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Are people aware of the dangers of ECV?

(86 Posts)
himynameisfred Fri 17-Aug-12 15:54:21

I want to warn people that it's not safe and could result in death and not worth the risk x

tgamble13 Wed 25-Dec-13 10:08:27

i was offered an evc last week and my partner and i have refused and have opted for a c/section if baby doesnt turn between now and two weeks time. my view is baby will decide what they want to do and how they do it am letting nature take its course but obviously will have to intervene near the end as i dont think vaginal breech birth is safe either due to lack of skills of professionals. we havent made this decision light heartedly and have read all the guidance and research carried out around this

alice93 Wed 25-Dec-13 04:09:00

Sorry I just reread your post!! Totally not what you asked!! My advice is just keep bothering them for a scan, it should be top priority... Sorry !

alice93 Wed 25-Dec-13 04:06:08

What a coincidence (I'm up with heartburn) - I had ECV this afternoon, 38 weeks preg and he was transverse (cross ways like your partners), they turned him, it was painful!! I felt bruised all evening and still do a bit and very tired. They turned him 270 degrees clockwise as he didn't want to do the 90 degrees anticlockwise - typical. They monitered him and then sent me home. I think he's gone back to his original position but I'll get confirmation on that later today.

To be honest I was quite scared, but reassured as I knew my consultant who did it had a good reputation. They said the chances of it being successful are 50%, I think it was worth it though. As long as you're monitered afterwards. Although I'm a bit reluctant for a second go (they said NICE guidelines says two chances then csec and I do kinda want to have a natural birth!)

Good luck with the choice. Ultimately it's your partners though.. Mine was pretty for it but refused to say anything when I was given the option. If anything goes wrong they will just do a csec so as long as they moniter you it seems good.

SantaClausBarnsley Wed 25-Dec-13 03:55:43

Apologies for hijacking the thread. My partner had a failed ECV on Monday. Now the baby is side to side, neither up nor down. The hospital won't let her home. They want to monitor the baby, which they are doing via heartbeat periodically. They have concerns regarding the cord, they promised a scan (to a laymen this sounds like an obvious thing to do), but nothing has materialised.

I want my baby, not a medical negligence claim. What should I do? I have asked the local baby view if they can do a scan....but it won't be Christmas morning. I suspect the. Lack of a scan is a financial, technical, or capability based constraint. Should i just go get them and take them to a better hospital?

babycakemumma Tue 19-Nov-13 17:00:57

Thanks for the info from the ladies here. I'm trying to make these choices if my baby doesn't turn and the consultant pushed for this. Turn baby turn!


Xenadog Mon 18-Nov-13 10:58:28

Hello all. I'm just back from seeing the consultant (surprise surprise a different one to the one I saw 2 weeks ago - where is the consistency of care?) and having my scan. Baby is still breech and I did feel pressurised by both the midwife and the doctor to have a ECV.

The midwife talked to me about how gently they try to move the baby and how they monitor all the way through. She could see I wasn't keen when I mentioned placental abruption and then told me about shining a light on my stomach to get the baby to move as well as doing moxibustion. She also spoke very conspiringly to me about going to see her after seeing the doctor if I wanted more information on "Natural" ways to move the baby! WTF????

The doctor went straight into ECV and how they are done but couldn't tell me who would do it or what their success rate was ("best person in on the day" apparently!) except to say that the success rate is between 30% and 80% depending who does the ECV.

I pointed out I wanted data on the person who would be doing the ECV and then I could make an informed decision but the best they can offer me is a "little chat" with the consultant prior to the procedure! How on earth can that help me make a decision about a potentially dangerous procedure which I would then be expected to have almost immediately?

The doctor then said they used to do EVCs at 34 weeks but because so many went wrong they had to do C Sections on prem babies which was dangerous so now they leave it until 37/38 weeks. Surely if these ECVs go so wrong and lead to emergency C Sections they shouldn't be doing them?

Basically I stuck to my guns thanks to this thread and insisted that if baby doesn't move herself I would be expecting a C Section. The doctor booked me in for 11/12/13 (the date I cheekily asked for!) and if she hasn't turned herself then that is what will be happening.

I can only say thank you once again to himynameisfred for setting up this thread and sharing your story. I feel I owe you a huge debt of gratitude and also to the other ladies who have posted on here and offered me advice.

Xena x

Xenadog Sun 17-Nov-13 17:46:14

Thanks greentshirt I will go in tomorrow with a clear view about what I want and what can not happen if baby I still breech. I do tend to be a bit of an unmoveable object when I need/want to be and knowledge about the NICE guidelines will just give me that bit of a boost.

greentshirt Sun 17-Nov-13 15:51:19

It goes on a little bit more about breech presentation in the guidelines. They are very interesting and worth a read if anyone thinks they might want a section or dont feel they are being offered one in the appropriate circumstances


greentshirt Sun 17-Nov-13 15:49:05

From the Section NICE guidelines:

indications for CS (such as presumed fetal compromise, 'failure to progress' in
labour, breech presentation)

greentshirt Sun 17-Nov-13 15:46:31

You absolutely can have an ELCS Xenadog in your situation. You might find when you get to the hospital they might not try very hard at all to persuade you on ECV, my friend's baby was breech and they made so much of the dangers it was more a case of 'you can do this if you want but you would really be better with a section' She went for the section and everything is fine.

I dont know if im correct in this but I dont think the nhs will allow a breecgh vaginal delivery if they already know about the baby's position so I dont think you need to worry about that.

Hope the scan goes well

Xenadog Sun 17-Nov-13 14:16:41

This thread has appeared at the right time for me.

Firstly, OP can I just extend my deepest condolences to you for the awful experience you went through. I am so sorry about how things turned out for you and your original thread had me in tears. I think you were incredibly brave to share your story and I am grateful you have chosen to highlight the dangers of ECVs.

Secondly, I had a scan 2 weeks ago at 34 weeks and found out my baby is a footling breech. I am back at the hospital tomorrow to have another scan to see if the baby has moved and if not then I can discuss what options I have.

I had not realised ECVs did have real and awful dangers linked to them but I admit I have felt worried about the cord ended up wrapped around the baby's neck.

Tomorrow if the scan shows my baby is still a footling breech am I within my rights to say I want to go down the route of a C Section and not attempt an ECV? Is it possible for the doctor to try to insist I have one? Or could they insist I attempt a vaginal birth if I don't want the ECV? Basically what rights do I have?

DP will be coming to the appointment but he is less assertive than me so I feel I need the all facts so I can be determined and focused on the right thing for me and my baby.

Thank you in advance to anyone who can offer some advice.

my baby was oblique until 35 weeks and midwife started talking about ecv.
luckily she is now head down but I would have refused ecv.

Shellywelly1973 Sat 16-Nov-13 23:16:49

My baby is currently transverse.

I wouldn't consider ECV but after reading this thread I feel totally justified in my decision.

Just want to send my condolences and sympathies to all the parents who lost their babies.

LittlePeaPod Sat 16-Nov-13 10:12:39

I am so so sorry for your loss Op. [Flowers] My thoughts are with you and your family. Thank you for sharing your experience. It has strengthened my resolve that an ELCS is the right choice for our baby. Thank you for that.

kiwiscantfly Sat 16-Nov-13 04:57:46

I had one attempt at an ECV and it was the most painful thing I've ever experienced, and I had the gas and air! It didn't work and afterwards while I was crying with pain the consultant was quite sheepish and said I must have strong stomach muscles and the baby was firmly stuck. My baby was fine and two weeks later she was born with a very relaxing ELCS. I would never recommend them!

Nicolels Fri 15-Nov-13 23:47:45

I had an ECV at 37 weeks. I read the leaflet given and after reading the leaflet on it, decided it sounded fairly straight forward. I went in in the morning without any of my hospital stuff. We were meant to be going out for dinner that night for my mother-in-laws birthday. It was only last minute I decided not to drive in (my partner didn't drive at the time) and got my sister-in-law to take us in. They did a scan before and during the procedure. It was incredibly painful and I had no pain relief. Halfway through they stopped because I suddenly felt very faint. I remember feeling very strange. Whilst they stopped they rechecked the baby's heartbeat. The next bit is all a blur. I remember the two drs looking at each other in panic. I remember being told I needed to go for a c-section right away. I was wheeled down the corridor, my clothes pulled off me as I was pushed along. I vividly remember asking them not to let my baby die and the look on the woman dr's face who didn't even respond. I can remember how much I was shaking, the anaesthetist was stroking my hair to try calm me down as he was putting me to sleep. I don't remember the alarms going off but they must of as everyone came running with us down to theatre. My partner was kept outside and wasn't told anything. They had six minutes roughly to get me from the room I was in, put me to sleep and get my daughter out. By some miracle she survived with no problems whatsoever. The cord had got wrapped round her body and neck twice. I'm so grateful she survived but it had terrible knock on effects. The day she was born was the worst day of my life. I had vivid flashbacks for the next 6 months after and suffered from post natal depression that still to this day, although I am now ok, I've hardly even spoken to my partner about.

Catchingmockingbirds Fri 05-Apr-13 13:11:01

I must have been typing the wrong thing into google, I've now found information on it.

weeblueberry Fri 05-Apr-13 12:47:18

Although I'm fairly sure BabyBlueberry is engaged now, I did read this topic about 2 weeks ago when it was fairly certain she was breech. After doing my own research I decided if she stayed feet down that I would decline an ECV. If this is the case, and the baby is breech, are you entitled to an ELCS? Or can they encourage a natural breech birth (which I wouldn't want either?).

Am hoping next midwife visit confirms she's head down but am curious just in case. Is breech a failsafe reason for getting an ELCS?

Catchingmockingbirds Fri 05-Apr-13 12:36:33

Thank you for posting this OP, and thanks everyone else who have shared their stories too. I'm due my second next month and have never heard of this. I've searched for some information on google but can't find much, what is involved when they are carried out?

greatscott81 Fri 05-Apr-13 12:28:13

I am 38 weeks pregnant and my baby was discovered to be breech yesterday (this is despite my midwife telling me unreservedly that the baby's head was engaged and I was all set for a natural birth). They offered me an ECV to take place this morning at 8.30am. The registrar was very nice but quite persuasive and it wasn't until I got home that I realised I really didn't feel comfortable with the procedure. With a mere 30% success rate and the bulk of personal experiences I have heard from friends being highly unfavourable I didn't feel I could go through with it. I got the impression from the NHS staff that I was doing the wrong thing which I don't think is reasonable (particularly as I'd only had the news that day and was feeling very emotional and stressed).

The fact that my baby's bottom is engaged means it would be even harder to turn and the baby has been in the same position for about 7 weeks now so I can't imagine this would have been successful. It seems like a risky procedure and I'm very glad I've declined.

Manchesterhistorygirl Fri 05-Apr-13 12:22:45

Ds1 was breech and my consultant refused to perform an ecv because it was too dangerous and elcs was the safer option.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

So sorry for your loss. I wouldn't have an ECV because of the risks. My daughter was stillborn at 37 weeks just over 2 years ago and she was breach. As she was already dead I allowed them to try to turn her. It didn't work and I was induced and she was born breach. It was almost a section though as her foot got stuck inside me. The ECV was also painful and I could never have let them to one if my baby was alive.

Sunnysummer Fri 05-Apr-13 12:13:23

This sounds awful and I am so sorry for your loss.

In terms of other people changing their minds, though, are we concerned that while statistics can be dodgy, one anecdote is even less likely to be reliable? If ECV has a 0.5% complication rate, then that does imply that 1 in 200 outcomes will be a sad one... But c-sections and breech births also come with risks, and there are some very stories here too. It's a very difficult decision to make, and statistics and expert opinions can help to make that choice.

Andcake Fri 05-Apr-13 11:48:12

Sorry for people's losses and bad experiences. I had a breech baby and was offered ecv but after researching especially a lot of people in the us who felt it had contributed to problems chose a cs instead. I felt it just wasn't worth the risk as this was a much longed for baby. I think a lot of pressure is put on women to have vbac but in my mind I didn't care how the baby came out as long as it was alive and well. We had been told I only had a 1% chance of conceiving so it wasn't worth the risk.

VeganCow Fri 05-Apr-13 11:38:09

Hoping my story might help anyone deciding what to do with their breech baby, although I know every birth is different.

I had my 2nd baby, breech, turned by a VERY experienced consultant. I was given the choice at the time of a planned caeserean section, breech birth or ECV, and I went with the consultants suggestion of ECV.
I was scanned before, and after the procedure which I found uncomfortable but only took around a minute. Baby stayed in correct position. I was 37 weeks.

However, I am almost certain that this procedure resulted in an awful full labour followed by emergency section at 40+ weeks. I went into labour naturally but there was meconium as waters broke and baby was stressed throughout labour. Lack of oxygen resulted in the ECS.

Thankfully all was ok in the end, but with hindsight I wish I had kept things as nature intended and gone for a breech birth.

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