06/04/2009, 08:46 PM
Its when your Gyno uses his/her fingers to stretch your cervix wider as it can help it to dilate more and bring on labour. I had this done with my DD2. I was already 5cm dilated and she stretched me to 6-7cm. I gave birth less than 24 hours later!
07/04/2009, 12:19 AM
A stretch and sweep is a name for a procedure performed by either a midwife or an ob. They will insert a couple of fingers into the vagina and will stretch the cervix and sweep the membranes around your baby.
It is done to try and stimulate some hormones called prostaglandins and hopefully bring on labour. It's invasive and carries some risks. It's also very useful if you're body is already preparing and you're facing other more invasive inductions or procedures.
The risks are to do with infection and also breaking your waters. I didn't want my waters broken with my 2nd and so I refused to have a examination. I was pressured a few times so I caved eventually. I'm sure you can guess what happened within moments of the examination! YES my waters broke with a huge gush. This can happen during the stretch and sweep also which can mean fast and furious contractions for some women. So definately ask questions if you're thinking of having it done and don't do it unless you're ok with the procedure.
Most women hate the experience because it can be embarrasing and uncomfortable. Some have been lucky enough to have someone very caring and gentle and can help make the experience less scary.
If you're 42 weeks and they're saying you have to have a CS then its definately worth a try. I can't remember exact figures but I think most women will go into labour within 48 hours of a stretch and sweep.
Also, if you are not comfortable with the person who will do the stretch and sweep ASK FOR SOMEONE ELSE! It's a procedure best done when you're relaxed as tensing up will only make it more painful and 'yuk' for you.
Oh and if you have the s & s done, you can usually expect some discharge afterwards as its designed to unsettle things down there!
There are some lovely midwives who can be so very gentle so hopefully you get one of them.