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To expect midwives to be able to tell an arse from a head?

(54 Posts)
RedFraggle Thu 19-Apr-07 14:21:12

I am 32 weeks pregnant with second baby, went into hospital on Sunday due to lots of pain and midwife put in my notes that baby was head down. She didn't say anything to me at the time or I would have queried this.
Saw another midwife yesterday for general checkup and she agreed with me that baby is definitely breech. I can feel it's head at the top of my uterus and it feels exactly the same as when I had my daughter.
I had exactly this situation with my first baby, kept being told she was definitely head down and then when I insisted on a scan she was found to be breech.

So... am I being unreasonable to expect midwives who have had years of training and experience to be able to spot the difference between a head and an arse!!!

chocolateshoes Thu 19-Apr-07 14:23:53

I'm afraid several Midwives didn't realise that DS's head was infact his bum. It wasn't intil a different one did a sweep because he was overdue that she realised. I was not happy!

tigerschick Thu 19-Apr-07 14:24:13

Not at all unreasonable. When I was 35 weeks the mw said dd was 1/5 engaged. 2 days later another mw agreed. Fine, except that by then I was in labour and the doctor realised that they were feeling dd's shoulders, not her head!!

Hope your baby turns soon.

TooTicky Thu 19-Apr-07 14:24:27

My dd1 was breech but nobody knew until I was well into labour. They kept giving me internal exams and saying "Oh yes, I can definitely feel hair!". Fools. Her little bottom was so bruised from all their prodding.

Pruni Thu 19-Apr-07 14:25:34

Message withdrawn

notsogummyanymore Thu 19-Apr-07 14:27:05

happened to me too. Mine had a student in with her as well and when they listened to my (breech) baby's heartbeat they were actually listening to mine! The midwife didn't pick up on it and i was too embarrsed for her to point it out!

RedFraggle Thu 19-Apr-07 14:31:29

Yes but Pruni, after the experience of my daughter being breech I could tell that it was this baby's head I was feeling. I've only ever felt my own pregnant bumps and so have very limited experience!
Also, the midwife I saw yesterday said she thought it was breech, then used the doppler and said "Now I'm sure it's breech as the heartbeat is too high for if baby was head down."
Is it really that difficult when they must do this every single day on dozens of women?

mumfor1standfinaltime Thu 19-Apr-07 14:34:49

This thread has made me smile! Glad it isn't just me these things happen to.
Ds was born breech. I was told his head was engaged at around 36 weeks. I didn't see another midwife until I went into labour. I ended up with a emergency c section as ds was stressed and his heart rate fell.
Have often wondered the same question myself!

RedFraggle Thu 19-Apr-07 14:39:35

Must admit Mumfor1standfinaltime that my tongue was firmly in my cheek as I typed this post! I'm having an elective section after the nightmare of last time anyway so it really doesn't matter if this one stays breech or not. But I do have to wonder at midwives... How wrong can they be!

SlightlyMadSecret Thu 19-Apr-07 14:40:03

Apparently my neighbours DD was a undiagnosed breech

"becuase here feet were in teh wrong place"

I asked WTF?

Appently she was Franke(?) breech where the feet are up by there head. So becasue MW could feel feet at teh top of her uterus (where they usually are) she assumed the head was at teh bottom

mumfor1standfinaltime Thu 19-Apr-07 14:44:27

Redfraggle- you did well on insisting on a scan with 1st one.
If I had another lo, I would def be more assertive! Trouble is, you just trust everyone and believe all is well with your first imo as you don't know what to expect.

I do remember looking back to a day at work when I was sitting in the office and ds was wriggling so much it was so uncomfortable, that is when I believe he 'decided'to be breech!

Think I would also ask for an elective for 2nd.

RedFraggle Thu 19-Apr-07 14:49:05

I only insited on a scan as one of my friends had seen the same team of midwives and had her baby a month beofre mine. They had told her that her baby was head down etc but had a bony bum. When she went into labour they discovered he was breech and had to whip her in for a section. When one of the midwives said to me that my baby was head down but had a bony bum the alarm bells went off and I thought no way am I taking your word for it!
Had ECV etc and then ended up with emergency section anyhow as she was brow... Not taking a chance this time around!

Kelly1978 Thu 19-Apr-07 14:52:21

I would never trust anyone on this point again after having the dts. A midwife, a sonographer and a consultant all insisted that dt1 was head down, despite that I could feel his head on my ribs. I insisted on a section and they were both born breech. Even with scans it apparently isn't always possible to tell.

mumfor1standfinaltime Thu 19-Apr-07 14:54:07

Oh no! That is not good. It's nice that you had a friend who you could get advice though.

I think that my situation wasn't helped by seeing a different midwife on each appointment and not seeing one after my 36 weeks appt. I went into labour at 39 wks. My next appt was my due date fgs!

Would def do things differently with a 2nd one. Although at the mo, can't see myself having number 2. (Although couldn't see myself with number 1!)

mumfor1standfinaltime Thu 19-Apr-07 14:55:34

Does anyone know - (probably a daft question) does engaged mean that head is there to stay? Or can it move again?

misdee Thu 19-Apr-07 14:57:16

they thought dd2 was breech, until they did a scan and saw she was head down.

clairemow Thu 19-Apr-07 14:59:54

Had a similar thing with DS1 - he was breech from 28 weeks. went to hospital at 36 weeks with contractions, which stopped and the midwife and doctor both said he'd turned and that was what the pain was. Went to my GP a week later for routine check, she didn't agree, and arranged a scan. Guess what, well and truly breech still, with his bum engaged, and feet by his ears.

I insisted on a scan with DS2.... Thankfully he was the right way up, and I was able to have a VBAC, although he did have one hand up round his ears so that was pretty uncomfortable on exit!!!!

Redfraggle, tell me to butt out if you like, but are you sure you want another section? I nearly went for one myself with DS2, but am so glad in retrospect that I didn't, the recovery was about a million times easier after VBAC.

Butt out clairemow.

clairemow Thu 19-Apr-07 15:00:49

I think, but am no expert, that an engaged head/bottom can move back out again, although neither of mine did...

RedFraggle Thu 19-Apr-07 15:15:28

Clairemow, I am positive I want an elective. I did try to persuade myself to have a VBAC but I had PTSD after my daughter's birth (it all went VERY pear-shaped) and I started freaking out at the thought of it going wrong again. I think in order to maintain my sanity an elective is the best option for me.

SpookyMadMummy Thu 19-Apr-07 15:50:12

I remember being in hospital with Dd1... another patient asked the MW how she tells the difference between head and bottom....





I said she looks for a crack in it!!

FioFio Thu 19-Apr-07 15:53:05

Message withdrawn

RedFraggle Thu 19-Apr-07 15:55:49

Aaargh Fio! I do wonder sometimes why they don't just offer a routine scan at around 37 weeks to check position as it seems like a lot of the time there are issues telling! Although saying that if Kelly1978 had a scan too and they still couldn't tell maybe I am being unreasonable

RGee Thu 19-Apr-07 16:11:21

God this makes me angry
I was told by 4 different midwives my lo's head was 1/5th engaged, 2/5th engaged etc, went into labour normally, arrived in hospital where midwife told me I was 4 or 5 cms dilated but couldn't exactly tell because of bulging mebranes, had a relaxing time in the birthing pool, the midwife then had to break my waters at 9+ cms and out popped a foot!!!! An undiagnosed footling breech. Then all hell broke loose. Whisked to a full on delivery room (picture if you will me climbing out of the birthing pool with toes hanging outside my fanjo, then waddling down the hospital corridor dripping, with a towel the size of a face cloth wrapped around my shoulders, with the mother of all contractions), and then they tried unsuccessfully to shove lo's leg and foot back inside me (no pain relief, no time to hook up gas and air), before finally putting me under for a c-section.....
Thankfully, all was well, but why could 5 different midwives not know? Especially the one who examined me when I was admitted to hospital (I suspect the fact it was 7.15pm on New Year's Eve and her shift finished at 7.30pm had nothing to do with it ).

Furrymummy Thu 19-Apr-07 16:14:38

am very scared now....
I'll make sure when my time comes, I'll get the at least 6 midwives, maybe one of them will get it right...

gigglinggoblin Thu 19-Apr-07 16:15:37

ds4 was breech. i was meant to have a home birth but was whisked into hospital due to meconium in waters. was only when we got there we found out and i had emergency section. am very glad i live so close to hospital, he was 9lb11, outcome could have been very bad. he was born about 30 mins after getting there, i was just getting the urge to push as i went into theatre

3 mw and 1 dr failed to spot it after 37 weeks, it is either really difficult to tell sometimes or they dont have the confidence to go against what their colleagues have put in notes

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