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ECV - External cephalic version, thoughts and experiences please.

(39 Posts)
Jaysfourth Fri 30-Jul-10 14:01:29

I am 36 +4 and my LO is extended breach. she is also measuring just under 9lbs currently.

Shes my fourth child.

I have opted to try an ECV, at 38 wks.

Just wondering who has any experience of the procedure, did it work, was it painful, would you do it again...etc etc.

All thoughts are welcomed

I had an ECV , 10 weeks ago when I was at 38+6 with my third child who was born a day later at 7.5lbs
I think it was a frank breach but can't be sure.
Procedure was really uncomfortable ( can't believe how much the consultant pushed) and didn't work and so I had an elective section a day later. I did expect to be sore after but I wasn't - maybe I wouldn have been if she had turned?

I would definetly have tried again in the same situation as if it had worked, I could have had the natural birth that I wanted.

I also tried accupuncture - just think for me it was too late. She wasn't a very mobile baby and just too comfy - knowing her now, she doesn't like to be moved.

Good luck with what you decide

Jaysfourth Fri 30-Jul-10 23:09:00

thanks little!

Sorry it didnt work, but at least you got to try.

glad your LO is now with you, i think in the end thats all that matters

ChristianaTheSeventh Fri 30-Jul-10 23:16:24

I chose not to have ECV with DD2. I was glad because she had the cord wrapped round her neck TWICE and it would have been a distressing procedure had they tried to turn her (although maybe a closer up scan would have identified that before the ECV was attempted, but had not been picked up in the two scans I had when they suspected she was breech.

Consultamt said to me during the C section that he thought some babies didn't turn for a reason, and her cord twice round her nexk was the reason. I thank God that the mw spotted she was breech early on, I hate to think what a labour for me would have been like.

My C section was actually a very pleasant experience and I loved it. Felt a bit crap afterwards, but was up and about the next morning, and able to drive etc within 3 weeks.

Miremont Fri 30-Jul-10 23:18:56

Had ECV at 38 wks with DS2 (DC3). It was quite uncomfortable, felt like the skin on my belly was being pulled and stretched but I don't remember it being unbearably painful.

The procedure was successful and DS2 was born naturally about 2 weeks later. He was much smaller though, weighing 7lb8oz at birth. Don't know if that makes any difference to likelihood of success.

I would definitely do it again.

Good luck

NonnoMum Fri 30-Jul-10 23:25:57

I was due to have an EDV with DC3 who was also extended breach.
I was scanned on the Friday, and spent Saturday and Sunday swimming, having reflexology and crawling about a bit.
Went in on the Monday to have the procedure - was all a bit delayed as they didn't want to start until theatre was free (gulp).
They scanned me to find out DC had moved into Head Down position.
Maybe similar stuff will work for you?
Good luck whatever happens.

Funny thing is, he moved about a bit tons in the last few weeks, and he does the same now in his sleep. He can be at one end of cot, facing one direction and I can go in five minutes later and he is at the complete opposite end.

Think I've given birth to a trapeze artist.

sam26oscar Sat 31-Jul-10 19:39:25

just had to google what ecv was and thats what i had just didn't know it was called that!! DS1 breech very early on and was turned succesfully at 37 weeks, he was born by EMCS at 41 weeks as i failed to progress (just to make you feel even more of a failure that you couldnt have natural birth!!)

NonnoMum Sat 31-Jul-10 20:17:14

ECV - oops.

How are you OP?

Jaysfourth Sun 01-Aug-10 06:59:24

thanks for asking nono....

i am feeling really low. Didnt realise how much it has affected me really. I SO cant get used to the idea i might not be able to give birth to my last baby....i posted on my antenatal wall that it feels like Christmas is coming, but i know that someone else will be opening my pressies for me and i dont get to experience the joy of it...

i know theres still time and i have been bouncing on that ball and getting on all fours, going to book some acupuncture tomorrow, might not be able to fit in alot of swimming, but will try anything!

anyway, best go see to the other little terrors who are currently destroying their rooms...and prob each other.


ChristianaTheSeventh Sun 01-Aug-10 12:46:07

Jaysfourth - the most important thing is your baby is born safely. And really, honestly C section is no bad thing, I feel it's blown out of all proportion. I have had a natural birth and a C section. They are both special. You can make the C section special too - it's very very good humoured, a wonderful atmosphere, the staff love it, you can play your own music, it was just WONDERFUL. YOu are just opening presents in just the same way.

So if it doesn't work don't be disheartened.

JaMmRocks Sun 01-Aug-10 12:50:54

Don't know if it's been mentioned, but I've heard people say moxibustion works. Could be all tosh but just thought it's worth suggesting.

KristinaM Sun 01-Aug-10 12:54:46

i had it and it worked

was sore but not agony , lots of pushing, but not as bad as one contraction [ouch]

was sore afterwards ( like after a hard session at the gym)

howvere ended up with a cs for other reasons .

MrsJamin Sun 01-Aug-10 15:10:56

I had a v v painful ECV at 39+5 with DC1 - it didn't work but I'm glad I gave it a shot. Most important thing to find out is how successful the particular consultant is - it's down to personal skill. A tip would be to have your hospital bag completely packed and left in the car - sometimes they are worried by the baby's heartbeat and would rather do a CS the same day. I'm pretty sure my ECV kicked off labour as my waters broke 8 hours after the procedure. You're likely to be quite successful as you're not a first-time mother. I had a CS and it really wasn't bad - it is still a birth and you will be very much present there - don't feel bad if that's what you'll need to have to keep safe and have your healthy baby in your arms.

Jaysfourth Sun 01-Aug-10 18:16:14

Thanks ladies for your thoughts and advice. I know i might be sounding daft about it all, and i do know an important part of all this is having a safe baby etc.

Have booked in for the moxibustion, sounds a bit 'hippy dippy' for me as a general rule, but the therapist i spoke to was very positive and gave me some good result stories. Have been bouncing, with a chid on either leg, for most of the afternoon, need to leave all fours till they are in bed or else i get clambered on!

mrsjamin, i wondered about the bag. i will take it in. i know sometimes that if things dont go according to plan then ESC is needed....am staying positive for now though

NonnoMum Sun 01-Aug-10 21:01:22

I'm the least alternative-medicine person I know (bugger the scented candles and give me a paracetemol) but the reflexology certainly did something for me.

And have you found the website spinningbabies? - bit Americano but well intentioned.

Good luck.

CardyMow Sun 01-Aug-10 21:49:50

My first was transverse. They did ECV when they induced me due to pre-eclampsia at 35+5. She was born by the normal exit route (couldn't think of a polite way to say it!). She was 6lb12oz, and suffered no ill effects from being turned, the only problem she had was jaundice, but that was because she was preemie. I did end up with bruises on my tummy, but tbh I'm glad they did it, as otherwise I would have had to have a c-section.

Good luck Jays - remember, as you told me, the most important thing is that your LO arrives safely, however that is. At the time I was really down that I wasnt getting my lovely waterbirth at the birthing centre but it really didn't matter as my LO is here and sleeping beautifully in her cot!! Hope everything goes well and your LO does turn but remember, if they don't , it really isnt the end of the world

pinkheart Sun 01-Aug-10 23:16:44

ChristianaTheSeventh we dont check for cord round babys neck when we scan. it can be anywhere floating about. At my hospital patients are offered 1 go at ecv but no more unless a women pushes for it again (women wanting for home births usually). babies are that way round for a reason, they often turn back again. we had an interesting discussion on this in a recent meeting and our consultants are becomeing less willing to do this procedure at my workplace.

cece Sun 01-Aug-10 23:19:27

I had a transverse lie at 41 weeks and opted for ECV. The docs took a lot of persuading into it. Anyway I turned up the next day for the procedure and DC3 had turned the right way round overnight!

Hadn't felt a thing and he was 9lbs 15oz - born the next day after being induced, due to unstable lie!

NonnoMum Sun 01-Aug-10 23:22:15

Cece - yours can join mine in the circus act.

buttonmoon78 Mon 02-Aug-10 05:11:47

Hi Jaysfourth. I had ECV with dc3. He had been breech since about 25wks with bottom on my tailbone and feet pushing the front of my pelvis. He was turned at 37 wks and it was horrendous BUT I did have mega bad SPD. I had morphine but again this was prob due to the SPD. They scanned v v carefully before during & after. Oddly though, consultant was trying to turn him one way and after a few attempts said he wasn't going. I cried so he said ok, we'll try the other way and he popped round no prob!

For me it was terribly painful but the morphine helped and I would still do it again if the need arose as it saved a section which I didn't want for recovery time as much as anything.

And it worked. He only had a week left to get round again as I was induced at 38 wks due to the SPD (anothe scan...)

I think what I was unaware of is how medieval it would be - lots of heaving and grunting. And that was just the doc! Oh, and that they put the bed with the head end dropped down a couple of inches to 'open your ribcage'.

So, in a snapshot... bloody painful but worth it. IMHO.

ChristianaTheSeventh Mon 02-Aug-10 10:47:03

pinkheart that's really interesting

Also a little bit scary, I am really glad I opted not to go for it because I feel it would have been very distressing, potentially dangerous. I am stunned that where the cord is isn't checked! I gave birth to DD1 in KENYA and they checked the position of the cord before I was induced. Or did they just tell me that?!

pinkheart Sun 08-Aug-10 14:26:28

ChristianaTheSeventh what happens in out dept is that the pt gets a quick scan to check the baby is breech still before they start. (the scan is not normally done by a sonographer but by either a consultant or a midwife(either of who is not even qualified in ultrasound) and then they are scanned post procedure by us. their machine they use to scan with on the ward is terrible, very old and does not have the doppler facility to check cord. the bmus (british medical ultrasound society) are now trying to bring new legislation in to stop people scanning who have had no ultrasound scanning training/qulaifications at all. sooner the better.

Jaysfourth Mon 09-Aug-10 12:15:38

hi all

quick update... have been doing moxibustion since last Wednesday, also, walking down a few stairs frontways..(?) ball bouncing and all four kneeling.... i don't think she has turned so i am still off to the hospital tomorrow for the 'procedure'

Shall let you ladies know. Thanks for the tales (good and bad) i have since watched you tube to get some idea of whats to happen, doesn't look tooooo bad, but i am preparing for an uncomfortable time!

Jaysfourth Tue 10-Aug-10 21:36:09

hi all

another update.

Came into hospital today for a EVC. Scan showed her head down, i was elated, however but the end of scan( 3mins or so later) it was discovered her to be an 'unstable lie' which means shes bobbing about all over the place. They took fluid measurements which measured of the charts, along with all other baby measurements....

Main concern is that if my waters were to break, there is no telling what part of the baby might pop out first and it potentially could be fatal say if it was the umbilical cord.. so the upshot of it is, they have admitted me to hospital for the foreseeable future and are hoping she stabilizes head down when they could then do a controlled rupture of membranes ( which involves some invasive stuff..) and induce me a little earlier.

so no EVC, but now the next two weeks waiting - in hospital....

Jaysfourth Tue 10-Aug-10 21:37:25

ECV..... DOH

ethelina Tue 10-Aug-10 21:55:15

Now I'm nervous, mines booked for tomorrow PM.

Jaysfourth Tue 10-Aug-10 22:04:12

ETHELINA, dont be nervous, dont want to alarm anyone

yours will prob be fine and straight forward! i am sure!

Mine has just decided to be a minx at this late stage.

I am more concerned about my poor mum who has to help look after my other three (2,3 and 4) at home!

Let us/me know how you get on!

ethelina Tue 10-Aug-10 22:11:02


ethelina Tue 10-Aug-10 22:15:56

bit scared. bp all over the place and dont know what they will say tomorrow.

Jaysfourth Wed 11-Aug-10 12:41:09

Good luck this afternoon, thinking positive thoughts for you .

pamplem0usse Wed 11-Aug-10 12:52:11

Jays meant to post on MD August after I'd read your post there but didn't get around to it, but looks like you're checking here so I thought I'd try and be helpful.

I've also got polyhydramnios (what's your measurement? mine's currently around 26 with this biggest pool 7cm) - have they mentioned to you that PH can just be a result of a big baby. I know your due a couple of days before me, and baby has been estimated bigger, but mine is 7lb8ish already (I'm 38 weeks tomorrow)... which I'm told is big for a first baby....

I suspect they've also suggested you have a GTT?

Fortunately our LO is head down and 3/5 engaged although he/she keeps popping up again which is a bit worrying. The midwife didn't seem to believe me when I said he/she was transverse the day before, but baby defininitely was as I could feel hiccups on one side and a bottom on the other.... anyway, they told me if he/she keeps being unstable then they'll bring me in because of the cord prolapse risk. I'm sure you already know it, but you are best off where you are. If you waters go and anything happens with the cord at least they can get you in for a section rapido. Have they told you when they'll induce if things remain the same?

Anyway sorry for blathering, but I do hope you're doing OK....

ethelina Wed 11-Aug-10 18:12:18

The ECV was a success!! Dont know why I was so worried last night and this morning. Was brutal though, my tummy feels like I've just done 10 rounds with Tyson.

Hope the following is helpful for anyone else faced with this option:

They put a CTG monitor on me for about half an hour whilst the Terbutaline injection to relax my uterine muscles took effect. When it was time to start they tilted the bed slightly head-down and then the lovely specialist registrar, with the assistance of the midwife, under the consultant's guidance, scanned to check position. Sure enough he was still breech, legs extended.

Then she started kneading my tummy just like it was dough, starting at the bottom, alternating with the head. Its very physical, she was standing up sweating with the effort of pushing his little bottom out of my pelvis and holding it there whilst she checked on the monitor. She just kept going for about 10 minutes, inching him round to transverse, then finally to cephalic.

I'm so glad DH was there holding my hand, because even though i'm not squeamish and have a quite high tolerance for pain, I lay there head turned away, tears in my eyes, from the force she needed to use to get the little bugger to move!

Now I'm home with strict instructions not to do anything strenuous and try to keep upright for a few hours to make sure he doesn't turn back round. I think I will have a bruise or two tomorrow, but it was completely worth it.

I'm so pleased that I can have a vaginal birth now. All he needs to do is stay in for another 3 weeks...

Jaysfourth Thu 12-Aug-10 07:06:06

Ethelina!! congratulations my love, see told you not to worry ( although i do understand its easier said than done!)

Now all you have to do is sit tight for next three weeks and all will be fine great news!

Pamplem0use - thanks for your post! i didnt know anyone was having the some of the same issues as me! RE the PH, i am told there is not other reason for it, other than that this is a big baby. I dont know the exact measurements of fluids but its way way above the top end of above average on the chart in my booklet...like off of the chart and they had to guess plot it! Havent had any other growth scan to see an estimated weight, but at 36 wks she was just under the 9lb mark.

I was tested for GTT and it was clear - TBH i do have big babies anyway!

I/consultant isnt worried about the size of her as such, just the fact that she is moving around so much - due to lots of fluid and a large uterus ( three big babies in 4 yrs , have to expect some over stretching!) and they are concerned of the prolapsed cord risk if my waters were to break!

My plan is to stay in hospital till 39wks ( next Tuesday) when all being well , if they can catch LO head down and stable, they will do a controlled ERM. Not sure what happens if shes not stable.... consultant told me i was giving her a headache, and she would just like to do a section to get it all sorted out - but understands why i dont want one and is happy to support my decision, which is nice!

Almost feel like a bit of a fraud, its like, i am in hospital, but not even ill.....!!

Let me know how you are getting on! and if you like you can let Aug ladies know, its hard reading all posts on my phone and i feel bad when i dont reply to others!

sent from my iPhone please excuse any spelling mistakes!

Falsley Tue 17-Aug-10 10:44:39

thanks for this thread, and for the detail Ethilina - I'm going in on Thursday for a scan to see if baby is still breach and if they are then I'll be getting the ECV done on Monday.
I'll be 36 weeks on Thursday so from what I've read its the optimal time.
I'm hoping that by Thursday baby may have moved round and I'll not need the procedure, but haven't felt any large movements so not holding my breath!

Jaysfourth Tue 17-Aug-10 21:17:32

quick update

I have been in hospital for a week now, (UNSTABLE LIE) with no sign of her turning into head down position. So today (39 WEEKS) the consultant performed a ECV, which involved me having a presentation scan (showing oblique) they then proceeded to turn baby round and it proved successful, in that her head was down. I then was monitored for an hour to ensure all was ok and i was given anti D ( i am o- ) just in case there was any blood cross over. I am now back on ward waiting till tomorrow to see if she has stayed down. IF she stays down, i have requested a controlled ARM ( membrane rupture) and so the induction would begin. IF she has moved, i will be staying in hospital till next Tuesday ( due date) where i would have a repeat ECV and ARM at the same time.....failing all this, a Section will be booked for after due date.....

Good luck with yours (should you need it) Falsey let us know how you get on.

jamienchloe Fri 20-Aug-10 14:51:13

After reading this thread, I feel a bit more positive.

I found out just yesterday, at 37+4, that my little madam is in the frank breech position.

I have been offered an ECV, which will now go ahead on tuesday. I was so dreading it, but do feel a little better after reading this.

If this does fail, then I will be booked in for c-section on 31st August, due date being 5th September, which I really don't want to go thru with.

My son was born with forceps help, but would really like a normal vaginal delivery this time again, xx

Jaysfourth Sat 21-Aug-10 19:19:03

jamie - i am still in hospital becasue although they manage to turn my baby, she turned herself round the next day. PLease dont be disheartened at this, my baby is in a lot of fluid and i have had v large babies before and have been told that this is a common thing to happen. She is was breech like yours at the same sort of time ,but when i came for my ECV she had managed to get into he 'unstable lie' positon... hence why i had to remain in hospital. I am really pushing the docs and consultants here for a normal delivery, and do seem to have got their attention. I will be waiting till due date ( 24th , same date as yr ECV!) When we will make a plan for another ECV and then a controlled ARM, ( membrane rupture) hoping that all goes to plan and i dont end up with an ECS.... but if i do , at least i know i will have tried all i can

keep us/me updated with your story

jamienchloe Sun 29-Aug-10 19:22:11

Well....I actually ended up going to hospital on the Monday as madam hadn't moved for a while, so after monitoring her for a while they kept me in as i was booked on Tuesday for the ECV anyway. After turning her she moved again, so after repeating it they decided to induce me couple hours later. I was given the pitosin stuff, waters were broken, left for a bit, then given the syntocin drip and eventually gave birth after a 6hr labour Chloe Ann was born on 24th August, weighing in at 8lb 2oz.
She also had alot of water around her, I was still "leaking" when I had her!!! But it was a great birth, we are now settled in back home, and doing well, xx

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