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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

babyperks Sat 26-Jan-13 13:39:36

Any sign of baby yet, Eagleray?

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:

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 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!

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.

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.

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

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.

babyperks Sun 20-Jan-13 02:58:38

Hi eagleray. Yes I have finally had my gorgeous baby boy! Final sweep at the hospital on Monday kicked things off, started contracting an hour afterwards. Had a VERY long latent phase, didn't actually go into labour until 10.30pm on the Tuesday night. Baby Cody arrived at 1.49am on Wednesday morning (40+13) smile We're now home. I've still only had just under 20 hours sleep since 2.30am Tuesday morning, so as you can imagine I am exhausted! OH has been amazing though, don't know how I would manage without him!

I really hope you get your little baba soon. The labour will feel like you're going through hell, but trust me, they are worth every contraction (and stitch! sad ) SPD went as soon as he was born, which is the most amazing feeling ever! Get your rest now, because by god, you're going to need it!

Keep me updated! grin

eagleray Sat 19-Jan-13 17:23:59

Hi Babyperks - please tell me you have had your baby by now!

I'm 40+1, had 4th sweep today and still no sign of anything happening soon, but really hope by now that your baby has made an appearance and you are no longer in pain smile

LauraSmurf Sun 13-Jan-13 15:12:03

Quote NICE guidelines at them! I did it says that they should offer on due date and again 1 week later. I had one booked in for due date . But dd was 2 days early.

I was originally told 41 weeks was earliest but when I quoted NICE they said oh of course we can if you like!
Knowledge is power!

babyperks Wed 09-Jan-13 17:20:14

Thank you, I'm keeping my fingers crossed but trying not to get my hopes up too much!

Ah well that still sounds good! By Saturday there should definitely be a difference. Do a lot of walking, as that's what I did, and it seems to have worked!

Aww bless that's so cute! Kind of makes you a bit more excited but also a little bit jealous that they've felt baby's head!

Yes I will definitely let you know if anything progresses. Ditto to you too.

Good luck! grin

eagleray Wed 09-Jan-13 15:14:28

Hello! That sounds very promising that you are that dilated! Wishing you loads of luck for something happening very soon...

My sweep went ok, or rather it was an attempted sweep as don't think she could get that far. However, cervix soft and ripe and felt the baby go a bit shock when it was all going on (baby's head very low apparently).

Nothing has happened since, but am almost glad as feeling very tired now and frankly could do with some kip. Process to be repeated on Saturday..

Let me know how you get on - meanwhile, all the best of luck!

babyperks Wed 09-Jan-13 14:12:45

Hey eaglegrey, how did you get on with your sweep today! I had my 2nd today and I'm now 1-2cm dilated and she could get a good feel of baby's head. Fingers crossed something happens now! grin

babyperks Sun 06-Jan-13 23:38:09

God yeah, I would have been so disappointed if she couldn't do anything! Yeah I'll be 41w on Thursday. I really can't see myself going in naturally, I'd love for it to happen but be surprised if it does!

Good luck to you, I hope you have more success than me! grin

eagleray Sun 06-Jan-13 23:23:15

Sorry it didn't have the desired effect, but it's good that you were able to have one done (I imagine that being refused one when you were desperate to get things moving would have been much worse)

I will keep my fingers crossed for you for Weds - I guess you will be nearly 41 weeks by then so really hope it gets things going (if it doesn't happen of it's own accord before then!)

babyperks Sun 06-Jan-13 23:12:34

Ah right ok. That's what I thought!

Yeah it went well, she said she could just feel the opening so gave it a little massage. She said to expect a little bleed and small amount of brown discharge, but the most I got was 2 tiny spots of blood. A bit of discharge but not much. And it definitely hasn't brought on the labour! I've got another one booked in for Wednesday but I was hoping to have one tomorrow as well, as then by Wednesday, it should definitely be favourable!

Good luck for yours on Wednesday. I admit it is quite uncomfortable, but not painful, but then maybe that's because she couldn't quite go all the way up. (and she did also admit to me that she hasn't got very long fingers so that might not have been a good thing either) She did say it was unlikely this one was going to work, but I still had hope! smile

eagleray Sun 06-Jan-13 23:01:25

Hi babyperks - I am having my first this weds and think I was told that I would be best to have one every 3 days thereafter, but don't recall being told I would have only 2.

But then I could be completely wrong as it's not something I know a lot about!

I take it you had one on Friday? How did it go? Did the MW tell you how things were looking and what the chances were of it working?

babyperks Sun 06-Jan-13 22:54:50

Sorry that's meant to be "no more" smile

babyperks Sun 06-Jan-13 22:54:13

A friend has told me that they will only do 2 sweeps and on more, is this true or is she mistaken?

MrsJSC Sat 05-Jan-13 05:27:21

My consultant gave me a sweep at 37wks plus 5 last week. Depends on circumstances. Sorry to hear you are so uncomfortable, not long now

eagleray Fri 04-Jan-13 16:27:51

The worst part of it would the smug look on DP's face, and his belief that he was selflessly doing me a favour.

Well, let's review the situation in 2 week's time when I am 40 weeks and trying to decide whether to go for that or induction at the hospital...

Panzee Fri 04-Jan-13 15:53:10

I suspect a man published that "research" grin

Emsyboo Fri 04-Jan-13 15:49:20

Lol on the oral + gaviscon- I would have thought that it would need to be in contact with the cervix?
I was booked in for a sweep for DS at 39 weeks this was because there was some discrepancies on the date and he was a big boy so couldn't be sure - their dates were 2 weeks later than mine.
I ended up getting induced at 39 weeks anyway but they had no problem with me getting a sweep that early.

iwillsleepagainsomeday Fri 04-Jan-13 15:26:55


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