There are so many terms and different procedures when it comes to pregnancy and for most soon-to-be-parents, it can sound a bit like Gobbledygook. Today we're explaining what a membrane sweep is, why you might have one and what happens next.
A membrane sweep or 'sweep' which it's sometimes known as is a method of induction of labour. It involves an internal examination of the uterus to stimulate labour hormones which may kick-start your labour. A midwife or doctor will perform the procedure and for one in eight women, labour will start within 48 hours. A sweep has been known as the most 'natural' method of induction as it doesn't involve any medication.
- You may need membrane sweep if there is a medical reason.
- If you are 14 days past your expected due date.
- If you are planning on having your baby in a midwife-led unit or if you are planning a homebirth.
- Or if you want to see if a sweep will start labour on its own without any other interventions.
A membrane sweep is a medical procedure and you must be asked consent before it is performed. You may not want a sweep if:
- Time is limited and you need to deliver a baby urgently.
- You want to start your labour spontaneously.
- There is no medical reason to induce your labour.
- You have unexplained vaginal bleeding at any time during your pregnancy.
- You have group B strep.