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Membrane sweeps - tell me about them!

(26 Posts)
miranda2 Mon 02-May-05 20:46:33

I'm due to have one tomorrow (at 40+6). I've heard they have a 50% success rate in starting labour - if it works, how soon does it kick in? And is there anything else I should know about it? Thanks!

charleepeters Mon 02-May-05 20:48:50

Hi i had a membrane sweep but it was just before i had the pessary to be induced it was a wee bit uncomfortable but not 'painfull' i had mine at 9pm and was in full labour by 11pm but like i said i had a pessary aswell, it may have contributed though good luck with it hope it works for you. x

Miaou Mon 02-May-05 20:52:54

I had a sweep when overdue with dd2 - I had a very sympathetic consultant who warned me in no uncertain terms that it would be painful, and by God he was right! I was really glad of the warning! It only hurt while it was happening though.

uwila Mon 02-May-05 20:53:05

OUCH! That's my warning for you. Hope yours doesn't hurt so much. Hmmm... 50% seems rather high, but then I'm no medical professional so what do I know?

LGJ Mon 02-May-05 21:01:08

Do you really really want the truth ??

pupuce Mon 02-May-05 21:04:13

At the end of the day it is an induction mechanism when your body isn't starting labour on its own. It works if your body was about to do it and doesn't if it wasn't. (If you are not in labour after 48 hours, it hasn't worked)
Like any other induction it can lead to a more painful labour but many health professionals feel it is not "as bad" as it isn't drug induced.... everyone is entitled to their opinion

Is it your first child ?

miranda2 Mon 02-May-05 21:13:00

Its my second. I was two weeks over wiht my first and then induced, which led to a horrible birth experience, so I really want to avoid that whole hospital induction thing. Also I'd like a waterbirth this time and I think if they induce me in hospital they will insist on monitoring and not let me in the pool. So I'm quite tempted by the sweep if it has a chance of being an alternative to induction. (Also tempted to refuse induction and request monitoring if i go over 42 weeks - though since I'm increasingly uncomfortable and my son is getting increasingly frustrated by his brother's failure to arrive, I may end up lacking the resolution!). Is it really THAT painful? And if it hasn't worked in 48 hours, is it worth having another? Or having another at 42 weeks?

mummygow Mon 02-May-05 21:21:07

miranda2 I was induced 1st time and ehad a long labour which ended in a c-section and I really want to avoid that this time although I do want to be induced if I go over rather than an elective section, so I had my booking in scan on Friday and discussed this with my midwife - I asked her about a sweep and she gave me a list of things that she would like me to do to try and bring on my own labour and for baby to be in the correct position -

On hands and elbows crawl along floor
Have sex every night from 38 weeks as the hormone used in induction is naturally in sperm and even if it doesnt start my labour it should have soften the area
Drink rasperry leaf tea

She has also told me to do my own homework to see what else I can do and discuss this with her in 4 weeks

expatinscotland Mon 02-May-05 21:22:27

I had one. I was having contractions, but not dilating well. It did hurt, but I started dilating. Whether or not it was from the sweep, however, I don't really know.

Crazymama Mon 02-May-05 21:49:27

Hi Miranda2

I had one on the Wed, labour started Sun. Not sure if it was connected. Like you say though, it may stop you needing to be induced.

It is uncomfortable, but over in seconds. Good luck, let us know how you get on.

Merlin Mon 02-May-05 21:51:29

Consultant 'surprised' me with one 2 days before due date (glad she did cos it was PAINFUL), good breathing practice though!!! DS1 was born day after due date.

pupuce Tue 03-May-05 09:53:34

Merlin - for what it's worth it is illegal and considered assault to do a sweep without consent !

miranda2 Tue 03-May-05 14:39:53

Well you lot scared me unnecessarily!!
Not too bad at all - I'd say mildly uncomfortable rather than painful. Though it did help having dh there to hold my hand and make me laugh. Mw said I was 2cm dilated (though cervix still a bit thick), so fingers crossed....

mears Tue 03-May-05 14:44:23

Hope it works Miranda. If it was only mildly uncomfortable then I am not sure it has been done effectively enough. Apparently with a good sweep there should be 'a tear in the eye and blood on the finger'.

Please do not get too excited iif you start tightening. I have found that a number of women come into hospital too soon after a sweep because of uncomfortable contractions that are not effective. Agree that if nothing happens in 48 hours it has not worked. Yes it can be repeated.

alexsmum Tue 03-May-05 14:45:06

i had one at term +10 days, and yes it was uncomfy but not hideously painful.was in labour before i left the room!!1

hayleylou Tue 03-May-05 14:49:20

I was in labour within 12 hours of mine... I was also 10 days overdue!

miranda2 Tue 03-May-05 14:53:48

Ok, I prefer alexmums and hayleylou's comments to mears'!! Now I'm worrying that it won't have worked because it wasn't painful enough....crumbs this pregancy thing sucks!
Got to be good news that I'm 2cm dilated though?!

Miaou Tue 03-May-05 18:57:54

Maybe you just have a high pain threshold miranda

Surfermum Tue 03-May-05 19:04:12

Miranda I really can't recall mine being that bad and my labour started the following day.

mears Tue 03-May-05 20:23:31

Miranda2- I am sorry to be such a damp squib but 2cm is not unexpected when you have had a baby before. The cervix never really closes (called a parous os).

Get into more enjoyable passtimes like sex

pupuce Tue 03-May-05 20:28:54

I agree with Mears - 2cm and thick cervix is not a particularely positive verdict THOUGH it may still lead you in labour - forget about this for 24 hours and enjoy life !!

Merlin Tue 03-May-05 20:31:08

Pupuce - re your earlier comment. Consultant did ask me first!!!! I just wasn't expecting anything like that til I was past my due date. As it was my cervix was already slightly open and she could feel baby's head, so I was almost ready to go anyway.

miranda2 Tue 03-May-05 21:14:12

Oh .....bo**ocks!
Sex virtually impossible due to bump being VERY low-lying - a disappointing divergence from my experience last time!
Hey ho. Will just wait and see.

motherinferior Wed 04-May-05 16:06:00

How's it going, Miranda?

miranda2 Wed 04-May-05 16:27:53

Thanks for asking! Had a show this morning, but nothing else is happening yet. Went for a long walk, and have done lots of gardening - which gave me a bad back but nothing else! Still hope though...
Dh says he wants it to come tomorrow,as even he will be able to remember the birthdate 05.05.05. When I pointed out it would be rather inconvenient to try to vote between contractions, he said we should call the BBC if that happens and offer them the story as a way of encouraging people to vote - 'look, if this labouring woman can hold off going to hospital til 7.05 am so that she can cast her vote, you've got no excuse for not exercising your democratic right'!!!

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