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Do you HAVE to have a sweep?

(37 Posts)
sepa Tue 19-Jan-16 18:36:09

As I count down the weeks I am more aware (or paying more attention) to the birthing side of things. You hear/speak to most people who have had a baby and they have had sweeps (or so it seems). Do you have to have one done if MW suggests it?
I have never been too attracted to the thought of one and I think I actually felt a bit sick (a long time ago but still an adult) when I found out what one was. I know it's nothing in the great scheme of things but I have heard from people that they don't really work so I'm thinking what is the real point in having one? I am 8ish weeks away till due date so it's not actually been suggested yet...

5minutestobed Tue 19-Jan-16 18:37:23

Of course you don't have to have one! I had four and they did bugger all although I'm sure they work for some people.

Champagneformyrealfriends Tue 19-Jan-16 18:48:51

I really loathe the idea of a sweep (and I'm pretty easy going about smear tests etc). I've heard that they're no good if your body isn't ready anyway, and if my body isn't ready to give birth I certainly don't want to try and force it to be unnecessarily! I've been told they're not as horrendous as people say they are if that helps at all though.

Bryna Tue 19-Jan-16 18:57:02

I've had sweeps with two of mine, my second pregnancy two sweeps did nothing!! However on child number 3 I had a 'good' sweep and very next day baby arrived. Both were overdue- hence the sweeps!! It was the case of the lesser evil for me as I didn't want to be induced and therefore have to go to hospital (home births planned!!)

GerrysSuccessor Tue 19-Jan-16 19:07:36

You absolutely don't have to have one, but don't discount the possibility that you might change your mind. Being overdue is REALLY ANNOYING, and if you're anything like me you'll try anything to get that baby out! (39+3 here, had a sweep yesterday. Wasn't going to, but am desperate!)

It's not pleasant. Mine hurt quite a lot when it was being done, but I don't think that's the case for everyone. Despite that, I'm booked in for another one on Friday if this one doesn't work. Because whilst I know it might not work, it also might, and that's enough for me!!

BumpPower Tue 19-Jan-16 19:12:37

I had two sweeps with DC1. First didn't do a lot but second was the charm and went into labour that night. Try not to.
stress there are lots of aspects of birth that you really don't want to spend too much time focusing on as your perspective totally changes when you are overdue/in labour. Sorry if that's a bit crap as advice....

SerenityReynolds Tue 19-Jan-16 19:15:47

You can decline them if you don't want them. I had several for both of my DD's as they would only let me go to 41 weeks before induction and I wanted to do everything possible to avoid that. I went into labour spontaneously both times, but as pp's have said, they're only really potentially helpful if you're pretty much ready to go into labour anyway.

IamChipmunk Tue 19-Jan-16 19:35:16

I declined 2! One before my due date and one just after.
Midwife did one when I was in labour, which like the two paracetamol she gave me was pointless anyway!

Sunshine511 Tue 19-Jan-16 19:37:25

I had my sweep done by a consultant at the hospital, who actually ended up delivering my baby after some complications during labour the following morning. For various reasons, we needed to get my labour started, so I gave the sweep a try. My cervix was apparently not soft, fully closed etc. He was there ages trying to do the sweep and I must say, in my case, what he was doing was pretty painful. After quite a period of time he told me he really doubted that the sweep would have been successful as I was showing no signs of being anywhere near ready for labour. It did work though! I may have just been very lucky that it worked, but I definitely went from nowhere near ready for labour to having my daughter in less than 24 hours. I'd definitely have another this time round.x

gamerchick Tue 19-Jan-16 19:40:47

You don't have to have one. However most people by the time they are offered one they're so sick of their lives they hope one will work grin

Runningupthathill82 Tue 19-Jan-16 19:54:19

Course you don't have to have one. With DC1, I went into labour at 40 weeks and hadn't been offered one by that point, so it was never an issue.

Had my first sweep today (second pregnancy) and it was fine. My cervix must have been very "favourable" as it was less uncomfortable than a smear test.
Was expecting it to be painful after hearing reports from others, but it honestly didn't bother me a bit. Not that it's got anything going yet, though.... angry

Sunshine511 Tue 19-Jan-16 19:58:44

Still early days runningupthathill! Hope it works for you and that things start soon smile keep us posted!! Glad to hear it wasn't sore for you! I'm hoping if I get one this time round, my cervix will be more ready for it so hopefully less painful!x

lilac3033 Tue 19-Jan-16 20:40:19

You definitely don't but I had one with DD and she was born the next day. Saying that contractions for 3 nights proceeding so hadn't slept in days. My cervix was favourable (fully effaced and 1.5cm dialated). If you were sitting on the fence about it I would get examined and then decide. Mine hurt less than a smear.

seriouslywhat Tue 19-Jan-16 20:46:29

As people have said you don't have to have one. But if you are overdue and you don't have one and nothing happens your last option could be induction - I would take chance in a sweep!

I had them with second and third children. With second child was five days overdue. I'd had one at two days over (was 2-3cm dilated by then and conditions favourable) and by five days I was 3-4cm with waters bulging. I went into labour in the early hours of the sixth day, so about 12 hours after the sweep. With third child things kicked off within two hours of the sweep which was done on my due date. I was 2-3cm at that sweep.

Mine were not uncomfortable at all but in both cases I was obviously pretty ready to go!

ThePowerOfCake Tue 19-Jan-16 20:57:08

I declined the midwife's offer of a sweep at 40+3 as I really didn't feel comfortable with the idea. By 40+10 it seemed like a much better idea as a way to try to avoid induction and allow me to have my planned home birth. I didn't feel pressured in any way, it was totally my decision.

It wasn't the nicest experience, uncomfortable and a little undignified rather than painful though. It did seem to get things moving.

Missdusk Tue 19-Jan-16 21:13:37

You dont have to have one. They offer them as a way to encourage things to move along but you can turn them down, completely down to you. I had one last week at 40+3 and another today at 40+10. My midwife explained that there is no way for them to know if they work since they only offer them so late there is no way of knowing if somebody has gone into labour because of the sweep or because they were going to anyway. Either way by the time I went to my 40 week appointment I was ready to try anything and everything to get baby moving, proven or not, as long as it didn't hurt baby. I had another today because if I can id like to not need induction. I dont think its worked for me but I know some people swear by them. Its no different to a normal vaginal examination really.

Doublebubblebubble Tue 19-Jan-16 21:27:22

You dont have to do anything you don't want to.
I had 1 for my daughter and it worked (svd)
I had 2 for my son and it didn't (well nothing did for him - lazy bum lol) (emcs)

Getting a sweep is very very very similar to a smear in my opinion. Good luck xxx

Tribblewithoutacause Tue 19-Jan-16 21:28:32

Nope, your vagina, your rules. You say what goes in or out of it (so to speak).

Doublebubblebubble Tue 19-Jan-16 21:30:49

Oh and ds was 12 days overdue so I was DESPERATE to get him out... If you go overdue (which touch wood you wont <- tapping desk for you) you will do anything and everything to get the baby out..

sepa Wed 20-Jan-16 07:59:10

I think my main worry would be that it would be my midwife who is doing it who I see on a regular basis. It probably wouldn't be so bad if it was someone I don't know! I know it's stupid as during the birth I will probably have 100 people looking but the thought (like with smears) make me feel very uncomfortable at the idea. I did get through my smear though so if it's similar to that....

runningupthathill - you will have to let us know how you get on now you have had a sweep

Runningupthathill82 Wed 20-Jan-16 08:37:37

I wouldn't get squeamish about your midwife examining you, Sepa - my lovely community midwife, who I saw in both this pregnancy and the last one, had to examine my episiotomy stitches every other day for a couple of weeks, after the birth of DS.
That was a lot grimmer than a sweep!

Honestly, it's much like a smear test, no more embarrassing than that. And certainly no comparison to the birth, where I had about 10 people staring up my vagina at one point!

Talking of sweeps, no action since mine yesterday morning, and its been almost 24hrs. Guessing it hasn't worked...

KatharinaRosalie Wed 20-Jan-16 10:19:02

I had my babies abroad and they don't do sweeps here, as they don't think there's any evidence to show those actually work.

Important thing to remember - you do not HAVE to have anything. No medical procedures can be done without your consent. It is still totally up to you if anybody insists that they 'have' to do something or they 'won't let you' go overdue and 'you will have to be' induced, or anything like that.

BubbleandSqueeeek Thu 21-Jan-16 11:07:50

I had three with DC1. First was hilarious, we giggled through it, even though it was uncomfortable - much less painful than a smear because it's fingers rather than a textured instrument.

Number 2, was rather rough, shall we say. Different midwife, different technique. Both of these gave me cramps but nothing further.

Number 3 was on day 12 of being overdue. Don't really remember it, but it got the ball rolling and started contractions. Still ended in EMCS.

It's the lesser of many evils and I wouldn't refuse one if I was overdue with this one.

NotSpeaking Thu 21-Jan-16 11:10:20

I wish people on here wouldn't say they aren't painful. That's your own experience. It's fine if it didn't hurt for you. After 6 hours of labour I had one and the pain blew my head off. Won't ever be having on ever again, that's my experience. Everyone is different

imwithspud Thu 21-Jan-16 11:23:02

No you can decline them if you want.

I had two with my first, they didn't do anything.

Had one with my second and I had baby the next day, I had been having contractions the night/early morning before but they'd stopped. The sweep helped get things going again and contractions started an hour later.

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