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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

Gracefulbirth Sun 20-Jan-13 09:59:31

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.

Gracefulbirth Sun 20-Jan-13 22:38:02

*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.

Gracefulbirth Mon 21-Jan-13 07:42:32


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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