View Full Version : Stretch and Sweep with VBAC?
I don't know all that much about stretch and sweep, but from what I've read, it doesn't involve any medicines/chemicals...
I was wondering, because it's not chemical, is there any evidence to suggest whether this is a good idea or not with VBAC?
I went 2 weeks over last time, and was induced 3 times (all failed) and that was the reason for my c-sec. If it all happens again next time, I'd love to do something NON chemical to convince my body to labour... and I was wondering if this would be the way to go?
Are there any other natural induction methods which are safe when attempting VBAC?
(BTW, unless there is evidence that my baby or I am in danger, I refuse to even consider intervention until I'm 42 weeks...but I'll willingly try natural induction/stretch and sweep if they're safe, before then).
I recently had a successful vbac and I had a stretch and sweep(ouch!!!) and they had to break my waters too. However, I had already been in early labour and had pre eclampsia so it was a matter of get things moving or get cut open. At no time did I feel myself or my baby was jeopardised. That probably doesn't really help you I guess, but just tought I'd let you know what happened to me. Whatever you do though, stick to your guns. I was in hospital for 2 days before i gave birth and could have easily been talked into a ceasar numerous times had I not known my stuff and my body and stood my ground! Anyway, any questions let me know!
Hi sassymummy, I had a vbac 4 months ago. My MW gave me a stretch and sweep on my due date to try and get things going.
The advice I was given was that a s & s will put you in labour or give things a kick along if your body is pretty much ready anyway, the risk is that there is a chance of introducing infection.
It sort of worked but my body needed an even bigger push and I ended up drinking castor oil 2 days later. (I was dead set on avoiding the appointment with the OB the next day) My son was born 12 hours later.
My MW also offerred to rupture my membranes if I was booked in for a c/sec as a last ditch attempt, but we never needed that.
I found a little discussion about it over at Midwifery Today http://www.midwiferytoday.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4939
From my perspective Stacey, I wouldnt do it, but then I have only ever gone overdue by about 5 days, so I dont know the hassle of going over that. (and going 5 days was pretty frustrating, so I can imagine more than that would drive you potty). I am nervous about infection from anyone sticking anything up there. In the weeks leading to the birth of DS4, my frame of mind was that that passage was going to be used as a oneway exit, not an entrance, and should be treated as such :laughing: I would have stuck a oneway sign on my knickers if I had one :laughing:
It might just be that you cook your babies longer, and you can be monitored instead of being induced, and they keep an eye on your health and your bubs health and you just stay pregnant till the timer pings (ie, you go into labour ;) )
Alot of girls at my Birthrites group have gone overdue, one recently 20 days 'overdue', and it turns out that is just how long it takes for their babies to cook.
I think I went overdue those 5 days with my recent son because of alot of psycological baggage from my previous birth trauma....I had to free up my head to go into labour, and I ended up using s ex to kick start labour - but specifically use it to imagine myself open and giving, to totally and physically put myself in that frame of mind and body. it worked a treat, and I went into labour a few hours later.
I think natural induction methods only work if it is a psycological blockage that is keeping a woman from going into labour. If your baby needs longer, I dont think that anything much is going to make a difference until bubs is ready.
Of course, there are very rare circumstances where bubs does stay in too long and the placenta calcifys.... but like most risks, this is very rare, and it is best to just sit out till 42 weeks and get monitored (this is what I would do).
I know a few women who dont believe in edd. They just believe that their baby will come during a certain season. It takes away the 'watched pot never boils' aspect which comes with obsessing over edds. There was one particular woman who did this, and though she had experienced going overdue in the past, she actually went earlier than she expected with the one she didnt monitor dates with....
anyway....have rambled.....maybe others have different takes on it for you?
I had a stretch and sweep before my VBAC. Ob definately had no qualms about performing one so my guess is they are regarded as fairly safe.
I didn't work though! - It took another 4 days for me to go in labour.
My Ob also said he would break my waters if it came to it. Luckily I was only 10 days over.
I had ARM with my first HBAC as I was 17 days over and was going to be induced in the hospy the next day. My m/w and I talked about it and decided we would do it, as if labour didn't start, we would be going to hospital next day anyway, and get induced as per the norm. 15 mins after my waters broke, I went into labour. I did have a stretch and sweep a couple of days previous, but all that happened was a bit of a bleed.
With no 5, I was 11 days over when I had my stretch and sweep, only had it because DH was going away for work 10 days later, and I was getting desperate to have a baby. Then I went shopping for about 4 hours, lots of walking (where would we be without retail therapy???LOL), and hey presto, had a baby that night.
I have also done the castor oil thing, and went into labour that night, was 14 days over by then. But that was the baby where I ended up with my ceaser, so couldn't go there again...
If I were you, being that you haven't actually had the chance to labour yet, I wouldn't even let then do a s&s until the 42 week mark. I have a friend who has her babies at this mark, with the first she was in a big rush to have him, and almost ended up with a ceaser, due to the old cascade of intervention, and after that she learnt that her babies need alittle extra cooking tme, and her 2 other labours were quick and easy. My overdue ones are only the girls, so hopefully you may have the same issue and get a blue one next time:D . Then he may turn upon time or early and surprise everyone!!:fingerscrossed:
Thanks for all of that - it's good to discover that the option is there if I feel I truly need it, and that there seems to be no more risk to a VBAC Mum than any other preg woman.
I don't plan on doing anything regarding intervention until 42weeks away... my body lasted that long last time, and DD was NEVER in trouble... it was, as I always say, just a matter of dates. Perhaps I just DO take a bit longer. I have no doubt that if given more time, my body would have done its thing on its own.
But, as I said, it's good to know that stretch and sweep is there if I get a bit desperate. I mean, I HATE going overdue because you have this "GET OUT OF MY BODY" feeling, but I'm willing to stick it out if it means I get a VBAC.
Stacey good on you for being determined to wait until 42 weeks! Let's hope you have a different experience this time!
I've had 2 VBACs and they were fantastic. What you really need is spontaneous labour so waiting as long as you can is a great idea. Then stretch and sweep and having your waters broken as a last resort. If you can go into labour naturally, stay at home as long as possible. I spent 2 hours in hospital before my first VBAC baby was born and 3 weeks ago got in there 45 min before my 2nd VBAC! (Probably cut it a bit fine!)
I like your attitude. Being determined to make it happen is really important. I'd say you have a good chance!
I have quite long pre-labours and was stretched from 1cm to 3cms in both labours (1st was a caesarean, 2nd was a VBAC). In relation to VBAC, I see no evidence to suggest that it's a problem...the question is whether you want it done, regardless of VBAC or not, I guess.
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