused a day or two of bloody goo & quite a bit of pain. I was induced in end, but turned into a positive ( though painful - back to back) experience. Only needed one application of gel to kick start contractions followed by normal labour and water birth!

Good luck whatever happens/you decide!

babynelly2010 Sun 23-Feb-14 20:22:15

I had it with second. Already plenty if BHs and at 40 weeks MW said it was somewhat favorable but not really. About 36 hours after little boy was with us. The process was that she stuck her fingers and moved it in cervix in circles. A bit painful and resulted in some show. I was happy to have it done and get things moving.

jennyapples Tue 25-Feb-14 10:57:15

The statistics around sweeps are pretty iffy but it's a case of, oh god let's try anything at this point.

I ended up having FOUR sweeps and not one did a damn thing. Three of them were fine, just uncomfortable. One was, I'm going to be honest with you, so awful that I was crying! But that MW was like nurse ratchet so I don't think that is normal whatsoever.

I really hope it helps!

emmac3616 Thu 27-Feb-14 19:02:45

Mine was just like a smear but not at all painful - in reality I wanted the baby to come out so much (though I was only 3 days over) that I didn't mind any discomfort. Labour started 6 hours later - I think the sweep kick started it - he didn't feel like he was going to make an appearance otherwise!!! I am a big fan of the sweep now!!!

ButterOnMyToast Thu 27-Feb-14 20:01:03

Knickers off.
Hop on the couch.
Feet either side.
Allow your legs to drop open.
MW puts two or three fingers up your vagina until your cervix is reached.
MW will push her fingers into your cervix and twirl them around.
It can be very painful and it doesn't always work.
You may need a sanitary towel as you may bleed.

PlumBear Thu 27-Feb-14 20:08:51

Oh. I always imagined the midwife using a little brush to give things a, er, sweep

blush

Disclaimer - never been pregnant.

ButterOnMyToast Thu 27-Feb-14 20:16:25

Sadly no actual "sweep" as in a cute brush that will tickle you into labour. Some sweeps are brutal and violating. It's just the start of the indignities that you may suffer in order to birth your child. Your vagina becomes the property of MWs and doctors <bitter>

BlessedAssurance Thu 27-Feb-14 20:46:54

Who decides when a woman should get a sweep?

ButterOnMyToast Thu 27-Feb-14 20:51:59

Depends on the Heath Trust - usually from around 40 weeks. AFAIA, NICE guidelines state that three sweeps are offered before induction.

Sweeps are offered. They are not compulsory and may be declined.

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