Advanced search

Got questions about giving birth? Know what to expect and when to expect it, with the Mumsnet Pregnancy Calendar.

Pros and cons of sweeps and induction in general?

(11 Posts)
stella1w Tue 14-Jun-11 23:03:20

For some reason, I feel that I am going to go overdue (was 3 days over due with first one, but had been feeling signs for ages.. this time, nada).

I want to avoid induction for two main reasons - 1. I want a homebirth and 2. for medical reasons I cannot have an epidural and I have heard that if you are induced, it's all much more painful...

a sweep sounds like a good, low-intervention idea but am wonderful how effective they are and if there are any drawbacks??


Tangle Tue 14-Jun-11 23:57:02

I'll confess I've never actually had one, but from what I've read:

How effective they are is very dependent on your body. A common view seems to be that unless you're pretty close to going into labour they'll do diddly squat - but if you're nearly there then a sweep might be just enough to get you going properly.

Drawbacks that I know of:
- some women find them painful (although telling the MW to STOP at any point is always an option.
- there's a theoretical risk of infection (much more significant if your waters have already gone)

(I know its not what you're asking, but I had to be induced at 36 weeks with DD2 - I was also planning a HB until events overtook us. For me, 2 lots of prostin gel was all it took to get me into active labour, which then lasted 8-10 hours - bit of a loose estimate as hard to tell when prostin pains got overtaken by real contractions. Total time from 1st gel to baby was about 16-20 hours. I coped with TENS and breathing. I found the labour harder than I had with DD1 [HB with IMs, 9lb 12, breech], but then it was a very different circumstance and I was in a very different place mentally.
Sorry - very round the houses, but trying to say that induced labours don't have to be unbearably painful, especially as its not your 1st)

ps - glad to see you've managed to keep your HB plans going smile

stella1w Wed 15-Jun-11 00:08:35

yes.. I declined all scans after 32 weeks and also the blood tests I was offered at 38 weeks to see if I was diabetic (given that the doc had refused to do a gtt at 28 weeks, I felt they were just doing last minute testing for no good reason)
So I got a heated birthing pool in my dining room (because I worried I'd go so fast I wouldn't have time to heat/fill the cheaper ones). So I really don't want to not use it!!
with my first I had back ache for at least a week before hand.. this time, I really feel like nothing is happening..

Aloha31 Wed 15-Jun-11 16:35:00

I was induced with the drip (I was 15 days overdue and has been having mild contractions for about 24 hours before the induction, so my cervix was very favourable) and have birth about 5 and a half hours after the drip was started. I managed with just breathing until the pushing stage - first baby and I thought it was too early to be at that stage so I requested pain relief thinking it would be hours until I was fully dilated. I was actually 10cm when the anaesthetist arrived and pushed my 9lb 8oz baby out an hour later. I was upset that I was going to be induced, but my desire for a natural birth meant I was in the mind frame to go with the flow whatever happened, trust the experience and I still had a lovely birth all in all.

I would say to be in no rush, "overdue" (even if it may be uncomfortable towards the end) isn't until 42 weeks. You should be on your way by then and need a little nudge, or just wait - as long as you and baby are healthy you could have your HB. Ina May Gaskin is a big fan of not rushing inductions, maybe have a look at some of her stuff?

Aloha31 Wed 15-Jun-11 16:40:49

PS I had a sweep two days before she was born, didn't hurt and maybe helped make me favourable.

Aloha31 Wed 15-Jun-11 16:42:57

PS I had a sweep two days before she was born, didn't hurt and maybe helped make me favourable.

LuckyMrsT Thu 16-Jun-11 08:26:21

I had a sweep at 40+4 and gave birth the next day but I think it depends on the condition of your cervix when they do it. Mine was very short and the MW could get two fingers inside and felt my DS's head. I bled a little and felt crampy all day afterwards and then woke with the first labour pains at 4am. It's worth giving it a go I reckon, I was really pleased I avoided induction as I was able to have a MW led water birth.

StealthPolarBear Thu 16-Jun-11 08:30:52

sweep worked for me - I went in and was 2cm. Had a sweep and straiht away felt the contractions get more intense. Went from 2cm - DD being born within about 3 hours.

Flisspaps Thu 16-Jun-11 08:32:32

I had a sweep at 40+7, didn't work. Was already 1-2cm.

Was induced at 40+15 - straight to ARM (was already dilated enough to do it), had the Synto drip, CFM (tried sitting on a birthing ball with the monitor on and they kept losing the trace, didn't have the presence of mind to tell them to sod off with the CFM then) and ended up sitting on the bed, epidural, episiotomy, forceps, 3rd degree tear, 750ml PPH and MROP to boot. Like bloody intervention bingo, and they were discussing EMCS at one point (DD was in a bit of an odd position) Wish I'd waited for DD to come naturally now, had planned a homebirth and all the caused during birth mean that it would be sensible for me to have ELCS should I have another baby.

Out of 8 friends and family who had babies last year, the only two who had any sort of intervention or complication were the two who were induced - me, and one who turned out to be undiagnosed breech (delivered vaginally)

valbona Thu 16-Jun-11 14:59:47

I would definitely accept a sweep if you are overdue and want to have a shot at avoiding a medical induction. I had two with DC1 and the second one definitely worked. It is a bit uncomfortable/gross, yes, but only a bit worse than a smear and nothing compared to actual labour ...

Frolie Thu 16-Jun-11 16:56:51

I had two sweeps, the first was uncomfortable, the second was fine. Compared to actual labour, the pain of the sweep is nothing!
I subsequently had to be induced at 39 weeks, because the baby was in distress and I was losing fluid. I would advise anyone, to steer clear of inductions if at all possible. After nearly 48 hours of the synto drip, epidurals and CFM, I was prepped for an EMCS, had to have forceps, an episiotomy, 3rd degree tear, retained placenta and significant post partum haemorrage. In fact, all too similar to 'Flisspaps' above. I think you would definitely require an epidural if you had the synto drip. Good luck, I hope your baby arrives naturally and you get the birth you want x

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: