Cervical Sweep? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 06-16-2005, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am doing some reading on cervical sweeps via Google and am a little concerned. I am 39+4 if my dates are correct with 2nd child. All day yesterday and last night low backache and cramping, more intense than anything before but not intense enough if you know what I mean. Like, something is happening but not quite yet. Had my regular appointment today and the midwife suggested an internal which I was okay with because I am curious as to whether I am dilated or not or if the baby is just taking his time dropping in stages without any dilation (would help me get a handle on identifying what exactly the sort of cramps I am having mean). So apparently I am 2cm. And she says she did a cervical sweep. I vaguely remember the term before and it wasn't breaking my waters which I did not want done yet so I didn't think much about it. At this point, what helps, helps. Have some fresh pineapple waiting for me after I log off. I am still a few days before due date, first child went 4 days over, so while I am ready to have this baby at the same time I am not at panic stages.

However the bit of googling I have done has me a little concerned about what exactly a cervical sweep is and whether it should have been done now or at all. So I am looking to hear from other mommies hopefully some positive stuff as one more worry at this stage is not what I would like to acquire.

No bleeding or leaking of anything after the exam. Also the quality of care from the midwives has been excellent throughout my first pregnancy and this one.

Thanks again for any input.
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#2 of 7 Old 06-16-2005, 06:24 PM
 
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It sounds like your body is doing what it should and getting ready for labor on its own.

Is a cervical sweep the same as stripping membranes at the cervix? I had membranes stripped with my last two pregnancies. It is supposed to release prostiglandins to help bring on labor. With Zoe it was done 3 times before going into labor. With Ella, I didn't want it done, but my dr was going out of town next week (and the replacement dr I detested) so I consented to it on Wed when I was 4 cm already. 4 intense days of prelabor followed and Ella was born Sunday morning after a quick 2.5 hour labor. many feel it is a kind of inducement. After my experience I feel it is one of those that help if you are ready for labor. If you are not (it was 3 weeks from the first time it was done with Zoe until she was born), it doesn't do much.
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#3 of 7 Old 06-16-2005, 07:20 PM
 
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I did it with both previous pregnancies (terrible back pain made me weepy and desperate at the end) and had absolutely no effects whatsoever. Your body will go into labor when it's ready!
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#4 of 7 Old 06-16-2005, 08:16 PM
 
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I had it done with my second pregnancy. I had been 3-4 cm for a couple of weeks, having tons of BH contractions, and feeling emotionally and physically like the baby was coming at literally any moment. So at my regular appt (38 weeks) I asked my midwife if she had any suggestions to help nudge me into active labor that I seemed to be teetering just on the edge of. She suggested sweeping my membranes, and said if my body was ready it might give it a kick start, if I wasn't ready then it wouldn't do anything. I was so dilated already that it didn't hurt at all and it was easy for her to get a good sweep. My labor picked up throughout the day and Noah was born at 10:16 that night (a little more than 12 hours later).

My understanding is that the only significant risk is the accidental rupturing of the membranes.
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#5 of 7 Old 06-16-2005, 09:21 PM
 
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My biggest concern in reading your post is that your midwife told you she did it afterwards, instead of informing you of the option, benefits, and risks, and letting you choose.

With the membrane sweep- the two biggest risks I'm aware of are the small possibility of breaking the waterbag, and an also small risk of infection. I've never heard of either of these things actually happening, but there is a risk of them.

Usually what ends up happening is a woman chooses to have her membranes swept and she goes home with bloody show, crampy contractions- and then nothing happens. One client of mine had this done five times, and it didn't work for her.

I encourage you to have a conversation with your midwife about letting you know she wants to do something before she does it, and not after! I am glad you feel confident in her care, that is a wonderful feeling that every woman deserves.

Kristina in Kitsap County, WA
Doula, Student Midwife, Mama, Wife & More
http://redspiral.blogspot.com
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#6 of 7 Old 06-17-2005, 05:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much, guys, for sharing. I am feeling better about things today (isn't that how this goes, too, especially at the end, such a see-saw!). Later on yesterday afternoon I became very weepy/emotional, which I am reckoning must have been a hormonal release. Still no show, however throughout the night and into this morning my contractions/cramping/backache were getting stronger (still not regular and they've eased off since I've been up doing things) -- and I am thinking the intensity change is a result of the exam.

I think I may have panicked my husband a bit much when I asked him to read up the section on what to do if the baby comes at home (we are planning -- fingers crossed -- a water birth). I am thinking if I keep having these build up/ease off starts, when I finally do go into active labor (or get to the point where I can say, it's time to go), things will move very quick. Probably wishful thinking!!!

Thanks again. Reading your experiences helps.
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#7 of 7 Old 06-18-2005, 05:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, that was a kickstart that didn't take. Things seemed to be progressing a bit, I do believe I may be further dilated (3cm?) perhaps as my m/plug came out in the afternoon but that's it. So it worked as far as releasing the hormones but not enough to push beyond the edge. Back to waiting and we'll go when we're ready. I am not sure I would have consented had I had a better idea of what was what. I mean, it's not unusual to be 2cm prior to due date, to be building up for labor but not there yet and even though I wouldn't mind dropping any day now, there really isn't a rush yet. Ah well. It is only a matter of days now (even if it goes another week or so) in the big picture and I'd rather just let it happen than obsess. Quit laughing in the back there!!!!!
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