When is the earliest a MW will do a sweep?

(58 Posts)
babyperks Thu 03-Jan-13 23:47:04

I've had SPD since I was 28w pg, but the last 3/4 weeks have been horrendous as baby's head has been engaging (I'm now 40w pg). I am in constant pain, whether sitting, standing, lying down and even on my yoga ball. Everything I try to ease it just doesn't work.

So I was wondering if a MW would be happy to perform a sweep, as I know they don't like to do them until at least 41w? I am already booked in for one for next Wednesday, but I don't think I can cope with this discomfort for much longer!

Any advice or experience would be highly appreciated.

Thanks grin

memphis83 Thu 03-Jan-13 23:50:19

Our mw will do them at 40+5. Could you call and explain and hope they will probably bring it forward?

babyperks Thu 03-Jan-13 23:58:00

I was going to call tomorrow but wanted to see what kind of response I got first. I'm praying they will give me one, fingers crossed!
Thanks for the reply smile

cassell Thu 03-Jan-13 23:58:29

My mw refused to even b

cassell Fri 04-Jan-13 00:00:57

Sorry - stupid phone - my mw refused to even book me an appt or to examine me until I was at least 41wks. Luckily I had ds2 at 39wks so didn't need it. I also had bad SPD and she was totally unsympathetic and just told me to have sex and drive fast over speed bumps hmm Hope yours is more sympathetic.

babyperks Fri 04-Jan-13 00:05:15

Oh god, I really don't like unsympathetic MWs! Well I've literally tried everything I can think of to get things moving but nothing is working. (Apart from sex as OH can't bring himself too and I'm worried I'll regret it afterwards with the SPD pains!) Thanks for your reply though, I'm going to try my hardest, after all, you don't ask you don't get! Wish me luck!

eagleray Fri 04-Jan-13 00:06:49

Really sorry you are in so much pain. I have no idea what policies are on sweeps, but have been recommended to have one at 38w+. Just so happens I am 38w tomorrow and have a MW appt in the morning and so think she may attempt to do one then.

I have no health issues or discomfort, but am 41 and wanting a homebirth so hoping to encourage baby to come out before the recommended induction just past 40 weeks.

Common sense tells me that they would try one at 40w (but am no expert!). Good luck with requesting and hope it does the trick.

Bibblebobbleparsnip Fri 04-Jan-13 00:09:25

I had one at 39+6 and another at 40+2... DD (DC3) was born 40+3.... But I'd had a chat with my MW team as DH was unavoidably going away 2 wks after due date... Hope they're sympathetic- SPD can be hideous sad

babyperks Fri 04-Jan-13 00:12:43

Wow, I've never heard of one being done that early before! I think they may give me one on Monday, but I don't think I'll be lucky enough to get one for tomorrow. But at least I'll only have the weekend to get through instead of 5 days, but then that's if it even works!
Thank you, I hope yours does the trick too! I'll post tomorrow to let you know if I have succeeded! smile

babyperks Fri 04-Jan-13 00:15:21

Thanks bibble, that gives me some comfort that I may get one. And only two attempts isn't bad going either! I hope I'll be as lucky as that!

brettgirl2 Fri 04-Jan-13 06:49:18

I had one at 39+4. It depends on the midwife, it said in my notes specifically that it was requested by me. I was offered one by a different midwife at 37+4!!

rosamarina Fri 04-Jan-13 08:19:51

Mine is offering to do one at the appointment I have at 40+3, if I haven't had the baby by then. I don't need it for anything, there's no rush to get the baby out, so I might not take her up on it, but she seems perfectly happy to do it.

mayhew Fri 04-Jan-13 09:08:31

our local policy is from 40 weeks for 1st baby, 41 from 2nd. I think on the grounds that 1st is more likely to risk IOL for postdates. On that basis I will do it for a second baby at 40 weeks if mother wants.

some of our consultants try to get us to them from 38 for vbacs, mothers over 40 etc. i think that is selling false hope, because its only effective of you are almost ready to labour anyway (and not always then….). I don't think its likely to achieve more than prayer!

Gingerbreadlatte Fri 04-Jan-13 09:08:43

I had one at 39+2 which didn't work again at 39+6 which most definitely worked and Dd2 was born on her due date. grin

Mine was under guidance of consultant who didn't want baby to get any bigger as first Dd was nearly 11lbs. The second one was nearly 10 so glad I didn't go over !

Pascha Fri 04-Jan-13 09:12:31

I'm 40+5 and MW is giving me one today. She did offer to come any day from 40 weeks to do it but today suited me.

babyperks Fri 04-Jan-13 10:18:54

Thank you all for your replies, just waiting for a call back from MW.

Mayhew: I have been contracting on and off all week, so much so that Tuesday night I seriously thought things were happening but they stopped. I have been in early labour for the last couple of weeks and been getting a lot of bad period pains since 36w pg. I think baby is pretty much ready, its just waiting for the right time!

Hopefully they're not too busy so I'm not waiting too long for a reply. Fingers crossed! smile

clickingtock Fri 04-Jan-13 10:32:10

Good luck, I hope it happens soon for you, the SPD sounds v tough. thanksthanksthanks

SurroundedByBlue Fri 04-Jan-13 10:38:08

We are offered one at our 40 week appointment where I live. But, I've booked one for 39 weeks this time as I want to try and avoid going overdue. I can reach my own cervix shock and have been tempted to have a fiddle when I get to 39 weeks but don't think I'd be brave enough.

eagleray Fri 04-Jan-13 11:20:34

Just back from MW appt - no sweep today as still too early. Next appt is on 9/1 when I will be 38+5 and they will do one then if appropriate.

Good luck for getting yours Babyperks

Definitely shock Surrounded! I wouldn't know where to start with my cervix!

EwanHoozami Fri 04-Jan-13 11:25:56

I begged MW for a sweep from around 38 weeks. She stretched (arf) the rules for me to do one on my due date instead of the regulation 41w.

That was also due to SPD and you have my heartfelt sympathy.

Didn't work, mind. Two sweeps later DS2 arrived at 41+4

babyperks Fri 04-Jan-13 11:45:01

Surrounded: I wouldn't even know where to start with feeling my cervix! Ha I'd be too nervous to go any where near it! Plus I don't think I would be able to reach, just wiping myself after a wee becomes a challenge (sorry for tmi!)

SPD is very tough, its getting worse everyday. I find it so hard to walk its ridiculous! Still waiting for a call back so I'm hoping they don't take too much longer! I would pay to know what it feels like to be comfy again! sad

Thank you all for your advice and experiences grin

allchik Fri 04-Jan-13 11:45:29

My MW said there is no point unless baby is fully engaged? If bub is engaged mine does it from 40...
Im 39.5 but only 4/5 engaged so no point yet x x

babyperks Fri 04-Jan-13 12:15:04

I think I am fully engaged, hence why SPD has got a hell of a lot worse.

zzzzz Fri 04-Jan-13 12:27:25

I know you are going to hate me for saying this because I have had SPD in all 4 pregnancies, but I think you need to walk. The sweep will only help so much, head pressure from the inside and gentle movement will move things along more.

My last was really late, and huge. I'm so sorry, you must be miserable. I spent the last week muttering "nearly done" on practically every outward breath.

If you can't walk at all, there's not much you can do except wait. sad

Panzee Fri 04-Jan-13 12:32:44

My consultant is offering one at 39+ 4.

SurroundedByBlue Fri 04-Jan-13 13:26:56

I can only reach it if I'm sat on the toilet. It seems very low down (after 4 pregnancies I'm not surprised, I'm half expecting it to fall out!) I have a very small bump though so don't have to stretch to far - I'm 36 weeks now maybe I will get huge all of a sudden. It feels squishy and flat with a hole in the middle - feels like a huge hole but I don't think it is really. Then I got scared and stopped poking around grin blush

babyperks Fri 04-Jan-13 13:50:47

zzzzz: Don't get me wrong I'm still moving about, I know sitting there and just waiting isn't going to help move things along! I just have to grit my teeth when things get a bit much, and yeah like you, just repeat, nearly done! Just had my call back and she's told me to go in at 3 grin obviously I will keep active afterwards too to help baby's head come down. I just hope it works!

Surrounded: Ah well seeing as this is my 1st pg I would be slightly worried if I could feel mine! It just makes me giggle that you've managed to cop a feel! Yeah I wouldn't mess around with it too much, might not be too good!

So hoping that this sweep works, if not I'm sure they'll book me in for another on Monday so I'll only have 2 days to wait to try again! Wish me luck guys! grin

SurroundedByBlue Fri 04-Jan-13 14:02:39

This is definitely TMI but:

The midwife told me last time that the best way to give labour a kick start isn't sex as most people think, it's oral sex. Because sperm contains prostaglandins (which is the hormone they use in the pessary to induce labour in hospitals) it can be useful to get things started, especially after a sweep. But, its best taken orally and more affective that way. Desperate times and all that.... wink

eagleray Fri 04-Jan-13 14:15:15

Dear god no - am really suffering with heartburn today and swallowing Gaviscon is bad enough confused

babyperks Fri 04-Jan-13 14:32:45

Haha! Best not let OH read that part! How does swallowing it work though? I would of thought it would have to go near the cervix?

SurroundedByBlue Fri 04-Jan-13 14:40:24

I just googled it grin and it says that the hormone is absorbed 10x better through the mucus membrane than through vaginal mucus. It gets into the blood stream quicker through the stomach lining or something.

it worked for me last time, did the deed in the morning and had my baby 12 hours later

Makes me queasy thinking about it right now though.

zzzzz Fri 04-Jan-13 15:13:16

Please DO NOT PUBLICISE that little gem.

Go for a walk. Honestly I could barely eat by the end, give the poor woman a break.

clickingtock Fri 04-Jan-13 15:23:21

Hehehe I think my OH might be a happy man tonight. We've got a steak dinner lined up, but do you think the blow job should be starter or dessert? wink grin

Eagle I've been suffering with acid reflux too but only of late. Apparently that's a good thing, hormones are softening up all sphincters, cervix and oesophagus. You're nearly there. grin

iwillsleepagainsomeday Fri 04-Jan-13 15:26:55


Emsyboo Fri 04-Jan-13 15:49:20

Lol on the oral + gaviscon- I would have thought that it would need to be in contact with the cervix?
I was booked in for a sweep for DS at 39 weeks this was because there was some discrepancies on the date and he was a big boy so couldn't be sure - their dates were 2 weeks later than mine.
I ended up getting induced at 39 weeks anyway but they had no problem with me getting a sweep that early.

Panzee Fri 04-Jan-13 15:53:10

I suspect a man published that "research" grin

eagleray Fri 04-Jan-13 16:27:51

The worst part of it would the smug look on DP's face, and his belief that he was selflessly doing me a favour.

Well, let's review the situation in 2 week's time when I am 40 weeks and trying to decide whether to go for that or induction at the hospital...

MrsJSC Sat 05-Jan-13 05:27:21

My consultant gave me a sweep at 37wks plus 5 last week. Depends on circumstances. Sorry to hear you are so uncomfortable, not long now

babyperks Sun 06-Jan-13 22:54:13

A friend has told me that they will only do 2 sweeps and on more, is this true or is she mistaken?

babyperks Sun 06-Jan-13 22:54:50

Sorry that's meant to be "no more" smile

eagleray Sun 06-Jan-13 23:01:25

Hi babyperks - I am having my first this weds and think I was told that I would be best to have one every 3 days thereafter, but don't recall being told I would have only 2.

But then I could be completely wrong as it's not something I know a lot about!

I take it you had one on Friday? How did it go? Did the MW tell you how things were looking and what the chances were of it working?

babyperks Sun 06-Jan-13 23:12:34

Ah right ok. That's what I thought!

Yeah it went well, she said she could just feel the opening so gave it a little massage. She said to expect a little bleed and small amount of brown discharge, but the most I got was 2 tiny spots of blood. A bit of discharge but not much. And it definitely hasn't brought on the labour! I've got another one booked in for Wednesday but I was hoping to have one tomorrow as well, as then by Wednesday, it should definitely be favourable!

Good luck for yours on Wednesday. I admit it is quite uncomfortable, but not painful, but then maybe that's because she couldn't quite go all the way up. (and she did also admit to me that she hasn't got very long fingers so that might not have been a good thing either) She did say it was unlikely this one was going to work, but I still had hope! smile

eagleray Sun 06-Jan-13 23:23:15

Sorry it didn't have the desired effect, but it's good that you were able to have one done (I imagine that being refused one when you were desperate to get things moving would have been much worse)

I will keep my fingers crossed for you for Weds - I guess you will be nearly 41 weeks by then so really hope it gets things going (if it doesn't happen of it's own accord before then!)

babyperks Sun 06-Jan-13 23:38:09

God yeah, I would have been so disappointed if she couldn't do anything! Yeah I'll be 41w on Thursday. I really can't see myself going in naturally, I'd love for it to happen but be surprised if it does!

Good luck to you, I hope you have more success than me! grin

babyperks Wed 09-Jan-13 14:12:45

Hey eaglegrey, how did you get on with your sweep today! I had my 2nd today and I'm now 1-2cm dilated and she could get a good feel of baby's head. Fingers crossed something happens now! grin

eagleray Wed 09-Jan-13 15:14:28

Hello! That sounds very promising that you are that dilated! Wishing you loads of luck for something happening very soon...

My sweep went ok, or rather it was an attempted sweep as don't think she could get that far. However, cervix soft and ripe and felt the baby go a bit shock when it was all going on (baby's head very low apparently).

Nothing has happened since, but am almost glad as feeling very tired now and frankly could do with some kip. Process to be repeated on Saturday..

Let me know how you get on - meanwhile, all the best of luck!

babyperks Wed 09-Jan-13 17:20:14

Thank you, I'm keeping my fingers crossed but trying not to get my hopes up too much!

Ah well that still sounds good! By Saturday there should definitely be a difference. Do a lot of walking, as that's what I did, and it seems to have worked!

Aww bless that's so cute! Kind of makes you a bit more excited but also a little bit jealous that they've felt baby's head!

Yes I will definitely let you know if anything progresses. Ditto to you too.

Good luck! grin

LauraSmurf Sun 13-Jan-13 15:12:03

Quote NICE guidelines at them! I did it says that they should offer on due date and again 1 week later. I had one booked in for due date . But dd was 2 days early.

I was originally told 41 weeks was earliest but when I quoted NICE they said oh of course we can if you like!
Knowledge is power!

eagleray Sat 19-Jan-13 17:23:59

Hi Babyperks - please tell me you have had your baby by now!

I'm 40+1, had 4th sweep today and still no sign of anything happening soon, but really hope by now that your baby has made an appearance and you are no longer in pain smile

babyperks Sun 20-Jan-13 02:58:38

Hi eagleray. Yes I have finally had my gorgeous baby boy! Final sweep at the hospital on Monday kicked things off, started contracting an hour afterwards. Had a VERY long latent phase, didn't actually go into labour until 10.30pm on the Tuesday night. Baby Cody arrived at 1.49am on Wednesday morning (40+13) smile We're now home. I've still only had just under 20 hours sleep since 2.30am Tuesday morning, so as you can imagine I am exhausted! OH has been amazing though, don't know how I would manage without him!

I really hope you get your little baba soon. The labour will feel like you're going through hell, but trust me, they are worth every contraction (and stitch! sad ) SPD went as soon as he was born, which is the most amazing feeling ever! Get your rest now, because by god, you're going to need it!

Keep me updated! grin

I think midwives will only sweep from 40 weeks, but consultants will do it earlier.
However I spoke to a midwife friend of mind about this, as I recently supported a friend in her pregnancy and labour who started having sweeps at 37 weeks. She had two sweeps a week and still only went into labour at 41 weeks. Her baby was not late, but after a month of sweeping, she felt like he was and found the whole thing very soul destroying, however she kept going in for the sweeps because she kept hoping they'd work.
Anyway, my midwife friend said that the whole point of offering sweeps before 40 weeks, was to help the mum feel like they were "doing something". So it was psychological more than anything. So a woman is fed up, goes in, demands something be done, and so they do a sweep and she feels like she's been listened to, even though the sweep is unlikely to do much.

munchkinmaster Sun 20-Jan-13 10:03:20

I'm sure I had one at 40 weeks. I has 2 and was induced at 41weeks bang on so it must have been. Obviously the sweeps did not work

eagleray Sun 20-Jan-13 11:05:59

Congratulations Babyperks that is fantastic news thanks

So glad you have been relieved of the terrible SPD too smile

I seem to be doing a lot of resting because there ain't much else to do! Daily walks been slightly scuppered by the snow (and frankly finding it hard each day to move due to pains here and there) but will try to get out today.

Graceful - I think sweeping from 40 weeks onwards is the general policy but my earlier sweeps were authorised by the consultant, to be done by the MWs. I agree with what you are saying regarding the point of them, and I don't honestly believe now that they are helping, but it is SO hard to know what to do, especially when faced with recommendation for induction so close to due date.

I do like the fact that the regular appts means I have been monitored fairly closely though. Just hoping things kick off soon, but we will have to see.

mancshell Sun 20-Jan-13 15:31:33

i am sure you have had enough replies, but theres no harm in another lol.
i think they will do a sweep anytime after the due date if they feel you need it, but i think some wait until 7 days over, i had a sweep done twice, both 7 days after, one was because of my blood pressure and the other was, well i cant remember now, it still brings tears to my eyes the thought of it, cuz i could stand the feeling as she did it.

*eagleray", I know it's so hard when you get close to the end and I totally understand about wanting to avoid induction!
The best thing for going into labour naturally is to get yourself into a good place where you feel safe and loved. Obviously we live in the real world and we'll never be free from stress...but minimizing it can help, as it will help Oxytocin to flow which is what's going to get things moving. The fear emotion will block oxytocin (this is actually for our protection, so if you were a cave woman giving birth and a lion appeared, your labour would stop so you could run away..however the same thing still applies in modern day) so if you can work through and process some of your fears in the next few days it might be helpful.
Sometimes the actual stress of the discomfort, and the anxiety over an induction, or just the stress of going in and out of hospital for appointments can be a hindrance!
Take care to de-stress as much as you can after your appointments and unwind, however you do..whether it be going out for a meal, spending time with friends, or just taking time out to be on your own if possible. You may find it works much better than a sweep!
All the best!

eagleray Sun 20-Jan-13 23:28:46

Thanks Graceful - I don't really have any fears now, I just seem to have pissed-off-with-the-whole-thing. I'm not in any massive discomfort, but seem to have got to the point where I just can't imagine it happening without some sort of intervention. I went for a really long walk (3 hours) today in the snow, and could barely walk with the pain on my way home (was like BH but really painful) and then was fine as soon as I parked my arse on the sofa confused

It reminds me a bit of when I was single and people used to tell me as soon as I was truly happy, Mr Right would appear!

I'm also mightily sick of the sight of the birthing pool which has been sat in the lounge for over 2 weeks now - was thinking about sticking a kitchen knife in it earlier. I think packing it away tomorrow might help, as each day passes, there is less chance of ever being able to use it and I feel like it's taunting me.

Sorry - I seem to have it bad tonight - and I'm only 40+2! It all comes down to being given 2 weeks less than other women to get this baby out, because I'm 41. Starting to feel a bit detached from the whole thing, I guess.


Awww don't pack your birth pool away!!! You'll get there!
Have a look here at this website:

babyperks Sat 26-Jan-13 13:39:36

Any sign of baby yet, Eagleray?

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