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Is there any reason not to have a sweep?

(21 Posts)
MegBusset Sat 18-Apr-09 23:34:14

I have got a MW appt on Tuesday when I will be 40+1. She has offered to give me an internal and try a sweep -- I'm not that bothered about it as in no great rush (DS was 10 days late so I'm expecting to go over) but just wondering if there's any harm in having the sweep done anyway, just for the hell of it.

So any negatives to having a sweep? (Apart from having a MW's hand up my fanjo...)

tristaleejac Sat 18-Apr-09 23:50:55

My only negative is that I had one exactly 24 hours ago and I'm not in labour!
I've had tightenings since having it, just nothing regular or strong enough to progress into actual labour. It's a bit disheartening, but my cervix was totally not ready for labour yet anyway. Maybe you'll be different smile

tristaleejac Sat 18-Apr-09 23:51:39

I was 40+1 as well smile

doulalc Sat 18-Apr-09 23:54:03

Usually not...most common negative would be the disappointment if it doesn't work....

Slight chance of infection.....may result in a prodromal labour (pros and cons in itself)....potential of accidently rupturing membranes (although not common, you would then have the potental of inherent risks of early ruptured membranes).

If you decide to have a go, can help if there are already some changes to the cervix and baby is quite low to start with.

It works well for some, does nothing for others. Probably one of the least invasive ways of "medically" trying to get things going.

Chellesgirl Sat 18-Apr-09 23:59:34

I was just speaking to the mother of the children i nanny about this yesterday. We were discussing her homebirth and she said that she was overdue and wanted her baby to come intime for the school half term and so had a week to go into labour. She had her midwife do so many sweeps to get her going. In the end she managed to give birth in that school holiday, although when her child was born, she was actually PREM! They had messed up her dates and so she really should have waited!

Tummum Sun 19-Apr-09 09:08:13

I would say go for it. I was overdue with both previous DCs, and having a sweep can help manage your expectations as MW can give you a much better idea how close you might be to labour after she has had a 'feel'. My advice would be not to expect too much from them though... last time I had 5 (!) before I went into labour, although I'm convinced the last one really did the trick. Bear in mind they can be uncomfortable and try to relax as much as you can.

Good luck

MegBusset Sun 19-Apr-09 12:00:32

Thanks all. I had one with DS but it didn't work as my cervix was too high and closed -- apparently I was so tense that I nearly took the midwife's hand off grin

Will try to relax more this time!

BunnyLebowski Sun 19-Apr-09 12:10:03

The only downside I can think of is how bleeding uncomfortable it was! Felt like she was trying to pull my tonsils shock

On a serious note it did nowt for me. I had it at 40+1 and went another 6 days with no action.

ShowOfHands Sun 19-Apr-09 12:13:43

Is there any point to having a sweep? Genuine question.

Often hear it said on here that it will only work if you're about to go into labour anyway. So, if you're about to go into labour anyway, is the sweep of any use at all?

Always wonder about them. Wonder about pineapples and curry too.

Babies, generally, come when they want to, no?

BunnyLebowski Sun 19-Apr-09 12:26:27

ShowOfHands - I think more often than not the beginning of labour just coincides with the sweep so maybe we attribute it to the sweep?

I wouldn't have one again. I was just so huge and tired last time that I got a wee bit impatient!

LuluisgoingtobeanAunty Sun 19-Apr-09 12:32:23

i would be wary of having one before 41 weeks. and then i agree with what doulalc sees.. if you are not 'ripe' or the sweep does not work, then you will feel disheartened

you are not really late until 42 + 1. but we all get fixated on 40 weeks as the end,and anything after that is overdue.

sophieandbelly Mon 04-May-09 18:09:20

yes it bloody hurts! the baby will arrive wen its ready, altho it really depends how fed up u r! id rather have a curry and an early nite!!!

froggy16 Wed 06-May-09 11:41:32

Isn't there a risk of the placenta breaking up the closer to 42 weeks you get?
What exactly do the midwifes do during a sweep? Could you not do it yourself, or get dp to do it if you can't reach?!

doulalc Fri 08-May-09 22:33:47

The concern with the placenta is that it may not be as "efficient" after 42 weeks. Obviously it is baby's life line so some care providers error on the side of caution and will want to induce well before this time...some setting an arbitrary time, such as 41 weeks automatic induction for everyone.

Basically in a sweep, the midwife or OB, will use their fingers to gently, in some cases not so gently!!, seperate the amniotic sac from the cervix....this is in hopes of the release of prostaglandins and labour getting started. It works sometimes, but not others. Some midwives feel in order for it to do anything,they really need to do a good job of it and it can be quite uncomfortable. If it is going to work, it usually will start things off within a couple of days or so.

A woman would not be able to reach effectively herself and it is not advisable to have dp try either as there is the chance of infection and rupturing membranes. While some midwives may show partner how to do internal exams, it would be unlikely partner would even know what they were feeling for....not worth the potential risk.

froggy16 Sat 09-May-09 09:23:34

Thanks! In our area they don't induce until 42 weeks, but as my first 2 were early I am hoping I won't need it!

Mamulik Sat 09-May-09 18:16:33

just wait for your baby to be ready - you will have lots of pain in the future, so no need for sweep

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 09-May-09 18:24:11

Message withdrawn

HellHathNoFury Sat 09-May-09 18:42:59

I had one and it bloody HURT. Couldn't walk right for a couple of hours.
Hated it, and still no labour.

a week later and I had another one which DID work, but only because she managed to nick me whilst up there, causing me to leak amniotic fluid for 3 days and have an extremely long and painful labour. Don't think I was ready to labour, quite frankly!

Everyone's experiences are different, but after mine I would never, ever have one again. Too invasive and don't do any 'good'. Would rather let nature take it's course - let's face it, it IS going to come out, no?!

aoifesmama Mon 18-May-09 23:18:44

I had one early in the morning at exactly 40 (high blood pressure) was sent home and went into labour the next night. Complicated birth and I was lucky that the sweep worked as DD needed to come out! I'd say go for it

FrankMustard Mon 18-May-09 23:22:50

avoid if at all possible. I've said it before and I'll say it again, IME they don't work, are incredibly painful and seeing as you're going to go into labour at some stage soon anyway, why expose yourself to even more messing about down there than you're going to have anyway! Close to labour we should be cossetted, pampered, wafted with fragrant leaves of the tropical palm, not lying on our back with a MW snapping her gloves and her trainee watching beside her!
At best it might coincide with when you're going to go into labour anyway, at worst, it's excruciating and if you're not close to going into labour anyway, it's totally unnecessary pain!
There, I shall now get a name for being Frank-antisweep-Mustard, but I don't care. Didn't work for my last 2 and was bloody painful to boot!

TamTam29 Mon 01-Jun-09 14:38:45

I think if they are done too early, they are not worth doing, but if it can prevent you being induced then go for it, but wait as long as possible.

DS1 was 16 days late, and i am sure 2nd sweep i had made my induction shorter & easier. (deliverd in under 12 hours from start to finish)

I am booked in for a sweep Thursday when i am 41+1, i wanted it later but MW concered about the size of baby (on the big size) so I am also seeing consultant at the same time.

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