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Thread: did stretch and sweep work for you?

  1. #1

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    Default did stretch and sweep work for you?

    just wondering how long after your stretch and sweep that you went into labour??

    I am booked in for one tomorrow with ob and not looking forward to it if its not going to acheive anything..


  2. #2

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    I had this with my first pregnancy ( only labour) It seemed to work for me. I didn't find it uncomfortable or anything..

    Good luck....

  3. #3

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    You may not want to read my reply... but I had two and neither worked. I still had to be induced.

    *edit to add* I was 2cm and 3cm and stretchy when they were done.
    Last edited by Haydies; November 28th, 2007 at 04:21 PM.

  4. #4

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    I had one and went into labour later the same day but I was 41+1 weeks and 3cm dilated already.

  5. #5

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    I had two done as well and they didn't work unfortunately. I went into spontaneous labour at 41+3.

  6. #6

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    i'm having one of these done next tues and am curious as well.
    i didnt have one with either of my other 2.
    is labour supposed to start within hours/days (provided that your cervix is ready)?

  7. #7

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    I had one with DD2 and within 2 days went into labour, it didn't hurt at all.

  8. #8

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    My SIL had one in the morning and then went into labour late afternoon on the same day.......hard to know if its just coincidence though. Good luck!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michelle_k View Post
    is labour supposed to start within hours/days (provided that your cervix is ready)?
    It can bring on labour, but it isn't guaranteed. They say allow up to 48 hours between them if you haven't gone into labour. I had two about 4 days apart, my first one I was 2cm dilated and slightly effaced, second one I was 3cm, very stretchy and theoretically, it should have brought on labour. There was no reason to still be walking around pregnant. It didn't though and I needed my waters broken.

  10. #10

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    I had been having really mild contractions on and off for 2 days, my Ob did S&S sun morn then all that day they got stronger and stronger and I was back in late sun night.
    Good luck!

  11. #11

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    nope didnt work for me

  12. #12

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    Some of the midwives on another list were discussing this just last week. They were saying that they're noticing that stretch and sweeps seem to produce rupture of the membranes but no contractions, which then leads to the woman being under pressure for IV antibiotics and induction, or a show and infrequent contractions that peter out. The consensus seemed to be that nothing beats patiently waiting for the woman and baby to be ready, and that messing with mother nature is rarely wise or necessary. In some hospitals, obs perform stretch and sweeps routinely at 40 wks, but the outcome is rarely an effective, progressing labour, it's more likley to be "oh well that's not working so clearly your (deficient) body needs more help" ... which leads to induction ... which leads to more pain relief needed ... which leads to instrumental delivery such as episiotomy, vacuum, forceps or c/s. The stretch and sweep seems more likely to start the Cascade of Intervention than to start effective labour. Patience and the fullness of time, waiting for a spontanous start to labour seems to be the better option for spontanous labour and physiological birth.

    My own thoughts on the subject: I think the way that stretch and sweep is offered subtly implies that a woman's body is not working quite right, subtly undermines her confidence in her own body, rhythm and natural timing, and conditions her to accept other 'helps' for her body that is *not getting it quite right.* Not a whole lot of trust and belief in women and their birthing bodies going on in our current system. So that means, WE have to be the ones who really believe we can do it, accept the input of our chosen care-givers, but ultimately hold the responsibility for our choices and be strong (and well-informed enough) to say, "Thanks for your advice, I'm confident to wait until 43 weeks (or whenever) before discussing other options, I feel that relaxing and trusting will bring on my labour at the right time as well as any other technique."

    When stretch and sweeps are offered, I wonder if other ways of preparing for labour in mind and body are discussed? I wonder if women are routinely told that most women naturally start labour between 41-42 weeks, and that some naturally hold off longer, even up to 48 weeks? We have so many inductions happening these days, that we have a skewed sense that to be pregnant at 24-43 weeks is completely healthy and normal.

    One obstetrician wrote: "There is a SMALL increase in the incidence of stillbirth with
    gestations over 40 and especially over 43 weeks, and the * evidence supports that IOL decreases this. Whatever form of monitoring we have (movements, CTGs, scans) are not very good predictors of outcomes. But the risk is SMALL so you have to do a lot of IOL's to prevent one still birth.
    (* There have been lively critiques of the particular study that came to this conclusion).

    It seems that our impatient 'instant' culture and the fear & mistrust around birth and of women being in control of themselves, their bodies, their births and their babies plays into the induction epidemic at least as much as the SMALL risk of stillbirths after 43 weeks. I personally know many women who have birthed safely after 43 weeks, and I personally know 4 women who have had stillbirths and they were all less than 41 weeks gestation. More babies die of complications from medicalised birth than from being in the womb too long. Our ideas of risk and risk management around birth have gotten quite strange in the technological age.
    Last edited by Julie Doula; November 28th, 2007 at 08:14 PM.

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