The Stretch And Sweep.. My Experience

I had my first Son Ethan at 40+2 weeks pregnant, I was 3cms dilated and fully effaced on his due date and a (very) long walk the following day helped get him on his way. With my second Son Logan, I went to 41+1 weeks pregnant. At 41 weeks I was offered the stretch and sweep (also known as having your membranes stripped). 

Being that Ethan had pretty much been on his way out around his due date, I'd never heard of the stretch and sweep before, so I decided to do what most people do these days when they're not quite sure what something is, and I had a google of it, the results of which sort of worried me. The majority of what I read was expectant Mums saying how painful it was and how it hadn't worked for them.

As disappointed as this was to read, any pregnant woman who has ever been overdue will know just how desperate you can start to feel as the days continue to tick by without any sign of baby arriving and so feeling ready to try anything - I agreed to have the stretch and sweep done. 

It was a Monday morning, I was exactly 41 weeks pregnant and as I sat outside the midwife's office I was trying to keep myself from anxiously tensing up. I'd brought Adam and Ethan along with me and though they would wait outside, it was a comfort them being there. When I was called in, the midwife, one I was meeting for the very first time, explained a little about what she would be doing, she also booked me an induction date at the hospital for the Saturday, just in case nothing happened following the stretch and sweep.

I felt disappointed at being given an induction date, for a number of reasons really - I so wanted to go in to labour naturally again and I certainly didn't want to wait nearly another week to meet my little boy who I'd always been so sure would arrive before his due date! 

Having the stretch and sweep done at the time was honestly not as painful as I had expected it to be, just a little uncomfortable. But when you think about what you're about to go through (labour!) then it's really not even worth batting an eyelid about. Personally, I think that the trick is to relax as much as you possibly can and to not tense up.

A few hours later, I'd begun to feel quite crampy and had started to experience some intense pains below, which were made worse when I was up and walking about. I also found myself feeling very tired and so I decided to go to bed and have a lay down for an hour or so.

Going off of what I'd read online, I felt sure that the cramping would start to die off.. but it never did and that same evening I finally and rather excitingly began to start feeling contractions! The following day at 10.48 in the morning my Son Logan was born!  

And so now as I hold my newborn Son here in my arms, I am happy to report that my experience with the stretch and sweep was undoubtedly that of a positive one!



  1. Yay I'm glad it worked for you! I'm among the number where it didn't make an immediate difference but I think it's like all these things, if you're nearly ready it might be the tipping point if not then it won't do much!

  2. I had a stretch and sweep at 38 and half weeks as baby was measuring big. Like you, I read to much in to it, but It worked for me and I didn't find it painful. I had it done 12 on Wednesday afternoon and my waters went 1am Thursday morning. I was really surprised as she said baby was ready and waiting + I was 2CM. It's deffo something you should have offered first before induction x

  3. I'm so glad it worked for you, as I said on FB I've had both, the ones that only give mild cramping and then there's been those that really get the party started. Before going past the due date with our second son I hadn't heard of it either as first son was born at 39+6, but yes, it's definitely not as bad as some made it out to be x

  4. I'm glad the sweep worked for you! I remember I had two when I was pregnant with Sophie but unfortunately it didn't do anything for me. I went two weeks overdue and had to be induced!

    Emma x

  5. Glad it worked for you. I didn't want one with Amelia and ended up getting induced 2 weeks overdue but with Harry I gave in and had one booked for 41 weeks on the Friday morning but my waters broke in the middle of the night so I never needed it woohoo!

  6. Glad to see it all turned out well; what a lovely family!


  7. I am glad it all worked out for you lovely and you have your gorgeous boy here safe and sound. I didn't get to all this as I had an elective c-section. Your boys are beautiful. x