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Anyone with experience of breech baby/ELCS???

(17 Posts)
HelloBear Fri 12-Oct-12 10:17:52

I am 37w+4 and MW suspects baby has turned himself breech. I have a scan on Monday to confirm this.

If he is breech what happens next? Do you see a consultant to discuss options/book into an ELCS?

When do they recommend to book in for C-section? Do they wait till 40w or go earlier?

Was planning a HB and suddenly feel very unprepared shit scarred so any info/experiences would be very much appreciated!


piggyboo Fri 12-Oct-12 15:29:57

I had a planned c-section a week ago due to transverse baby.

If he is breech they will offer to turn him, if this fails or if you refuse they will book you in for a section at 39 weeks.

My best friend also had a elcs for breech baby yesterday. she and baby are doing fine.

I would say having had a tough vaginal birth (originally planned as homebirth) with my first baby, the elcs was sooo much better. Extremely calm and my recovery has been fantastic. I was home within 2 days and out at park with my toddler within 5 days. Still a little bit sore when bending etc but only needing to take ibuprofen and paracetamol now.

I know that a c-section is not your ideal way to deliver your baby if its the safest way to ensure you are both ok i would go with it.

HelloBear Fri 12-Oct-12 16:26:38

Thanks Piggy - that is reassuring. Not against ELCS in any way, just not mentally prepared for it so need to get my head around it and get some info.

Sabriel Fri 12-Oct-12 16:50:18

Like you, we were planning a home birth, and the midwife discovered at 38 wks that the baby was breech. She'd been head down for months. Went for a scan and they confirmed she was definitely breech. Arranged for an ECV which in my case was horribly painful and didn't work, so they booked me in for an ELCS.

They have to do the CS before your due date in case you go into labour beforehand. After 4 "natural" deliveries the CS was a breeze grin

piggyboo Sat 13-Oct-12 16:45:58

if you want more info to get your head round it, i recommend caesarean birth book by leigh east i think. really helped me to know what to expect.

Good luck x

confuddledDOTcom Sat 13-Oct-12 16:58:27

Whatever happens is always your choice, they don't just book you in they suggest it (even if it's not plugged that way!) a vaginal birth is the safest way to deliver a breech baby but the skills aren't necessarily there.

I've had a crash section due to a breech birth at 31 weeks and they had already been discussing if she didn't turn, which did annoy me a little! My personal view is that by arranging an ELCS they're not giving the baby chance to turn themselves and many babies will turn to prepare for labour - they just like the room they have if they're breech - for so may not have "needed" to have been a section. The other thing that concerns me is taking a healthy baby out before labour starts on it's own, the baby's development and labour are tied together, the baby signals when they're ready for labour to start, so going in sooner than that can mean baby isn't ready and I've seen babies who are effectively premature despite being born at term and a good size because they were taken out early.

If you want to try turning baby yourself, have a look at the spinning babies website for tips, if you can afford it then look into things like moxibustion that can help turn baby. Getting dad to have a word with baby by talking low down on your bump can help as they move towards it, similarly using a torch on your bump for them to chase, you can also try sticking frozen peas on their head.

RVPisnomore Sat 13-Oct-12 17:04:53

My DS was transverse breach from 30 weeks and despite them trying to turn him he stayed that way. I don't buy that a vaginal birth is still best for a breach baby so don't worry about that.
My consultant told me that a mother can try to deliver a breach baby but there is more risk of ending up having emergency surgery for various reasons and for a vaginal delivery thy need more support which isn't always there.
I opted for a CS and it was absolutely fine, and if I was in the same position again I would do it.
I still had music etc and it was all nice and calm. Good luck.

Sabriel Sat 13-Oct-12 17:13:41

My consultant told me that there was no-one in the hospital experienced at delivering breech babies vaginally, so it wasn't really a choice. Mine turned out to be back to back as well so I'm glad I didn't try.

confuddledDOTcom Sat 13-Oct-12 17:44:14

The only reason it's not safe is stupid midwives and doctors wanting to get too involved! Can't really blame them, too many have been done by section for them to have developed the skills required to um... not touch the baby. There was a massive study that covered several countries that found that vaginal birth was safest for breech, so not sure what's still to buy!

It is always, always, always your decision what they do to you, even if your decision would put you and baby at risk, unless they can get you sectioned (in the other sense of the word) there's no way they can stop you.

If you want to try for it and not getting a positive response from the consultant, ring up and speak to a Supervisor of Midwives. They should be the most honest and supportive person and they should be able to take it on themselves if there genuinely isn't anyone else in the hospital that can do it.

tourdefrance Sat 13-Oct-12 19:07:13

I was in your situation for Ds1 although he was also small so they would not try and turn him. They wanted to book me in for 39 weeks but I got them to wait until 40 weeks so I could have some maternity leave as was working until 38 weeks! In fact I went into labour naturally, was monitored for a few hours then had the section when they realised my waters had gonee and I was 6cm dilated. He was born at exactly 39 weeks after all but at least I knew he was ready to come out.

Ds2 was born 3 years later.completely naturally and would have been at home if had not been just premature. My recovery after the natural birth was far better than after the c-section

SunsetSongster Sun 14-Oct-12 13:54:36

I was really upset when I found out I had to have a CS when my DS was breech but in the end it was a really positive experience - very calm and relaxed. I went in for an ECV but in the end there was too little amniotic fluid for them to try. At that point they said you will have a CS at 39 weeks then - we will book you in. It didn't feel like a choice but I did know I could have stood my ground if I wanted to and said I wanted to try for a natural birth. I knew already that natural breech births were not common at my hospital and I think the biggest risk factor for that is untrained staff so was happy to go for the ELCS. I had a pre-op appointment a few days before where they went through what to expect and asked lots of questions.
On the day itself, I had to not eat anything after midnight the night before and arrive at the hospital at 7.30am. There were 2 other couples getting a CS too and were the last to go through so I had to hang around with DH in my hospital gown and lovely compression socks for hours but it was quite exciting in a way.
We were taken into the theatre when it was time and I was scanned to check the baby hadn't changed position and I then had the spinal block administered (my weeks of learning breathing techniques got some use there). I think it's quite standard now but I had been advised to leave an arm out of my gown and get my IV put in the back of my hand rather than my arm ( can't quite remember what the options were) so that I could have skin to skin with DS when he arrived.
I was taken through to surgery and it was quite relaxed. There are a lot of people in the room - midwive, 2 surgeons, 2 anaesthetists and others. We had brought a cd which was played and had also brought in a birth plan anyway saying we wanted skin to skin straight away and what we wanted if things went wrong.
I got told to stop laughing at one point - was nervous excitement really - as my tummy was moving - not great when someone is cutting you open. When they took DS out it was a bit difficult as he was back to back and he was whisked away for oxygen which was a bit bewildering but after he was dried he was put onto my chest pretty quickly (I think with vaginal births they don't dry the baby but I had been advised that it was better for CS babies to be dried - don't know why).
We then went to recovery where I was helped to feed DS for the first time and monitored for a couple of hours. I stayed in hospital for 2 nights mostly because DS had trouble feeding as he was very mucousy (apparently it gets squeezed out in the vaginal canal).
Recovery was fine - the pain wasn't too bad though I was quite stiff for a week.
I remember it all as a really special experience even though it wasn't what I wanted. I tried everything to get DS to turn but I don't think he could due to the low fluid he was just stuck. We are thinking about number 2 just now and I think I may do the ELCS route again if we get there as I am back to being quite scared of the idea of a vaginal birth after some of my friends having bad experiences (though I have friends who have had great births as well).
Good luck!

SunsetSongster Sun 14-Oct-12 13:58:15

Things I tried were moxibustion, lying upside down on an ironing board, recording my voice and playing it through my pants (!), raising my hips on a balance board, having hot baths with frozen peas on my belly and I'm sure many more. Felt most ridiculous at the moxibustion and wish I had spent the £80 on some pampering instead. One thing I would do if I had another ELCS is take the baby for cranial osteopathy when it was quite small. DS wasn't a happy baby and I took him when he was about 4 months and it seemed to help.

HelloBear Sun 14-Oct-12 14:54:36

Ooo, thanks for all the responses sorry not got back (toddler to look after, attempting to be social and useless husband who has buggered off for the day means no MNing).

confudled thou not seen a consultant yet I felt no pressure by Mw to go for section, she said that she had delivered a number of them (mostly undiagnosed) also my hospital is a big teaching hospital so it is possible that they have more experience of it, but I will definitely be asking. I am nervous about having to go 'early' would rather wait for as long as possible (though I'm frigging uncomfortable!). So if anything I'll be pushing to wait till as near as 40wks as possible. I'm a bolshy so and so (have to be for my job) so will happily fight my cornersmile.

Thanks for great info sunset, that has helped me picture what happens as such! Will try some of your suggestions though don't think my ironing board could take my wait. If course it wouldn't be the end of the world if it broke!

Scan tomorrow at 1.30 will let you know!!!

confuddledDOTcom Sun 14-Oct-12 17:11:50

HelloBear, if you're under a teaching hospital it will go in your favour and it sounds like you don't have to worry about whether the staff will be up for it. There's no harm in asking for a ToL and if the baby is still breech and at the time you decide you can't do it then they should be happy to swap to a section, they can prepare for it ahead of time - getting the consent forms sorted for example, I had an assessment with an anaethatist before my ToL so they knew whether it would be safe to do a spinal (nope) or to go straight for the GA in the event of a section, gave me a boost knowing I had to do it or have a GA - so that things will be less stressful if you have to swap.

Sunset, as you had the section before you went into labour you don't know for sure that none of those things worked. It's something that always gets me about them scheduling a section so far ahead, they can't honestly say that baby had enough time to turn. If my sister had been breech at 39 weeks and been born by section, she'd have still been 5 weeks early. This is frustration at hospitals BTW, as parents we can all only do what we feel best given the information given. I had a section I don't think I needed because I didn't have the energy to get into it.

HelloBear Mon 15-Oct-12 15:25:42

Baby NOT breechsmile

So HB back on track.

Very happy, though slightly hmm about having to push him out now!

confuddledDOTcom Mon 15-Oct-12 16:46:11

Yay! Glad to hear baby is playing ball!

elizaregina Mon 15-Oct-12 20:43:11


what is cranial ostepathy! why did you need that with c sec baby? thanks for great post

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