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Stretch & Sweep - what?

(19 Posts)
OnNaturesCourse Sun 15-Oct-17 01:31:34

Due to SPD my midwife has suggested a stretch and sweep. She says we'll discuss it at my next appointment (36 weeks) so I guess if we go ahead I'll be around 37/38 weeks.

It's my first baby and having just read up on what this procedure is and it's low success rate I'm wondering if there is much point in it? Or if there's anything I can do to increase the success rate, ie. old wives tales of certain foods etc? My SPD is pretty bad so sex is pretty much out the question, I'm actually swollen over my pelvic bone. 😑

Also looking to ask of anyone's experiences? I've heard it's dreadfully painful which could be all for nothing !

BentleyBelly Sun 15-Oct-17 02:57:05

I had one 2 days ago as I am now 6 days overdue and it didn't hurt at all. Was told my cervix was favourable and 2 cm dilated. Having said that it appears to have done bugger all to get things going! I think it only works if you are pretty much ready to go into labour. It might be worth a try for you but I wouldn't hold out too much hope!

EssentialHummus Sun 15-Oct-17 03:07:33

I had one on my due date, went into labour a day later (who knows whether it did anything). It wasn’t that painful, I found it bearable.

Cruciatus Sun 15-Oct-17 03:32:20

I had one at 37 + 5 and the baby was born at 38 weeks. I thought that the labour was more intense (and painful) than my previous one but that might have been for other reasons - my first was very easy and I got an epidural before really feeling much more than mild period pain. The labour after a sweep felt more fast and furious.

Cruciatus Sun 15-Oct-17 03:34:41

OP, it is probably relevant that I am a complete wuss where pain is concerned. So I have a sneaking suspicion that my unbearable pain might be someone else's mild pain!

OnNaturesCourse Sun 15-Oct-17 11:20:14

Lol, I can handle most pain well but not "down there" pain so I have no doubt I'll find it horrible too.

Kinda thinking if their that keen to move things along they should just induce me?

GreenGoblin0 Sun 15-Oct-17 12:32:27

Sweeps just feel like a more uncomfortable smear.

being induced carries extra risks and increases chance of surgical intervention so can understand why they might want to see if a sweep works first.

MagicFajita Sun 15-Oct-17 12:38:15

I've declined a sweep because I just don't see the point. I genuinely believe that your body is ready when it is ready.

I think with any of these interventions (induction aside) there's not really any evidence that they do anything. It could just be your body doing it's thing.

It's very personal though as you need to do what works for you and makes your pregnancy experience as positive as possible.

Good luck deciding and I hope your discomfort and pain ease.

OnNaturesCourse Mon 16-Oct-17 01:45:33

I want a water birth so I'm trying to avoid induction, I guess I could try the sweep... What's to lose? (Not counting the discomfort of it)

Hawkmoth Mon 16-Oct-17 01:50:08

Be careful not to let your knees get too far apart.

But they have certainly worked for me. The best was by an obstetrician who was threatening me with being admitted for an induction. I bargained for a sweep and come back on Monday (this was Friday), went into labour four hours later.

SPD is unremittingly shit, you have my sympathies. I've had it with all four.

Soon2bemum2017 Mon 16-Oct-17 06:16:06

Hey OP i have had 3 sweeps so far before i get induced on Wednesday.

They feel exactly how you expect them too not too painful but a bit uncomfortable! The important thing to remember is the more relaxed you are the more they can do and the more likely it is to work.

My first sweep was 37+1 and i was 1cm dialated 50% effaced and cervix was posterior hard but still lost my plug and had a massuve bloody show causing strong braxtons on and off

Second sweep i had at 37+3 and i was 2cm dialated 50% effaced and posterior hard cervix

Third sweep i had at 38+1 and i was 2cm but could stretch to 3cm 75% effaced and cervix mid soft

I think they do help encourage movement down there even if not full labour 🙂

mummabubs Mon 16-Oct-17 06:25:43

We're in a similar-ish position OP (except I'm 41+1 so a fair bit further along but I'm also really hoping for a water birth and want to avoid induction).

I've had 2 stretch and sweeps already, have another one booked for today and then another for Wednesday if nothing has happened by then. I'm also a complete wuss when it comes to pain and I can honestly say I didn't even feel the first one, and the second- whilst less comfortable- wasn't painful.

You're right in what you've heard, the success rate is low (I've read about 24%), but this is partly because all the stretch and sweep can do is encourage your cervix to become more ready for labour, but doesn't actively cause labour to start if that makes sense? So if your body wasn't close to being ready anyway then it won't have any impact. Personally I'm so keen to avoid induction if possible that I'm happy to have as many as they'll offer me if it gives me any extra chance of going into labour naturally! Best of luck OP 😊

OnNaturesCourse Mon 16-Oct-17 08:19:18

Thank you all, and good luck today Mumma!

I've still got a few week to wait and see before deciding, think I'll give it a bash though.

Did anyone try anything themselves to encourage early labor?

mummabubs Mon 16-Oct-17 08:43:40

Thanks @OnNaturesCourse 😊 For what it's worth I've tried everything (bar pineapple as apparently you'd have to eat 8 of the things to get any decent amount of the chemical that's supposed to make a difference and castor oil is apparently dangerous as it can make baby poo too early). But those two aside I've been walking 3 miles everyday with the dog, living on a yoga ball, drinking raspberry leaf tea, lots of curry/spicy food, sex, calming meditations to spur on oxytocin... so far none of it is working for me and I've been doing all of this since 37 weeks. As awfully frustrating as it is I've really come to accept that baby comes when baby's ready... and not before! 🙈

OnNaturesCourse Mon 16-Oct-17 09:00:14

I very much believe that too! All we can do is prep ourselves, frustrating but it's natures way.

EssentialHummus Mon 16-Oct-17 11:38:00

I ATE a metric fuckton of dates - google dates + labour, there are a few early studies showing effectiveness at shortening labour.

RedBlu Mon 16-Oct-17 11:46:25

I had horrendous SPD but didn’t get offered a sweep until 40+1.

I would say it was uncomfortable but bearable. Straight away it felt like bad period pains. Midwife commented she thought it would be successful.

Went into labour that day and had DD in the early hours of the morning.

OnNaturesCourse Mon 16-Oct-17 18:06:50

Goodness, it was my midwife that suggested it"

OriginalMoo Wed 25-Oct-17 12:15:57

I'm hoping a sweep for me tomorrow will do the trick if bubba doesn't decide to arrive tonight that is. I'm 40+2. Good luck, hope it works for you so you can have the water birth you want!

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