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Pros/cons of sweeps

(10 Posts)
FessaEst Sun 17-Jul-11 10:45:42

Following on from another thread about being overdue, what are people's thoughts about sweeps? I can see the desire for things to happen in their own time, but if you go over, is having a sweep not preferable to a proper induction? My MW has offered me a sweep next week (am 40+2) and I had one with DD at one week over that really got things going. No one has ever pointed out any risks associated with them. Am wondering if I could request one earlier, or if you should always wait to be a week over??

TransatlanticCityGirl Sun 17-Jul-11 11:03:42

I was offered a sweep at 40 weeks. Didn't work. I had 3 in total and I believe that baby will come when baby is ready.... but I was happy to indulge my midwife as I didn't see any real negatives. I think the fact that sweeps seem to 'move things along' is simply a coincidence, since you're probably going to go into natural labour in the next few days anyway. Just my opinion!

My baby arrived at 42+2, following induction.

FessaEst Sun 17-Jul-11 13:14:25

I agree with you in that I think I was almost there - lots of irregular contractions etc and then it just seemed to kick-start, but that could've been about to happen anyway - no way of knowing.

So, really the main negative is that it would be ineffectual if the cervix wasn't going that way, which kind of makes me think maybe I should ask for one earlier, and then I would know how close things were. Hmmmm.

2cats2many Sun 17-Jul-11 13:20:37

- They don't work (IME)
- They're bloody uncomfortable

- You feel like you're doing something to move things along

verybusybear Sun 17-Jul-11 17:23:34

I think I agree with previous posts. If your body is on the verge of doing things anyway, then a sweep will probably help it along. I had two and both did nothing. Immediately after them the midwife was able to tell me that she didn't think it would achieve anything as my cervix wasn't soft or 'ready' enough apparently! So I guess it was pointless, but then again wouldn't have known without trying.

I found it hurt - a lot. Sorry - but thought I'd better be honest. However other people have said it wasn't too bad - but I wonder if it's worse the less 'ready' your body is?

I refused the third sweep as I was fed up by that point. DD was eventually dragged out at 41 + 2!

verybusybear Sun 17-Jul-11 17:25:12

Sorry - that should read 42 + 2!

FessaEst Sun 17-Jul-11 19:05:12

I did find it uncomfortable - I don't think I was prepared for how much rummaging was going to go on!

Have pressed DH into service this afternoon in a bid to help things along!

Timeforabiscuit Sun 17-Jul-11 23:04:23

I didn't actually know what a sweep actually was until she was halfway through the first timeblush I found it really really helped when accompanied by a long walk around tescos - called dh to get the bag by the time I got to the lemonade grin

matildawormwood Mon 18-Jul-11 19:33:16

I had two sweeps. The first one did nothing at all. The second one, at 41 + 5 definitely got things going. Up until that point I'd not had so much as a twinge but within hours of the second sweep I was having strong contractions so it worked for me and I felt it was worth the discomfort if it meant I could avoid a proper induction.

breatheslowly Mon 18-Jul-11 22:35:07

I seemed to have about a million sweeps - the first attempt by my community MW, she couldn't reach. Then she did one and it was very uncomfortable. Then I was induced with a pessary and 3xgel - each time anyone did anything like put in gel, they would put it in and do a sweep (without asking angry). In my case they didn't actually have any effect and after 4 days in hospital I was no different to when I came in. If I was doing it again I think I would say no to the sweeps.

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