Do sweeps really work??

(49 Posts)
AFergie Tue 17-Dec-13 20:49:50

I had one for DS1 at 39 weeks and nothing happened for another 9 days.

Am I right in thinking that if your cervix is not favourable it just wont work?

Im booked for another one with this baby on Thursday and just wondering if its really worth it?

Strix Tue 17-Dec-13 20:52:17

You are right. They only work if your cervix is virtually ready. I had one. It was bloody painful. Didn't work. Cervix not ready. Wouldn't do it again.

DirtyDancing Tue 17-Dec-13 22:05:46

My midwife couldn't even do mine on Monday, my cervix was too high apparently ;( I am due to have another go on Friday. I think if your body is not ready it just won't/ can't work

PinkApple86 Tue 17-Dec-13 22:06:57

I had 3 and still had to be induced

I had 2 with dd and neither worked

SugarCaneShortCake Tue 17-Dec-13 22:10:26

No! MWs do them to give the impression that they are doing something to help you. If it works they take all the credit, and if it fails they will say your cervix is unfavourable!

midwifeandmum Tue 17-Dec-13 22:11:02

yes sweeps can work but your cervix has to be ' ripe' first. I had dd1 the day after my sweep.

happyyonisleepyyoni Tue 17-Dec-13 22:16:18

I went into labour with Ds 2 about 14 hours after a sweep, and with DD about 2 hours later.

RandomMess Tue 17-Dec-13 22:18:12

I had loads with all of mine and reflexology none of it helped but I just think mine were meant to be 43 weekers! Only works if you're pretty much ready to go/ripe.

SugarCaneShortCake Tue 17-Dec-13 22:20:58

My point is that you will never know if you were going to begin labour anyway - you can't say that the sweep worked just because you went into labour soon after. You can have a "ripe" cervix, have a sweep and still not go into labour. I think that it's an unnecessary intervention that can be painful to some women and there is no evidence that it works. To me, it's the start of a cascade of intervention. "Failed" sweep, induction, drip, painful contractions, epidural, episiotomy, forceps or emergency c-section.

BNmum Tue 17-Dec-13 22:24:35

I went in for a sweep to be told I was in ideal conditions for one. Apparently I was already 1-2cm dilated my contractions started 1-2hrs after having one. It was my first baby and overdue so was ready to get the ball rolling. However, in hindsight I should have said "oh, if I'm 1-2cm dilated, I'll leave it and let nature run its course thank you very much". The sweep itself was fine and not painful just uncomfortable but some things in my labour felt out of sync and I often wonder if this was due to the sweep.

AFergie Tue 17-Dec-13 22:34:44

OK...I dont know if I should have it now!

I had my show straight after my sweep the first time but thats it.

Im so swollen and uncomfortable I just want to try anything. Im also due on christmas day and Im worried i might have to leave my son during christmas which would be so upsetting for him..

I think if the MW says my cervix is high, closed whatever Ill just tell her to leave it..

Thanks everyone !! xxxx

cantheyseeme Tue 17-Dec-13 22:38:41

I like the idea of them just because the mw can tell you more about whats going on in there but ive had 3 and did they balls work and i found them bloody uncomfortable!

Bellebelle Tue 17-Dec-13 22:41:48

I think that sweeps are rarely successful for 1st pregnancies but more effective with subsequent ones.

I had one with DD1 which did nothing and was very painful. With DD2 had one, no where near as painful, midwife said she bet I'd go into labour that day and right enough DD2 was born about 12 hours later smile

scarlettsmummy2 Tue 17-Dec-13 22:44:29

I went into labour within 48 hours, both times after a sweep on my due date. But like mentioned- no way of knowing if I would have gone into labour anyway! Not particularly pleasant but not too horrific.

cantpooinpeace Tue 17-Dec-13 22:45:11

Had a sweep with both of mine on my due date & both started me off with period pains leading to contractions. Both my kids were born the day after their due date so they did work for me. My midwife reckoned she was great at them due to her long fingers! shock

NaturalBaby Tue 17-Dec-13 22:45:50

I only had one because my waters had broken. My MW had done her dissertation on sweeps so i had a good chat about them as I really didn't want one and she agreed there was no point unless your body was ready to go into labour.

Finbarfinbo Tue 17-Dec-13 22:49:12

I have one tomorrow. I really hope I can come back and say it worked.

AFergie Tue 17-Dec-13 22:53:00

Finbarfinbo do let us know how you get on!

I will update on Thursday then, let you know if it might have done something. Although if my cervix is not favourable I will just not go for it!

Supersesame Tue 17-Dec-13 23:11:52

I had one today!
Or two, in fact. She ddid sweep once then said is that OK? I said it felt ok and she did a second circle! Second time hurt!
She said second one was more vigorous. That was around 11 this morning. Nothing happening as yet. She said my cervix was slightly dilated and thinning. I'm due tomorrow. Hoping to go into labour tonight or tomorrow.

AFergie Tue 17-Dec-13 23:43:11

Supersesame please keep us updated !!

The one I had with my son was SO painful. I nearly threw up from the pan, although once its done its done.

Ah lets see how we all get on, Im curious now !

LoFo2013 Tue 17-Dec-13 23:44:04

I'm getting one tomorrow too fingers crossed it works I really don't want to g o into labour on Xmas day!

Felix90 Tue 17-Dec-13 23:52:18

I have one tomorrow! I'll only be 37 weeks tomorrow but have obstetric cholestasis so due to be induced early next week. I've never heard of anyone having one this early before but midwife said it might set me off, and I'd do anything to avoid being induced. I'm dreading it though confused

BNmum Wed 18-Dec-13 07:43:53

Good luck to everyone booked in for one soon. Despite what i said earlier, I'd rather have a sweep than an induction.

callamia Wed 18-Dec-13 07:48:55

I had two at 41 weeks (two days apart). Neither hurt, and my waters broke hours after the second.
They both made me feel better that I was doing something proactive before a 42-week induction. I gave birth on the morning of my planned induction. I've no idea whether it was the sweeps or all the walking I did, or just that it was time - but I'd definitely do it again.

selfdestructivelady Wed 18-Dec-13 09:13:09

Mine worked twice on dc2 and dc3.

AFergie Wed 18-Dec-13 10:03:06

How was your cervix selfdestructivelady? Did they say it was favourable? Also how many weeks were you ? Thanks !!!

selfdestructivelady Wed 18-Dec-13 10:08:39

My cervix was favourable and I was 41 weeks both times.

ipswichwitch Wed 18-Dec-13 10:50:41

I had one last Thursday afternoon and my waters broke at midnight that night. No idea if that had anything to do with it but quite glad I didn't need induction. It was actually alright I just had some mild discomfort - I was expecting worse tbh from what others had said, for me it was like a smear test which fortunately aren't painful for me. Hope yours all go well.

Felix90 Wed 18-Dec-13 11:35:15

Been and had my sweep this morning (I am 37 weeks today) and she said my cervix was soft and I am 1cm dilated. It was VERY uncomfortable but wasn't as bad as expected and was over quickly!

ThedementedPenguin Wed 18-Dec-13 11:49:43

I had 3 sweeps with ds. 3 different midwives said my cervix was ripe, could feel babies head and my waters were bulging. Each midwife told me I'd go into labour by that evening, and if my water broke to go straight to hospital as labour would be quick.

I was induced after this. So no I don't believe sweeps work.

AFergie Wed 18-Dec-13 12:13:18

So many different stories!

Felix thanks for updating ! Hope things start moving for you...

Cant wait for tomorrow and find out if Im favourable ! I will let you know !!

Chacha23 Wed 18-Dec-13 13:25:53

My sense is that sweeps work only if you're almost ready to pop anyway.

If your body is gearing up for labour soon, it'll probably accelerate the process by 12-24 hours, but if not... it won't do a thing. (just my opinion, based on my own 2 sweeps and a lot of MN reading!)

AFergie Wed 18-Dec-13 16:10:39

Finbarfinbo and supersesame how did you get on with your sweeps ???

Hope you are okxx

rachyconks Wed 18-Dec-13 16:19:27

I agree with those who have said it works if you are ready to go. My waters broke and I had 4 (yes, 4!) sweeps in hospital (to avoid induction). The first three did not very much, apart from cause the plug to come away. The final one, they got a "special" midwife in. She was apparently the best "sweeper" in the hospital. She was nearly elbow deep and I could feel EVERYTHING. But it worked! grin

Supersesame Wed 18-Dec-13 16:26:24

Not a twinge for me today, maybe a teeny tiny bit of brown spotting last night but nothing today. Will updateif anything to report!

JamInMyWellies Wed 18-Dec-13 16:36:16

I had one last Thursday, all that happened was I got a bit of brown sludge (sorry TMI) the next day. I am now 40+3 and am having another one on Friday I do not want to be induced or go into labour on Christmas Eve/Day.

My sister is a midwife and she said it gives the midwives an idea on how soft your cervix is so they can guestimate how close you may be to labour. But unless your cervix is softening and shortening it wont do bog all.

selfdestructivelady Wed 18-Dec-13 17:01:31

I also want to add I just found mine mildly uncomfortable.

BNmum Wed 18-Dec-13 17:53:52

Sounds promising felix, fingers crossed!

AFergie Thu 19-Dec-13 11:48:51

Anyone who had a sweep had a baby???

Mine is in 3 hours !!

Come on babies !!!!! xxxxxxx

PinkParsnips Thu 19-Dec-13 11:52:02

Didn't work for me, I had two and even though the midwife found I was already fully effaced and 1-2cm dilated they didn't work and I still had to be induced.

Supersesame Thu 19-Dec-13 11:53:55

Nothing more to report. It's now 48 hhoping Ince my sweep. They said if a sweep works, then it will take effect within 48 hours so I guess it hasn't.
Just had long walk. Now cleaning my bathroom.
This is my second overdue pregnancy, not impressed!

Supersesame Thu 19-Dec-13 11:54:34

48 hours since my sweep, not sure how that got messed up!

AFergie Thu 19-Dec-13 11:59:18

Oh Im sorry that sucks !! Maybe try sex? It gave me so many contractions the other night, might be the nudge labour needs? It is a pain at this stage though !!

Ill let you guys know how it goes... smile

Finbarfinbo Thu 19-Dec-13 12:43:21

MW could not do one yesterday, my cervix was too high. Hope everyone else has more luck!

Chacha23 Thu 19-Dec-13 13:32:46

AFergie, sex definitely did it for me! Had sex around 6pm and right afterwards my waters started leaking, with contractions following within 3 hours. I was 40+5, so probably ready to go anyway...

DirtyDancing Mon 23-Dec-13 00:03:47

60 hours since my sweep on Friday morning and nothing. Not even a single cramp or BH. Have another one tomorrow PM

emmac3616 Tue 24-Dec-13 07:49:56

I had one on Friday at 40+4 at about 1.30pm and contractions had started by 8pm and DS arrived at 9.30pm on Saturday. She did say cervix was favourable when she did it but I DEFINITELY think it started something - don't think it was going to happen otherwise, at least not soon! So it CAN work!

TransatlanticCityGirl Thu 26-Dec-13 17:42:49

They work if you are ready to go into labour anyway. wink

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