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Stretch and sweep at 38 weeks?

(8 Posts)
ashaj92 Mon 09-Oct-17 17:58:44

I’m 36+4 today with my first baby, I saw the midwife last week at my 36 week appointment and she’s said that baby is already 3/5 engaged so I presume that means things are progressing now lol, scary!!
But he en I booked my 38 week appointment, she then said that’s when she’ll offer me my first stretch and sweep.. obviously I’ve not had a baby before, but that seemed a bit early to me? I was under the impression you’re offered your first sweep at 40 weeks? The midwife did also say ‘if he doesn’t arrive before then’ so not sure if she just thinks I’m going to pop early lol.
I’m also interested to know from the experienced ladies out there if the sweep really hurts.. heard so many horror stories recently about it so it’s made me worry even more now!
Any advice would be greatly appreciated at this point - thanks in advance!

xflipflopx Mon 09-Oct-17 20:59:52

I've been told I won't be offered a sweep until I'm at least 41 weeks. Which annoyed me abit as like you say some areas do it much earlier. I'm in Kent.
I had a sweep with dc1 but was already in early stages of labour so didn't hurt at all.
Didn't need a sweep with dc2 as he came early.
Good luck your first sweep may not work anyway as it's first baby.
Go for it no one likes the end weeks of pregnancy...id do anything to get baby out now.

MrsCharlieD Mon 09-Oct-17 21:45:48

My mw won't doba sweep until 40 weeks. You do not have to accept the sweep if offered.

I had one last time and it was uncomfortable but not painful. I had some twinges and cramping afterwards and it worked for me as I went into labour 36 hours later. Currently 39 weeks with dc2 and having a sweep next .

LumpySpaceCow Mon 09-Oct-17 23:50:09

38 weeks is seems too early, especially with first. I personally wouldn't have it. IME being engaged also bears no indication on when baby will arrive.

2furbabies Tue 10-Oct-17 01:27:54

Your technically full term at 37 weeks so it's not too early. Seeing as it's your first baby it might not work anyways as your cervix will probs be sealed shut! But I'd personally go for it as it's much better than being induced if you go over!

LumpySpaceCow Tue 10-Oct-17 09:19:54

Of course you're full term from 37 weeks and I wasn't meaning too early in the sense that it could cause damage - but most likely it will be uncomfortable and not do anything so why put yourself through it. NICE guidelines recommend offering at 40 and 41 weeks for first time pregnancies.
www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg70/chapter/1-guidance

EveMoneypenny Tue 10-Oct-17 10:19:00

I was looking into this as I've been offered a sweep at 38+6 (Thursday), although I'm in a different situation because I'm aiming for VBAC but for medical reasons will need to deliver by due date. You can see a review of the studies of the effectiveness of sweeps if you Google Cochrane review membrane sweeps. As far as I can see, early sweeps don't usually have much immediate effect and aren't recommended routinely in low risk pregnancies. In fact, the largest study had women given a sweep at 39 weeks and more women in the control group (no sweep) than the sweep group had gone into labour by one week later. However, repeating the sweep after term does seem to reduce the chance of going past 41 weeks. It's not a huge effect though - the Cochrane review states that 8 women would need to be given sweeps in order to prevent one induction.

I feel like a bit of a geek on this, but I find the whole idea of sweeps pretty horrible and invasive so wanted a good look at the evidence before I decide. Not sure whether my preference for VBAC will outweigh my reluctance to put myself through this for little chance of success!

gigglywiggle Tue 10-Oct-17 17:10:17

As a midwife I offer women sweeps from 41 weeks and would do one from term if they asked me to. I advise them to wait though, as it is very unlikely to work and will just cause discomfort. I would only do one at 38weeks if there was a compelling reason and if the obstetrician advised it. Lots of babies are 3/5 at 36 weeks, it means nothing and in my opinion it is irresponsible to offer a sweep that early.

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