During pregnancy, an expecting mother goes through a lot. Along with that, they read a lot about the going phase as well. What to expect during these nine months, what to expect during labor, and what to expect when the baby arrives.
However, dealing with the process of labor is a completely different thing. No matter how much you read and how much knowledge you have gathered, the experience will be a lot more than what you have read and what you have imagined.
Just like pregnancy, labor is also different for all women. Some do not feel any problems before going into labor, but for some, it becomes difficult. Membrane sweep is a process that helps women to induce labor. But you have to keep a look at the positive signs after membrane sweep as well. Before we get into that, let’s start with what membrane sweep actually is.
What Is A Membrane Sweep?
A membrane sweep is a method or procedure to induce labor in this process, the healthcare provider separates the amniotic sac or the water bag from the uterine wall. This is done when the cervix has started to dilate. The procedure cannot be done if the cervix is still closed.
When the amniotic sac is separated from the wall, it speeds up the process of labor. Sweeping the membrane helps in releasing a chemical known as prostaglandins. This chemical softens the cervix and prepares the body for going into labor.
But membrane sweep cannot always ensure that it will induce labor or start your contractions. The procedure is optional, and healthcare providers sometimes suggest it when you have passed your due date or if your due date is near.
What Is It Required?
As I mentioned above, this is not a mandatory process that every woman has to go through. Healthcare providers suggest sweeping membranes to kickstart the process of labor. This process can only be done when the cervix is partially dilated, but you have not started getting contractions, or if you had started getting contractions and then it has suddenly stopped.
This is actually done around the 39 or 40 weeks of pregnancy to avoid using medicines for inducing labor. Pregnancy that continues over 40 weeks often puts the mother and the baby at risk. That is when this procedure is suggested to start the process naturally. But what are the positive signs after membrane sweep? Are there any? Read along, and we will find out.
How Is The Procedure Conducted?
A membrane sweep is done during a cervical exam around the fourtieth week of pregnancy. But it is done sooner during pregnancy if the doctor feels there is a need for the same.
During the process, a professional inserts one or two fingers inside the cervix and sweeps the upper part of the cervical opening in a circular motion. This helps in separating the amniotic sac from the uterine walls without breaking the water or rupturing the amniotic sac. This will trigger the body to release the chemicals, hence preparing the body for going into labor.
And if the membrane ruptures during the process, meaning if the water breaks, that is quite normal. This is the reason behind conducting the process after a full term, as there is a chance of the water breaking.
What Actually Happens After A Membrane Sweep?
It is natural if you experience a little bit of bleeding after sweeping your membrane. Some women experience cramping, contractions, or even some mild discomfort. But if you experience heavy bleeding or severe pain, contact your doctor immediately.
Positive Signs After Membrane Sweep
Well, positive signs after membrane sweep are when your body has responded well to the procedure. If you get into labor after the procedure, that is also a positive sign. If you experience regular contractions after the membrane sweep, that is also a sign of a successful membrane sweep.
The positive signs after the membrane sweep include losing the mucus plug, water breaking, and a dilated cervix. Generally, within 48 hours of membrane sweep, a woman goes into labor. Since every pregnancy is different, it is difficult to actually say how long it will take to induce labor.
What Are The Benefits Of Membrane Sweep?
The benefit of membrane sweep is that it gets the women into labor naturally. This is one of the best ways to avoid planned or medical induction. A medically induced labor or planned induction requires medication to start the process of labor.
Generally, parents start getting impatient after 39 weeks. During this phase, you can opt for a membrane sweep to start the process and meet your baby sooner.
What Are The Risks Of Membrane Sweep?
Membrane sweep is mostly safe, but there are always some risk factors involved when going through a procedure during pregnancy. There is a chance that you might bleed after the procedure. You can also experience cramping, which is often mistaken as contractions. Along with that, there is a risk of your water breaking.
So, it is better to discuss the process with your doctor completely and know all the positive signs after membrane sweep, the benefits it brings, as well as the risks it possesses. After knowing every detail about it, then make the decision whether you want to go forward with the procedure or not.
Membrane sweep is generally effective. Giving birth for the first time might seem scary, but do not worry. You can opt for the procedure after 40 weeks of pregnancy. The procedure is safe for most of the people. But if you have a complicated pregnancy, then it is better to discuss the matter with your doctor.
Have a talk with your doctor when you are close to your due date and ask what his suggestion is about membrane sweep. If you know that your body will not support vaginal delivery, if you have experienced sudden vaginal bleeding, then try avoiding this process of inducing labor.
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