What is Membrane Sweep

Membrane sweep is natural method of getting labour started. In this baby is buoyant to come out within next 48 hours. If the woman has passed the date with no sign of labour staring on its own then this technique is used. A woman can get two or more sweeps before any other chemical based method such as prostin gel or ARM (artificial rupture of the membranes) is used. Sweeping the membrane is effective in bringing labour but it can cause discomfort, bleeding and irregular contraction.

This method is performed either by the doctor or midwife. After having your internal examination, the midwife will insert a finger into cervix and then move her finger in a circular, firm, sweeping manner. The intention behind this movement is to detach the cervix from sac which is currently housing the baby. Once it is separated hormone named prostaglandins is released which will give indication to the brain to start labour.

The effectiveness of sweeping membrane depends upon the readiness of body to give birth to a child. If women’s cervix has begun to soften and obliterate then this method would be successful as body has already started to prepare labour. If a woman is having her first baby then membrane sweep is recommended during 40th week. If it is not a first baby then pregnant women should be offered a membrane sweep at her 41st week.

A membrane sweep can be scratchy because reaching cervix before labour is very difficult. It may be very painful for some women. There may also be some slight spotting of blood and irregular contractions.

This method doesn’t increase the risk of infection to mother and her baby,

If after membrane sweep there is still no sign of action then Syntocinon is given. It helps in causing contractions-by intravenous drip and the dose will be gradually increased until contractions are coming.

Induced labours are more severe and painful for the women. This can lead to increased use of pain-killers. But these labours are dissimilar, so what works for some women might not work for other. So, before choosing this method you should consult with your doctor who will give you satisfactory information and shore up about pain relief options.

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