Sweeping of Membranes involves a procedure where an OB or midwife uses a finger to sweep the membranes just inside of the cervix to separate the amniotic sac from the cervix. Most women report this is an incredibly uncomfortable procedure. Labor will typically begin within 48 hours or so of sweeping, but it is not a guarantee. There is of course a risk of infection due to introducing a gloved finger into the vagina and cervix, though the risk is significantly less to the baby than breaking the waters.
Other induction methods:
- Pitocin: A Pitocin drip is one of the most common methods used as induction and to speed up a slow labor. Pitocin is a synthetic form of Oxytocin, the body’s natural hormone that facilitates contractions throughout labor. Read more
- Cytotec (Misoprostol): Cytotec is also known as Misoprostol, is also used for induction and is either given orally, or placed directly on the cervix. It causes the uterus to contract and the cervix to ripen and begin dilating. Read more
- Cervidil: Cervidil is a prostaglandin gel applied to the cervix to “ripen” it which leads to increased contractions and dilation. Read more
- Artificial Rupture of the Membranes: (AROM) involves the use of a tool that looks much like a crochet needle to puncture the bag of waters. Breaking the waters stimulates the labor hormones to increase. Read more