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Stretch and sweep? Rss

Having had no experience in "stretch and sweep" except for 'hearing' the term here, I finally looked it up on google last week.

Suddenly, my going spontaneously into labour after the doctor did an "internal" to "check the cervix was ready" - and the fact that it was the first, and only time an internal was painful, made sense. So, I figured with my last child, they had obviously given me a stretch and sweep without my knowledge or consent. I've been doing some more reading on it, and from what I've SEEN, it looks to be a safe way to induce - for both mother and child. What is everyone's knowledge/opinion on this topic?

The main reason I ask is this... I have three weeks before my next baby is due. The baby is *ALREADY* over 4.5kg (10lbs), and is growing ... well... fast. I have a history of fast deliveries, and whilst none of my previous children have been quite this large, I tend to have no problems with giving birth vaginally to larger babies - i.e. my last child was over 10lbs and I had no tearing and no real issues with the birth except for a case of shoulder dystocia which was corrected by my shifting position. The birth was slow for me, but fast in general (an hour from waters being broken, would have been faster without the stress arising from the hospital's attitude!) I do not have anyone who is able to look after my older children whilst I am in hospital, so anyone who can help would have to fly into the area - something you can't do at no notice, so I'd need to know when I was due to arrange it! Add to that, I am paranoid about losing him. I lost my first child at around this point. His movements over the last two weeks have lessened *dramatically*, and seem to be not as strong as earlier.

My obstetrician initially stated he would look at inducing two weeks early because of the previous fast deliveries. Now that the time is approaching, he has changed his tune to "I won't let you go overdue" - and "I won't let you go too overdue"

If he grows at the rate he HAS been growing, that will mean he'll be over 12lbs (5.4kg). If I go into spontaneous labour, I'll never make it to the car, let alone the frigging hospital. If there are any problems, because of his size, their FIRST choice would be to do a C-section, even though MY first choice would be for vaginal birth, even at the larger size, unless there is a TRUE medical reason. Also, if I *do* go into spontaneous labour, it means that I will be completely alone in the delivery suite, because my SO would have to look after the other two children, and wouldn't be able to attend the birth.

I don't see anything good in waiting, I do see a lot more choices if I get induced, or can potentially make my own arrangements and start myself off with a procedure such as a stretch and sweep.

Okay... maybe not start myself off smile However, my SO could do it as long as (a) it's safe, and (b) it's possible to learn enough about it to lessen any chances of risk, and increase his understanding of the procedure. Naturally, he refuses to do it if there is ANYTHING he doesn't understand about what to do. I'm getting to the point where I barely have any energy right now. The added weight has pretty much zapped all of my energy. If I move, turn over, stand up, sit down, lie down, attempt to walk, it's all painful. My muscles are complaining at the added stress. I love being pregnant, but this isn't just being pregnant, this is being pregnant AND carrying an extra sack of potatoes!

Anyway... can anyone give me a heads up on any potential problems with the procedure? If there are few problems, a link to places where I, and my SO, can learn more about this procedure so that we can make an informed decision rather than just jumping in, or leaving everything to a man (my obstetrician) who wants me to carry to full term, regardless of the risks *that* may entail.

Honestly, if I was in an area where I could have had a home birth, I would have organised that long before now. So, my only real choices are to start myself off and have a hospital birth, or throw caution to the winds and have a birth at home unassisted, and hope that, with the added size of this baby, there are no issues. If he were a little smaller, I wouldn't worry quite so much, but I would prefer to at least have a midwife in attendance, even if he/she didn't do anything, as long as they had the equipment in case there was a problem.
Howdy! Good on you for investigating your options!!

In regards to s and s being a safe way to induce - it depends on your opinion of induction.....Any form of induction natural or otherwise has risks - as they are encouraging the body to go into labour before it is ready or before the baby is ready. If stretch and sweeps only work when your body is ready to give birth - then you will go into labour shortly anyway without needing one. If it doesn't work when your body isn't ready....then what is the point. I understand your predicament - that must make it really hard....how about lots of shagging??

In regards to bubs weight - remember they can only estimate. They have no way of telling what bubs actual weight is when in utero. Scans are wrong on a really regular basis. It is more the circumference of bubs head rather than the actual weight. They are very squishy and providing you are able to get into any position you need - then it shouldn't cause a problem.

In regards to fast deliveries - they don't always stay fast. my mil 1st baby was 30mins, the second 4 hours and the third 15 hours. I don't whether that is a good thing or bad thing.....

Babies movements tend to slow down in the last few weeks of pregnancy.

I'm not sure I have been much good to you, but I just wanted to help put your mind at ease just a little......

This must be pretty tough going at the moment.

Wishing you all the best with everything.
Thanks for replying smile

Mine have been slowing down too... but that's still relative smile My first was 12 minutes, second was 14 minutes, and the last was an hour. However, the last I had a real issue with the midwives TELLING me to push when I wasn't ready to, and it made the labour a lot more difficult. Whilst they didn't openly tell me to remain in the one position, they did make me feel stressed enough that I just ended up doing what they told me to, even though it didn't feel right at the time. Heck, if I'd been more comfortable I'd have spent half the labour in the shower LOL They refused to give any pain killers anyway, and weren't monitoring the baby, so there wasn't anything specifically stopping me other than their attitude.

I know the scans can be wrong, however just going by my body's reaction this time, I wouldn't put it too far off. I wasn't quite this uncomfortable with my last - he was just over ten pounds, and he arrived ten days early. When it comes to their estimates, they've been following the same trend for the last three scans over the past five-odd weeks, with different sonographers (that is what they're called, right? I'm a little hazy right now)

I have found out that a stretch and sweep can only be done if the cervix is already partly dilated, so it's more encouraging things to hurry up than to start well before the body is ready.
hi,

well i had a stretch and sweep done 2 days ago and i still have had no change i'm 2days over due.. my baby doesnt appear to be very big however with the stretch and sweep my obs advised that they do this as another means now to naturally induce rather than an induction. Generally within 48 hours you will know if the s&s has been successful. Some people experience spotting however i havent had anything just the twinges however arent consistant enough for labour signs..

the procedure isnt painful more uncomfortable just breathe while it happens it helps.. however after having the procedure ive come to the point where when bubs is ready it will come..

not sure if this helps but yeah the s&s may work for some however im not one of them..

take care and hope all goes well..
Thanks for the good wishes smile

I haven't been on for several days. Not because I tried the stretch and sweep, but because baby decided to make the decision for me smile

He arrived Thursday 8 May at 5.14pm. He was 53cm long, and weighed in at 10lbs 14oz - well above the ultrasound estimate smile

Natural birth, and didn't have time for painkillers - he was delivered within two hours of my arriving at the hospital, and I was at the hospital within four hours of feeling the very first pain. My main stage of labour was 1 hour 44 minutes. His blood glucose was dangerously low, and has been up and down since then. He's still in hospital (I'm home "on leave" for the night in the hopes I can get some sleep!) It looks, however, like he may be coming home tomorrow night, if he keeps going the way he has been today.

Thanks again!
Congratulations,what a lovely story.

Mama to an '04 boy

O Girlbunny! Great news!! I hope bub is home with you really really soon.

homebirthing mum to three boys!

Thanks smile

He's home now! smile He was discharged, then that afternoon I got a call saying he needed to come back for another blood test because he had high bilirubin levels *rolling eyes* So... I went back early, got another blood test done, and the levels had already begun to lower, so he was given the all clear (again!)

He's sleeping and feeding well during the day. However, at night he's decided that lots of small feeds are called for, which means waking up every hour on the hour, taking a five minute feed and falling asleep again ARGH! smile I bought a dummy today, which will hopefully help to have him sleep better at night, and feed properly when he does feed - you know, like the day time routine smile

Because his glucose levels were dangerously low when he was born (normal levels are between 3 and 7 - he had a reading of 0.7 which they consider an emergency level), I was grateful that he was born in the hospital, but I do realise that part of the jaundice/bilirubin problem would have been caused by simply being in the hospital nursery for the first several days. Normally I like to take baby home four hours after delivery. Every day, I make sure baby gets some sunlight, which helps to reduce the chance of getting jaundice. The hospital nursery has no natural light, which will increase the chances of jaundice.

I'm very happy he's home now, even if I'm not getting much in the way of sleep - you never really expect SLEEP for the first few weeks anyway wink
CONGRATULATIONS!!!! HOW WONDERFUL!!
Thanks smile I am VERY happy that he decided to come early, and that he's now home, happy and healthy smile
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