Would you like to be a member of our research panel? Join here - there's (nearly) always a great incentive offered for your views.

Are people aware of the dangers of ECV?

(91 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

lisad123 Fri 17-Aug-12 15:55:06


himynameisfred Fri 17-Aug-12 15:57:31

ECV Having a breech baby turned, it's what they're doing now, instead of cesarian or breech birth.
I was led to think it was safe when I had it a couple of months ago, it ended badly.

lisad123 Fri 17-Aug-12 15:58:40

I'm sorry to hear that sad
I have had a few of my teenage mums I work with have their babies turned too. I thought it was weird as always remember being told its dangerous.

guanosoup Fri 17-Aug-12 15:58:41

you need to be more specific, sorry!

sundaesundae Fri 17-Aug-12 16:00:32

I assume you have had a bad experience? Studies have shown that it is very safe procedure and fairly large studies have been done. Oxford did a large study of 800 ECV's which gave rise to a rate of 0.5% for emcs following the procedure and no deaths.

I am very sorry if you have had an upsetting experience.

sundaesundae Fri 17-Aug-12 16:01:12

External Cephalic Version, manually turning a baby.

guanosoup Fri 17-Aug-12 16:01:15

I apologise for my silly post, and sad to hear that things went wrong for you. xx

himynameisfred Fri 17-Aug-12 16:01:50

External cephalic version

Does that explain anything? :p Having the baby turned.

I had my baby turned and this is how it ended, my birth story.


himynameisfred Fri 17-Aug-12 16:02:31

it's not about me, this thread, I just wanted to say it's not so safe and not worth the risk!

himynameisfred Fri 17-Aug-12 16:05:32

sundae sundae, do you think the statistics could be misleading?
as small placental abruptions that are initially caused my ECVs can because major placental abruptions when contraction later start.
The ECV can be fobbed off as not being related as the baby being in dissress wasn't immediate, but I'm not so convinced.

himynameisfred Fri 17-Aug-12 16:05:49


3littlefrogs Fri 17-Aug-12 16:09:34

When I trained and worked as a midwife back in the 70s we were taught that ECV was risky. Not just because of the risk of placental abruption, but also cord entanglement.

I didn't realise it was even done these days.

himynameisfred Fri 17-Aug-12 16:14:46

The reason I think ECV causes more harm than documented, is because my daughters MRI scans were shown to not only addenbrookes doctors, but the leading specialist in the country.
And they both said that the damage was not an accute event and they suspected decreased oxygen supply for at least a few weeks previous to the birth.
I believe the placenta became minorly abruption after the ECV.
Labour contractions caused the placenta to completely break up.

We will never know, as the doctor performing the ECV only checked her heartbeat and said she was fine afterwards.
The heartbeat being fine after ECV doesn't mean there has been no damage done, as I think my case has proven.
How many others does this happen to? but they don't link it to the EVC as it wasn't immediate?

sundaesundae Fri 17-Aug-12 16:16:14

Sounds like what you went for was horrific. With these statistics there are always going to be people that are sadly in the 0.5%, which of course does not help those who are in it.

I am so sorry for your loss, I can understand your desire to tell people what has happened to you, which is a complete tragedy.

3littlefrogs Fri 17-Aug-12 16:19:38

himynameisfred. I am so sorry about your terrible experience.

I don't know how the statistics regarding ECV were compiled, or when/by whom.

However - it is possible to make statistics say whatever is required, depending on what information is collected, how the study is designed and interpreted.

Maybe someone who knows a bit more about it can shed more light.

Once again - my heartfelt sympathy to you. sad

C0smos Fri 17-Aug-12 16:22:46

I live overseas, it's not allowed here, I'm always shocked when I read about people having this done, it sounds barbaric, my baby was breech and c section was the only option offered to me, quite rightly IMO

lisad123 Fri 17-Aug-12 16:25:31

Just read your story, so sorry for your loss sad

Margerykemp Fri 17-Aug-12 16:30:16

I have always known that ecv was dangerous, but probably only because I did a lot of extra research during pg.

If my baby had been breech Im pretty sure I would have refused it. I think it's appalling that they didn't offer you a breech vaginal birth.

I hope you sue the arses off the hospital/doctors involved and that the people responsible for this negligenced are punished.

Boggler Fri 17-Aug-12 16:40:18

himynameisfred I read your story earlier and it's so very sad.
I know that ecv is very dangerous from talking to a midwife friend of my mothers, my baby is transverse and when I told her that I'd been offered an ecv she almost choked. She's an experienced older midwife and she's of the opinion that it's too risky to contemplate and a c section although a major op for mum is the best and safest course of action for baby. Needless to say I declined the ecv and my transverse baby is being next week by elcs.

himynameisfred Fri 17-Aug-12 16:45:37

thanks, there's no negligence though, they said placental abruptions just happen naturally.

I think it's caused by ECV, from what I've said.

I feel bad for the doctor who performed it, he came to be after I woke up from the crash section and held my hand and said he was sorry.
He just started performing ECVs about a year ago.

I don't think they're linking it to the abruption, but I am, based on what I've said.

himynameisfred Fri 17-Aug-12 16:50:56

I'm glad you were warned Boggler, it worries me that even minor abruption could happen during ecv, cutting off some oxygen supply, that may then repair itself, but may later be to blame for cerebal palsy, where celebal palsy often has an unknown cause, they say that they must have gone without some oxygen while in utero.
It needs more looking into..

Boggler Fri 17-Aug-12 17:48:03

Personally I'm all for avoiding unecessary risks, I know c sections come with their risks but on the whole they are known such as haemorrhage or DVT and precautions can be taken. Having known 3 people whose babies have died from avoidable causes it makes me mad to hear people championing natural childbirth and home births as being the best options, very often they are not best and can lead to delays if things don't go to plan.

rubberducky24 Fri 17-Aug-12 18:41:53

Hi - this thread appeared at the the right time for me. My baby has been breech for the entire pregnancy and a scan today confirmed she is extended breech. I have to see the consultant on Wednesday to discuss an ECV but reading this thread has made me decide I don't want one. I am perfectly fine with the thought of a c section, I did want a water birth but will happily forego this for a healthy baby! Thank you for posting your stories.

panicnotanymore Fri 17-Aug-12 18:55:34

Thank you for posting, I had never heard of this and am grateful for the heads up.

I am so sorry to hear about your awful experience.

Lora1982 Fri 17-Aug-12 18:56:09

i think it was good of you to warn... im obviously against it now

Boggler Fri 17-Aug-12 19:00:58

rubberducky if the thread helps you make a decision against ecv then I'm glad. Why take unecessary risks? If you want your baby to get head down there are natural ways to do tis, there's a website called spinning babies that shows you how to sit etc to give the baby a chance to go head down by themselves without need for ecv. Ecv is supposed to be very painful as well and I've seen threads from women who needed gas and air for the pain as well.

CakeBump Fri 17-Aug-12 19:01:05

Thank you for starting this thread OP.

I'm expecting my first and had never heard of ECV either. I would have unthinkingly gone along with it had it been offered.

So sorry to hear your story sad

C0smos Fri 17-Aug-12 19:03:05

Just seen your other friend, I am so sorry for your loss

NapaCab Fri 17-Aug-12 19:03:50

Sorry for your loss, OP. What a tragedy that ECV had such awful consequences for you.

I wasn't aware that manual version of a breech baby came with the risk of abruption but personally if a scan showed that my baby was breech in advance of labour onset, I would always go for planned C-section anyway. It has risks as well e.g. placental abruption in future pregnancies but I would still prefer it.

I wonder if this return to using ECV is part of an attempt to 'de-medicalise' birth and reduce C-section rates? I know a lot of hospitals are under pressure to keep their C-section rate down so I wonder if they're recommending this risky procedure to women in an attempt to avoid C-sections? If so, that's appalling. Healthy baby, healthy mother should be the priority, not hospital statistics and targets.

Jules125 Fri 17-Aug-12 19:26:32

I was offered an ECV for my transverse baby in 2010 but my obstetrician didn't really recommend it (and told me it would be "very reasonable" to refuse). Maybe she was concerned about such risks (I had lost a previous baby so they really wanted it to go well for me). I went straight to c section.

himynameisfred Fri 17-Aug-12 20:07:56

I wasn't really told of the risks.
I was just told that the doctor was confident we could avoid a c-section.
He seemed quite excited and confident about doing it.
He was newly trained in doing it and one of only two doctors who do it here.
I didn't hear anyone elses opinions on it.

Fricken idiot I am

When he came to apologise to me after the birth I was confused and had no idea why, I hadn't seen my daughter yet and didn't have any idea what had happened yet.

Fred so sorry to read your story.

If I am in the same position I will now know to ask for CS instead, so thank you for sharing.

cogitosum Fri 17-Aug-12 20:41:42

I'm really sad to hear your story Fred. Thank you for this thread

Margerykemp Fri 17-Aug-12 20:45:18

Op if you had an ecv because you were given misinformation that is negligent. They should have explained the risks and also given you the option of a vaginal breech birth.

To put it into perspective though ecv is safer than c-section esp if it isn't your last pregnancy. Placental abruption is one of the greatest risks to a pregnancy where there has been a previous c-section.

And to the poster who tried to make this about bashing homebirth and the the op's decision to have one- shame on you.

himynameisfred Fri 17-Aug-12 21:05:42

He's a nice man, but I think he was over enthusiastic about the turning procedure, so forgot to tell me dangers.

I was told by all the staff that if I'd been having a hospital birth, they wouldn't have evenbeen checking her heartbeat at such an early stage and would have likely toldme to go home at just 3cms dilated.
It was only because of the homebirth and having two midwives to myself that they caught the danger so early and got me to hospital within 10 minutes from hearing the heartbeat drop.
HAd I been in hospital they wouldnt have noticed until it was too late and I would have had a stillborn

booflebean Fri 17-Aug-12 21:12:01

Agreed. I would definitely refuse ecv.

Boggler Fri 17-Aug-12 22:19:28

margeryemp if your comment about knocking the op decision to have a home birth was directed at me I think it was misplaced. Im very supportive f the op's position especially the misinformation about the risks of ecv I was merely pointing out that complications at home births can lead to delays - op ths was not the case with you as you had 2 on the ball midwives. I'm sorry if anyone thinks I was knocking you - I wasn't.

CakeBump Sat 18-Aug-12 08:41:01

fred could I ask if you would consider a home birth again, or recommend it?

I have been seriously thinking about it, but as its DC1 I'm really not sure. Stories like yours initially put me off a home birth in case anything goes wrong, but from your last post it sounds like a home birth was still the better option?

So difficult to know what to do for the best.

Thank you again for sharing, it's given me a lot of food for thought.

mrswee Sat 18-Aug-12 13:05:17

himynameisfred Thank you for sharing your story, I am sorry it is a sad one.
My dd was breach, I was offered EVC, presauded it was safer than a section and I should at least try it. I would have refused but the consultant was so convincing. We very very lucky that my DD turned herself just before the procedure was due to happen so I didnt need to go ahead, we only found out at the scan immedietly before the procedure was going to happen.

If you had not shared your story, and I was to end up with another breach baby, I probably would have gone ahead and agreed again, but after reading this I won't. Because it makes a mockery of the supposed safe statistics that my consultant was using to convince me.

I hope you can find some peace over time.

Thumbwitch Sat 18-Aug-12 13:17:27

Another one who is grateful to you for posting and heartbroken for you for the loss of your beautiful Angel.
I didn't know about this either but as I also have a baby who is persistently transverse lie, I will make sure that if ECV is offered to me, I will refuse it. Mind you, at 32w currently, I'm still hoping baby will go head down.

I read your other thread OP and I am so so sorry for your loss. I was in tears reading it.

After reading your story myself and DP have decided if this baby is breech and we are given the option we will go for a section. So I hope you can take comfort from the fact that people are learning from yours and Angels story.

Thank you for posting about this xx

ItsMyLastOne Sat 18-Aug-12 13:27:29

I'm glad I read this. I have no idea of the position of my baby yet as I'm only 25 weeks but it's something I've been thinking about. I was in a state of ignorant bliss with DD and never considered anything could go wrong. Luckily it went pretty smoothly.

It is something I've heard of, and I had actually been thinking that if my baby was breech I'd rather opt for a vaginal birth with baby being turned than a cs. I can't believe I didn't know the risks! A friend of mine had an unsuccessful ECV with her DD but ended up having an ELCS. I doubt she knew the risks either. Very scary stuff!

ItsMyLastOne Sat 18-Aug-12 13:37:30

I just mentioned this to my sister and she said another of our friends had this done about 6 months ago when she was 33 weeks. Does anyone know if it's something that's safer earlier in pregnancy or not necessarily?

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Sat 18-Aug-12 13:42:41

I'm so sorry for your loss. It's really good of you to come and tell others of your experience, I would rather know of these dangers

Dillydollydaydream Sat 18-Aug-12 14:34:47

So sorry to read about your loss sad
Thank you or sharing your experience though to help others make an informed decision in the future.

CaptainHetty Wed 22-Aug-12 16:46:23

I'm sorry for your loss, and it's incredibly brave of you to share your story to let other people make informed decisions. I was linked here from another thread and the posts here have reinforced my decision not to take up an ECV if baby is still breech in a couple of weeks time.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 30-Aug-12 09:37:18

himynameisfred - I'm so very, very sorry that you lost your beautiful baby.

I had an ECV for my second baby, who was breech. I didn't like the idea, so I had a long discussion about it with a doctor at the hospital and was told that a caesarean was far more risky than ECV. She wouldn't endorse the idea that a breech baby could be born naturally either and said that if I didn't have the ECV I would have to have a caesarean.

I had the ECV and it felt very odd, although it didn't hurt. Nobody gave me a scan before, during or after it.

I went on to have a very odd birth - I was later told it was called a 'silent labour', as I never went into proper labour . When I finally went into hospital, because of bleeding, the midwives were surprised that I was already 10cm dilated. My baby's heartbeat was dipping every time I had a contraction and they were very concerned. He was born soon after and needed to be resuscitated, but, thank god, he breathed.

The midwives told me that he had the cord wrapped three times round his body and twice round his neck. I have always worried that it was the ECV that did this to him and that I had a lucky escape.

I'm so very, very sorry it ended badly for you, op.

AC786 Thu 30-Aug-12 14:42:33

This is very sad and I am very sorry for your loss. Heartbreaking. Thank you for having the courage to share.

Northernlurkerisonholiday Thu 30-Aug-12 14:52:16

I think that is very difficult to be absolutely sure why some pregnancies hit trouble because of course you can only see the results of one course of action. I don't think ECV is unsafe but like any intervention it has risks which should be outlined. That said I was always uncomfortable with the idea of ECV. Primarily because if there's room for the baby to be turned, there's room for them to turn back and then you end up facing a c-section anyway.
I'm very sorry for your loss OP.

shai080512 Thu 24-Jan-13 17:37:47

Hi, I'd like to share my story with you also. I did a search for deaths due to ecv on google and your forum came up. I'm not a mum though I'm a husband.

Basically, we had an ecv carried out and soon after our babies movements slowed down. We thought it was due to the fact that his head was engaged and we weren't told to look out for any signs afterwards like this. We went in for a scan and their faces dropped as they couldn't find out babies heartbeat. It was like a horror film unrolling before our eyes. My wife then had to be induced and 3 days later she gave birth to our beautiful little son (Shai). His placenta was so tight around his neck that they had to cut it off and because of this the birth took hours as he just wouldn't come down without being yanked out forcefully with forceps.

We had a postmortem carried out and they said that there was sins of Chronic Hystiocytic Intervillositis in the placenta (a very rare ckndi

shai080512 Thu 24-Jan-13 17:43:01

Sorry that sent before I could finish.

A very rare condition that makes you body attack the placenta like its a foreign body. However, we've since been to a CHI specialist and they've told us that it wasn't really the cause of death and said it pointed towards the ECV as the cause instead. When performing the ECV they forcefully tried turning our baby at least 3 times and our baby didn't budge. They tried once more and he turned. It seemed a very brutal procedure at the time as so much force was involved to turn him they (the consultant) were shaking with the effort.

I don't think they had a good idea of the location if the placenta prior to the turning and putting my wife on a monitor for half an hour just didn't seem enough.

Please think through this before you think about getting an ECV done.

MrsAmaretto Thu 24-Jan-13 18:13:19

I'm sorry for your loss.

I had an ECV, had the risks explained, was scanned before, during & after the procedure and was given stats by the consultant on his "success rate", how many he does in a month and how many years he'd been doing so (30+) .

Without clear facts pertaining to a specific unit/hospital/ consultant you can not make an informed decision. Likewise I've asked similar questions relating to breech vaginal birth, VBAC & homebirths.

We all hope & pray we don't become the tiny percentage where things go devastatingly wrong.

shai080512 Thu 24-Jan-13 18:34:44

I pray that no one else has to go through this ordeal also.
It made it worse the fact that we'd been trying to co Clive for 10 years and now probably won't have the luck for it to happen again. We adopted a beautiful little boy who we adore so we have to count our blessings.

This video shows a normal ECV. When compared to our one the force used was about 20 times more. It was like they had to dig their knees to get leverage and sweat was coming off their foreheads. This video is how it's supposed to be: youtu.be/6AM6wDwTjmc

shai080512 Thu 24-Jan-13 18:37:46

That was supposed to say conceive-iPhones and this forum don't mix

chloeb2002 Thu 24-Jan-13 20:32:10

I think i is a very personal decision. You need to trust your obs. My last bub was breech and 83rd centile and i had a spontaneous aph in my first pregnancy and was trying for a vbac ( they can happen at any time even during delivery for no known reason) It was decided i had too many risk actors to under go an ecv. Current bub is also breech and again it will not be offered. However i do know other women it has worked well for and it can be a beneficial tool.

lovemybabyboy Thu 24-Jan-13 22:44:21

I am so sorry himynameisfred sad

But thank you for sharing your story, I had never heard the dangers of this procedure before and reading this could potentially save another persons baby.

shai080512 Fri 25-Jan-13 09:19:18

I think you hit the nail on the head. I reckon they're doing this to save money and reduce the amounts of c-sections performed. Also each c-section takes up at around 12-15 staff to perform in total and an ecv 1-2.

weeblueberry Fri 25-Jan-13 16:48:24

I'm so sorry for what happened with Angel himynameisfred. Utter tragedy. sad

I admit this thread has opened my eyes to how dangerous this procedure is and I would definitely add it to my 'things to read up on' list prior to labour. Its such a scary time because you cannot know about literally everything so have to trust your midwife. But when you hear such scary statistics it really makes you think.

duchesse Sun 03-Mar-13 00:39:22

I am so very sorry for the loss of your dd, fred.

My DH's colleague recently had an ECV to turn her baby that was predicted to be 4lbs at birth on the scans (hence suspected IUGR as well). Very sensibly the baby refused to budge and was born by CS two days ago weighing 5lbs 12 at 39 weeks (DH's colleague is tiny). When DH came home saying they were going in for ECV my heart sank for them. Luckily everything went well in the end.

I agree with you that it is not safe. I did a lot of reading up about it in the 90s when friends were having breech babies and it according to the research available at the time it was rather risky. Maybe it was a better option back when surgery was much more risky but it just makes no sense now. I am amazed they are doing so many of them.

Maybe there's a physical reason why some babies prefer to be head up? Maybe instead of trying to normalise foetal position they could try to work out why some babies stay head up? It's not going to be by accident. I think we shouldn't be tampering with that.

HopeTulips Fri 05-Apr-13 05:52:07

Hi there
For those who have shared their experiences thank you very much. After three miscarriages am on my 4th pregnancy at almost 37 weeks and have a breech baby. From 32 weeks he has been breech so its no shock. Yesterday we were scanned again and prior to going to meet the consultant I had completely made up my mind to go for a c section. However yesterday they really tried to change my mind and make an ecv sound appealing and incredibly safe. I got so confused, but still booked a c section for the 22nd April with the option of calling up this morning and booking an ecv for next week. Considering I had wished for a natural birth its been really tough. However reading this has helped me realise that I really need to be strong and follow my instinct and go with the c section. Of course I am nervous of the risks but I don't know if I could put my baby through an attempted turning now, so feel the best decision has been made.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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 13:11:01

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

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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 15:51:19

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


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.

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

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!


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?

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.

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 !

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

messenger84 Fri 07-Nov-14 20:51:38

So glad I found this discussion - only too late to change anything for myself. But I am glad the information in there to consider - I wish it was there when I was doing my research back in 2009...

So goes another sad story. Not as sad as from himynameisfred (i cant stop crying after reading it). But my child was damaged for life.

I was pregnant with my first child in winter 2008/2009, with a due date of May 5. Everything was going perfect. I was 25, very healthy, no medications or drug use ever, taking vitamins and eating mostly organic food. Needless to say I was convinced that the best way is a natural delivery, so my birth plan was to not use any pain medications or any medications whatsoever. In the end of the day, my grandmother had 7 children and my mother had me with no medications. My plan was compromised at~35 weeks when the midwife discovered at the routine check up that the baby was breached. Ultrasound confirmed. The clinic I went to was traditional/alternative medicine mix and they always advocate natural ways to heal whenever possible. So the midwife had me do some special excercise and moxibustion stick at my toes for a couple weeks, as well as drinking more water to increase the amniotic fluid levels. No results - baby stayed breached. She then informed me about ECV option, saying that it is overall a pretty safe procedure, with sucess rate 50-60% and minimal complications. I have done the research online and found nothing to the contrary. So I met with the doctor to discuss the procedure. Again, the only risks that were brought out were placenta abruption or going in premature delivery, but they convinced that I and the baby will be closely monitored and in the event of anything goes wrong, baby will be delivered within minutes (procedure is done in the hospital by an obstetrician). The risk seemed mitigated and I decided to go ahead. At 38 weeks the EVC was performed. It appeared that all the checks were done prior. Unltrasound estimated baby at 5.5lbs, amniotic fluid levels good. I was given the muscle relaxant and doctor started pushing. It was terribly painful. I don't recall how long it lasted until baby's heart rate started dropping. It went down from 170 to 90 per minute. The procedure was stopped as at this point it was not considered safe to continue. I stayed in the room, closely monitored. The heart rate went back to normal within 10-15 minutes. They sent me home half and hour later and scheduled C section in 12 days (just prior to my due date to make sure I won't go into labor). THIS is what I should have done in the first place!

The section was a success. My daughter Elizabeth was born on on April 29, 2009. She was 9 lbs 1 oz, so it is agross miscalculation that she could have been 5-6 lbs 10 days prior to that! I they realized it was a large baby, she should have thought and inform me that the success of the EVC was much lower in the first place. But I am still not up to the main point, sorry for a lenthly post... We started realizing towards the end of her first year that something is not right with Elizabeth. She did not start to crawl till 11 month and walk till 16 month. He speech was behind. We started doing some test and evaluations. I spare of all the details of what evaluation and therapies we did in last 5 years... The only medical diagnosis to date is central (stems from the brain) benign (no going to worsen) congenital (something she was born with) hypotonia (low muscle tone). Ths results in a lot of challenges with coordination, motor planning and execution, unintelligble speech. We have to do a lot of tharapies (occupational, physical, speech)just to help her function close to a level of a normal child. This will never go away though, and it is likely that my child will not be an independent adult. The life is hell and there is no light in the end of the tunnel. Considering all the health factors, the most likely reason for this neurological deficiency was somehting that happenned during EVC. The heart rate drop. This means that my child was about to die during that procedure. That also means there was, for some time, a lack of oxigen to her brain... I do not think something like that can go without consequences....I have heard at least 2 times that kids after attempted EVC had neurological problems. Why is this not studied and not disclosed to people who are offered EVC??? If i was told that there is even a REMOTE chance that my child won't be normal because off that I would say HECK NO to EVC.

messenger84 Fri 07-Nov-14 20:58:36

I really want it to be know that there are huge risks! 50-60% is stated sucess rate of EVC - has anyone consiering monitoring what happens to those 50-40% of children who underwent EVC but were not tuned around? I hope most of them did not suffer long-term consequences. But we never know...something tells me there will be a trend once some dat is collected...This should be studied! The full disclosure should be made to parents-to-be. These warnings should be the first things to com eout when you google EVC.

Ag1105 Sat 08-Nov-14 16:00:01

Hi I am also very sorry for your loss. I wish I had read your story earlier so I would not do the EVC. My baby was breech at 37 weeks. I really did not want a csection. After consulting with a few doctors who ensured me that it was rare to have early labor after EVC, I opt for it. The procedure was painful. After 30 to 40 minutes, the doctor told me that the baby could not be turned, whenever she tried to push on her head, her heart rate dropped, she can't continue. I was very disappointed. They sent me to get monitored. After 10 minutes, the baby 's heart rate dropped, the doctor and nurse came in and told me that they might need to send me to labor and delivery to get monitored. Also I was having contractions. I was confused and asked what does that mean? The doctor answered you might be a mother today. After they sent me to labor and delivery, the baby's heart rate dropped once again. I was terrified, all the nurses and doctors came in to the room, checked my cervix and told me that I was 2-3 centimeters dilated, they need to do a csectoon right away. I started crying. I felt very guilty about coming here in the first place. My decision put my baby in danger. My daughter was born on that day at 5 pounds 13 ounces. She was so tiny. I felt more guilty when I looked at her. I didn't understand why doctors do EVC these days when it could be so risky. I pray everyday that she will be healthy and big. I don't think I could ever get over what happened.

NICOLAHARRISON Sun 09-Nov-14 21:39:41

I too had an ECV at 37 weeks due to breech presentation. With hidsight, the registrar who did it seemed uncomfortable about doing the procedure, a bit nervous, and said she would only give it three attempts and if it didnt work would abandon it. After three tries baby didnt turn so we left hospital with a date set for a c-section. I felt a bit bruised where she had dug her fingers in around baby's head, but ok otherwise.

7 days later I started to get pains in the rib area where the ecv had been carried out, and I then started to lose blood. I was rushed into hospital for an emergency section and was told I had a placental abruption. Thank god my baby was delivered safely, but the placenta was in such a mess they had to put me under genereal anaesthetic to remove it, followed by a big blood transfusion. All very traumatic and an horrendous experience I still think about now, eight years on. They denied there was any link between the ecv and the placental abruption (but they would wouldn't they).

A friend of mine had an ecv a year previously and baby turned and all was well - no issues. But after what I went through I just think the procedure is way too risky.

pippinleaf Sun 09-Nov-14 21:46:15

I'm so sorry for your very sad experience, and for the loss of your tiny baby. My heart goes out to you. Thank you for sharing as I had not heard of the procedure and will be refusing it as a result of reading your story, so thank you. Xx

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now