Going into labour naturally/unfavourable cervix at 40wks?

Hi ladies,

Hope you don't mind me asking this here; I just figured it would be the place with the most amount of people who with experience of these things!

I am currently 3 days overdue and at my 40 week midwife appointment yesterday my midwife tried to do a sweep but my cervix was still posterier. She was able to tilt it forwards a bit but obviously there was no chance of having a sweep. She said that it feels quite soft but it hasn't started effacing yet so it's still 2cm or so long.

I basically got the impression from her that my chances of going into labour naturally anytime soon were very slim, which I can understand as it sounds like my body hasn't quite twigged it's time to let the baby out!

Did anyone else have a failed attempt at a sweep at 40 weeks and then went into labour naturally? I'm pretty convinced I'm going to end up being induced now but can't work out whether I'm just being negative or realistic. I'm booked in for another attempted sweep next Weds when I'll be 41+2, and if that isn't successful I'm booked in for induction on the Saturday at 41+5.

Thanks in advance!
Kat xx


  • I had a failed sweep at 40+5, and was told that my cervix was not favourable (or whatever they call it!). She booked me for an induction when I would be 41+5, cos I think she knew it wasn't likely to have desired effect. Typically, on the morning of my booked induction, I started with pains & some blood loss, so went in early straight to the labour ward... upon which my waters broke within 5 mins of arriving! Unfortunately, my labour didn't progress as they would've liked, so they still tried to help me along with prostin. My body still didn't seem to want to give up my baby any time soon & long story cut short, at 4-5cm dilated I ended up with a section delivery the following day. Bit of a ramble sorry, but yes... my body did eventually twig it was time to have the baby, but other circumstances got in the way for me unfortunately. Maybe I'll get my water birth next time...
    There's just no way of knowing what your body will to, best thing is try not to worry about it, but I know its incredibly frustrating... I just kept on focussing on the 14 days post due date, thinking I'll have my baby then, if not before! x
  • Hey hun

    My MW tried to do a sweep at 41+1 and couldn't even reach!! It was still so high. She actually referred me then to the DAU (my BP was a little high and she wanted a Dr to take a look) and they were all amazed that LO's head was still so high!

    It took a very tough junior Doctor to reach it and do a sweep - I actually went into labour the next morning but baby's head could still be 'tipped out' of pelvis! They kept talking about a C Section as it seemed highly unlikely that she would arrive on her own, then suddenly she / my body seemed to work out what was going on and I had her naturally less than an hour later!

    I actually saw my MW at the hospital when I went to the delivery ward and she was amazed that I was in labour - she really didn't think a sweep would work - so don't lose hope!

    Good luck! x x x
  • Hey, i had an attempted sweep at 41 weeks but mw said it wasnt ready to and would be too painful so booked me in to be induced and i went in to labour naturally the day before i was booked for induction. Hope you come in to labour naturally fingers crossed for you image xx
  • I had an attempted sweep at 39+6 by my consultant, she couldn't even reach it! I went naturally at 40+3 and was already having contractions when my mw sent me to the hospital with suspected pre-e. Everything was fine with that & I was sent home, but i told the mw that i was getting pains, she checked and I was 3cm dialated!
    I had my little boy the next day so its possible!
    Fingers crossed xx
  • That's really reassuring - especially your story alzywalzywoo! I know I have a fair bit of time yet to go naturally but it's hard to keep positive when your body doesn't really feel like it's making an progress!

    I actually have another sweep tomorrow now, so it'll be interesting to see if my cervix is still as posterior as it was, I'm sure it will be to be honest but I'd rather know I guess.

    Thanks for all your comments. xx
  • Don't lose hope hun. I had a sweep at 40+3 and the midwife said I was unfavourable and she felt unlikely to go into labour anytime soon. She booked me in for induction for the following week and said she'd try another sweep and the next appointment. I had my baby naturally 3 days later!

    It can happen and it does-the body can change in moments.

    Good luck hun. x
  • Thought I'd update this incase anyone happened to see it and wonder what happened! (I know how these posts often end up on google etc)

    Anyway, I went into labour on the Saturday morning and had my little girl in the early hours on Sunday morning! I really wasn't expecting to go into labour naturally so this was a huge surprise for me!x
  • I was 40+4 when I went into labour- my mw wouldnt perform a sweep til I was 41 weeks as she said it was too early ?? at my 40 week appointment she didnt seem hopeful I'd go soon !! What do they know MrsKP lol x
  • ah brilliant! i had a failed sweep at 40 +2 and baby arrived at 40+6, I had fully prepared myself for beign induced too! xx
  • Am 41+5 today. Induction is booked for tomorrow which I really hoped to avoid. MW tried to do sweeps last week, but my cervix is very posterior and hard and baby's head is quite high still. Doesn't look like I'll be having natural contractions any time soon! Has any one else been in this situation and will I end up having a c-section? I feel like my body has failed me

  • Just thought i'd post on this after googling... My first baby was an induction after broken waters & no progression so not sure about cervix. 2nd baby had an exam on my due date with my consultant... She said she couldn't reach cervix & I wasn't likely to labour any time soon. I had the baby the next night at 40+1... Consultant was in shock when she saw me! I've just had my 3rd baby & again had an exam with consultant on at 5pm on my due date. After the most painful exam ever (I've had 3 babies with only gas & air!), she told me that she couldn't reach my cervix (which I now know is why the exam was so painful), & again I wasn't going to be having a baby any time soon! I started to feel pains when i got home & had my baby at 10pm that night! So there is hope image

  • I had my sweep. At 41 weeks baby's head in pelvis mw said she can't feel baby head or my waters and said my cervix is still far back she said am about 1-2cm am my cervix is soft as her lips could this mean labour soon
  • 40+2 .......I had a failed s&s at 39wks....saw consultant on monday 40wks DD....had another failed s&s.....cervix too far back and round a corner....got another on friday 40+4, they cant induce me because of previous c-section and will only allow 10 days over so I'm booked in for c-section then....I really dont want a section again....I have planned so long for a natural waterbirth...I am feeling really down....I've done everything right all the way through, stayed active etc and recently been doing all the recommended things to try to bring on labour or move cervix forward but nothing is working...I know Im being daft but I feel like I have failed at something thats supposed to be so natural for a woman...anyone else feel like this or have any words of wisdom??
  • Generally  with first babies, the average gestation is 41 weeks, rather than 40. Try to relax. Don’t worry. If delivery turns out differently to how you planned in the long term it will probably matter less than you imagine.

    All the best for the exciting times that lie ahead.


  • I had my 3rd attempt s&s at 40+4 which was a little more successful but still posterior but went into labour naturally at 40+8, delivered at 40+9 the day b4 they planned to give me a csection...beautiful baby girl who is now 7 wks old x
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