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Sweeps and inductions - why have them?(34 Posts)
Generally they touch the babies head when giving a sweep though, my midwife told me DD had a load of hair.
When I had my sweep the midwife thought it was hilarious to tickle my baby's head (yes, the baby still up my fanny) and say, I quote, who's a lazy little toe-rag then.
I really hated the fact that she'd touched my baby before I got to.
I had a sweep which did nothing, followed by an induction which gave me a baby girl 12 hours later.
They did it when I was a week overdue. Not because I was overdue, but because I'd already had close monitoring for a fortnight. The bump stopped growing and scanning showed I was losing fluid as the placenta was developing calcium spots (apparently, not normally seen that early on). It was slowly ceasing to work. Then the baby (who had been really active all the way through pregnancy) stopped moving - they offered me an induction (they put no pressure on me at all) and I couldn't see any reason not to - baby was not moving but had a good heartbeat, we knew my placenta was packing up so it was only going to get worse, and I was a week overdue. If we'd waited, there was the possibility that the baby would have gone into distress and I just didn't want to wait until the baby was in trouble - I preferred to go into the birth with a strong baby knowing it would be tough for her too! It was fine - I slept through a big chunk of labour while DH watched James Bond!
Gas & air is great. I don't think it's the same as laughing gas (nitrous oxide), it is a mix of 50% nitrous oxide and 50% oxygen (also called Entonox). I'd make sure if what you've heard of is the same thing. In the UK you can have gas & air for a home birth.
When I got my sweep I wasn't overdue, I was only 38+5 but it did nothing....
I think what worried me was that I couldn't find any evidence that sweeps got the birth process started, seeing as they only do it on overdue people anyway, it's not surprising if labour starts soon after sometimes, ifsywim.
I have been induced 3 times. Always by rupturing membranes and have had a baby in my arms within 30 minutes start to finish. One i was 41 +3 one i was 39 weeks and one i was 37 weeks.
Also there's no way of monitoring for stillbirth at term. A CTG will tell you about well ring of the baby while the monitor is on only, no predictive value of how the baby will be later that day/week etc.
Why have a sweep? I had a sweep at 41 weeks which kick-started labour. By then I was pretty fed up, huge and in pain and was willing to give anything a try to stop being pregnant!
I was induced on my due date due to GD and it was a disaster - she obviously was nowhere near ready and it ended in an EMCS.
BUT at the end of the day I brought home a beautiful live baby so its not something I will ever complain about
It's all about weighing up risks isn't it? A woman in work went overdue, think she went in for an induction, and the baby had just died. So just knowing that story means I'm v unlikely to dispute the hospital telling me I should be induced, increased intervention risk or not. But that's just because of hearing that storyrather than statistical analysis. Increased monitoring would surely reduce risk.
Stillbirth risk goes up steadily day by day after term+14 but not a sudden massive increase. We induce here before this as benefit is generally thought to outweigh risk at this point and most women agree with this as there is nothing worse than getting this far, coming in in labour and finding out your baby is no longer alive. It's very difficult to be definite about dates as nothing (other than IVF) is completely accurate but it's generally agreed to do whatever is most likely to give you a healthy mum & baby. Induction increases risk of needing additional analgesia, if you have an epidural that increases risk of instrumental and if IOL fails it may mean CS but as said, many will take these increases in risk to avoid the small increased stillbirth risk. I always tell people that we're adults & can make the decision that is right for us and it is different for everyone but the healthcare teams job is to inform you about their guidelines, why they exist and risks vs benefits.
I didn't find out I was pregnant until I was about 17 weeks, so my dating scan wasn't accurate. I was due 19 Dec according to that. I was monitored every day. I had 3 lots of prostaglandin gel on 26 and 27 Dec but didn't dilate beyond 1cm.
I decided to have a c-section as OB worried about large size of baby. I'm only 5'3" and he put baby at over 8lbs. He was 10lb 11oz.
Turns out my placenta was almost totally calcified.
Very interesting Nannyl
I agree with you am pregnant again and ideally will go naturally as long as I can if safe for me and baby - although many mums by full term get a bit desperate to have the baby so keener to consent to induction.
i have researched this alot
i will not consent to induction until at least +21 by MY dates
(I am happy to consent to monitoring after + 14)
if you look at the stats the still birth rate between +14 and + 21 are only slightly higher, and still very very low risk over all.
and i would still have baby at home at +21
(if there was ever any medical reason to be induced or need to be in hospital then i would consent to going to hospital for it, just to be clear )
I dont consider the date being a day or 2 after yesturday to be a reason to put myself and my baby through the risk of induction and the resulting complications that often arise
Your midwife sounds very different to any of my midwives. They are all for inductions if necessary no one will argue it's better to go into labour naturally but sometimes it is less risk to induce.
I was induced with DS at 39 weeks after having 3 large bleeds it was unnatural and painful but after he was born they found a problem with the placenta. Due to the induction procedure and educated risk they had doctors on hand and my blood type ready which saved my life after delivery. If they has left me it is likely my DS would have struggled and I could have been at risk.
Sweeps, from what I'm told, only really work if labour is close and just a helping hand prob like they say sex can induce labour will only work if your ready.
I don't think the UK - or many areas- have the staff to monitor that closely once you go overdue so they have to consider that in the risk factor. I hadn't heard 70% of inductions end in c section that is a pretty scary stat! X
Btw- I had pre-eclampsia, that's why I was induced etc....
I had a sweep which did nothing and then an induction, which made my baby go into distress when I started contracting and had to have an emergency c section. The induction was awful. I heard afterwards that something like 70% of inductions end in c sections, which must say something about them not working and putting mothers and babies through unnecessary stress....
I'm not saying anything about the necessity of otherwise of inductions, but they do have all the kit and drugs in German hospitals and you are allowed to use them, even though your mw will try to dissuade you.
I spent my late pregnancy in Germany and hated it. My mw was dismissive of my enquiries about pain-relief. I came back to the UK and was in fact induced at 42 weeks and very very happy with the labour ward who got him out safe and well. I was 42 though, so more chance of a failing placenta.
Balance of risks. There is a small but significant risk to the life and health of a baby that remains in utero for too long post-term, largely due to placental failure (also other reasons like a larger baby raising the risk of birth complications). It is NOT just a convenience thing and I would raise my eyebrows at the "no woman has ever not had her baby in all history" comment - plenty of women throughout history have delivered babies that are sadly not alive. Monitoring can help but does not eliminate the risk.
On the other hand, pushing a uterus to contract and expel the baby before it's "ready" can make labour more difficult and birth complications more likely (though not inevitable).
The exact "cut-off" when the first risk overtakes the second is disputed, which is why policies vary between hospital and country. In the UK it's commonly agreed to between 10 and 14 days post-term, but many people validly question whether this is too early.
A good midwife or obstetrician will be able to give you the figures and help you decide what risk YOU are comfortable with.
I had a sweep at 41 weeks which was uncomfortable and did nothing, i was already 2 cm dilated. don't think i will be having a sweep again, as it just got my hopes up of something happening which then didn't. at 42 weeks I was induced, tbh I didn't like the idea of being induced but as I could only wear my hubbies t shirts and jogging bottom at this point, I had entirely grown out of my mat clothes and couldn't do more than move from the tv to the fridge to the toiletvfor the last week it was nice to have a definite end point. I had also been reading a lot about how awful inductions were and was frankly terrified. I went into labour after the second pessery and my son was born 2 hours later, all very controlled. I am pregnant again and if I go 2 weeks over i will be going for an induction again, actually kinda terrified of going into labour naturally and of having to get to hospital etc, which I know is kinda silly as most people manage this fine.
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