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A sweep - what actually happens?

(11 Posts)
MissLolita Sat 09-Jul-11 21:49:57

Hi there,
I am 2 days overdue and the midwife has offered to do a sweep next week if babyL still hasn't made an appearance. While I understand what a sweep is, I wondered if someone could explain what actually happens?

I mean technically what happens - do they just do it lying on the couch/bed in the room? Is it like a smear? Do they use a speculum, like in a smear? How long does it take? Do I need to do anything to prepare for it? Sorry if these questions sound silly but I can't find anything online about what actually happens only what it is trying to achieve!

Jojay Sat 09-Jul-11 21:55:23

I can't tell you anything about the biology of it, but;

Yes, you lie on a couch or bed, in smear test position.

No, no speculum. Midwife uses her gloved hand.

Takes a few mins, 5 maybe?

Doesn't really hurt, no preparation required, except shaving your legs!

TittyBojangles Sat 09-Jul-11 21:55:23

Mine was done at my house lying on my bed with a towel underneath. No speculum, took about 10-20 seconds I think - though its hard to remember. I didn't do anything special to prepare. It didn't hurt but was uncomfortable. MW said I was already 1-2cm (this was a Friday) and she would come back to do another sweep on Monday but expected me to go into labour before then. Labour started Sunday night with DS born in the early hours of Monday morning smile

MissLolita Sat 09-Jul-11 21:56:46

Thank you, that does help! Hopefully BabyL will be out before we get that far...!

piprabbit Sat 09-Jul-11 21:56:58

You might want to take a sanitary towel with you as you might find you bleed a little afterwards.

Jojay Sat 09-Jul-11 21:57:48

Mmm, maybe 5 mins was an exageration, probably not as long as that

thisisyesterday Sat 09-Jul-11 21:58:21

you just lie down, drop your knees to the sides and they um, have a good rummage around basically

i'll be honest, mine did hurt and when it wasn't hurting it was incredibly uncomfortable. seemed to last for ages, but i am guessing it was only a few minutes in reality!

thursday Sat 09-Jul-11 23:15:43

i had one booked and ended up being in early labour when i went for it. she confirmed what i knew, i was on my way and it did hurt a fair bit tbh, not unbearably so, and she was nice about it confused iykwim. just took a few minutes with my 2yr old outside the curtain which made me a bit tense.

Hormoneoverload Sun 10-Jul-11 08:58:13

Had one for dd. Gloved hand, on a couch. Mine didn't hurt at all, not really uncomfortable either, obviously as inelegant as any internal. Took less than a minute. Left thinking -is that it? Which i'd say is a good thing! Bit of spotting later. Always hard to tell what would have happened without as eight days over, but went into labour next morning smile.

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Sun 10-Jul-11 16:03:16

No discomfort or pain here either. Slight spotting a bit later on but still went another week over needing an induction.

And mine was just on my bed at home smile

Aloha31 Sun 10-Jul-11 18:30:15

Not at all painful, not uncomfortable, just a tiny bit of pressure, and the usual spotting after. I had a show the next day, and some very slight contractions that evening (so a day and a half after the sweep) and went in for an induction 48 hours after the sweep. So it didn't really start labour but the mild contractions had prepared my cervix so I didn't need a very intrusive induction. I was 40+14 when I had the sweep though.

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