Breech, C-Section Vs trying naturally, recovery and a toddler

(20 Posts)
Highlove Mon 11-Jul-16 16:55:20

After a straightforward vaginal birth with my DD, this time baby is still breech approaching 37 weeks so a CS is on the cards.

I'm very apprehensive - stupidly I just kind of assumed I'd have a similar birth to last time. What I'm most worried about with a CS is the recovery and what impact it will have on DD (2.4) - how long will I be in hospital, when will I be able to pick her up, etc? And when will I be able to drive again? A car is pretty essential where we live.

DH is limited to just two weeks paternity leave and we don't have any family nearby (who'd be prepared to help!) so I'm feeling pretty anxious about how this will all work.

The hospital are open to me trying for a natural breech delivery and I'm almost tempted to go for it just to try and avoid a CS (I recognise there's a good chance I'd end up with an EMCS anyway) but am nervous about whether that's too risky for baby/might cause more damage to either bsby or me in the long-run.

I'm going round in circles with this and feeling overwhelmed by what to do. DH, kindly but I helpfully, says its totally my call but is convinced baby will move anyway - which it might. But at a predicted 9lbs, it's already running out of space and is increasingly unlikely.

Can anyone share their experience or thoughts please - all views and stories welcome! Alternatively, absolutely 100% guaranteed methods of making a breech turn also very welcome!

YorkieDorkie Mon 11-Jul-16 16:58:56

I had a successful ECV so there's always that... Moxibustion is supposed to be good, we gave it a go but at 38 weeks we were beyond the best time to turn.

Highlove Mon 11-Jul-16 17:04:05

I'm scheduled for ECV next week but the consultant I saw wasn't optimistic - not sure why. Stupidly was a bit overwhelmed by it all and didn't ask the right questions. Probably why I'm in such a mess about it now! But yes - fingers crossed it works.

jimijack Mon 11-Jul-16 17:07:35

If it helps, I was in hospital for 2 days post c section for breach baby.
Was walking ds 1 to school 8 days later pushing the pram through snow!
Recovery was quick with painkillers and help from dh.

AddictedtoGreys Mon 11-Jul-16 17:07:41

Sorry no advice, but watching with interest as I am 33weeks and baby is currently breach. So I might be in your position in a couple of weeks with a toddler too confused

Batboobs Mon 11-Jul-16 17:17:34

It seems that a fair few hospitals want you out about 24 hours after a c-section these days provided there are no complications. This is a big change from 10 years ago, where I spent 3 days in hospital after a fairly straightforward vaginal birth!

Recovery from a c-section is variable. I read lots of accounts where people recover fairly quickly, in my case I found it was about 2 weeks before I was able to get up on my feet and walk about without being in excruciating pain. I couldn't do things like bend or lay on my side for 3-4 weeks. I had my mother to help with my 2 other children, so I'm not sure how hard it would have been for me, had I of been alone and forced to cope.

I think it is recommended you wait 6 weeks before you get behind the wheel again, but of course it's not practical for most women to wait that long, so I guess the real answer is as soon as you feel able to.

3catsandcounting Mon 11-Jul-16 17:38:03

My second DC was a natural breech delivery; it was only detected 20 mins before he was born so I had little choice!

He was oblique 2 days previously, and doctor reckoned he'd turned. He had. but the wrong way!

My 'surprise breech' as it was noted on my records, was fine. I didn't feel the same 'pressure' when pushing as with my first delivery. It was just preceded by a long labour, and near the end, an epidural.
It was 15 years ago btw!grin

MoreGilmoreGirls Mon 11-Jul-16 17:42:18

No experience of c section but my second was breech at 36 weeks, I really did not like the idea of an ECV. Have you tried excercises such as those on spinningbabies.com? I did this for a week and mine turned. Good luck OP.

dramalamma Mon 11-Jul-16 17:43:29

There are lots of things you can try to turn the baby yourself - none guaranteed of course but definitely worth a try to avoid a cs if you don't want one. I went to a Webster technique chiropractor and baby turned at 36 weeks - and he was stubbornly breech. Also look at spinning babies.com

Mummyme87 Mon 11-Jul-16 17:43:48

The big study on baginal breech births done in Canada which changed how we practice was in fact retracted by the author as it was a poor study for various reasons.
The problem now is there are few doctors and midwives skilled on breech birth. Everyone is trained in breech both for emergencies but rarely see them. You obviously can't guarantee that a confident HCP will be on duty the day you labour.

You enteral advice and consensus is that a breech birth should be spontaneous, progress well with non interventions, and hands off. Unfortunately the breech births I have seen were very medicalised and too much intervention.

I am very happy that you are being supported to make a decision for vaginal birth. Look at Mary cronk. She is a very experienced midwife who specialises in breech birth, many HCPs look to her for advice. If you had an uncomplicated birth previously and pregnancy is low risk with no concerns you are in a good position for a successful breech birth. There is a lot on you tube aswell.

Good luck in your decision

JammyC Mon 11-Jul-16 17:53:07

I had an ECV at 37 weeks which failed and hurt a lot then an ELCS. For me I knew lots of friends who had experienced rushed EMCS and had horrendous recoveries and my thoughts were at least with an ELCS it was all planned and should give the best recovery. I didn't have a toddler but would say the first 2 weeks were the hardest. Much easier after that and I felt ready to drive at 4.5 weeks post ELCS.

Am ttc #2 currently and thinking about what type of birth id favour if I could choose and in all honesty id pick an ELCS again. You get to choose the date which means you can line up childcare, paternity leave, ensure you have meals in the freezer, friends lined up for odd afternoons or mornings to drop in to help. I think my DD who is the same age as yours would understand that mummy's tummy hurts and only to cuddle when sitting down for the first couple of weeks. Good luck in your choice!

Nottalotta Mon 11-Jul-16 21:38:05

I had an elcs at 38+6 for a 9lb1 breech baby. I recovered really well. I saw my gp who agreed I was for to drive just short of 4 weeks pp. I live rurally and husband had two days off work, was working 7 days a week at the time. Check with your insurance company.

I was pushing a wheelbarrow about mucking horses out, with ds in a sling after 3 weeks.

PickleBot Thu 14-Jul-16 21:14:54

When I had an emcs after a long labour that didn't really go anywhere my recovery was faster than friends who had vaginal births at a similar time. I was walking comfortably around the hospital within 30 hours (i ended up in for a while due to complications with baby, not me). I was walking down my street to the local shops within a week. I didn't drive until 6 weeks after my check, but that was because I didn't need to worry about it where I lived. If you contact your insurance company they'll tell you what their requirements are. Some allow self certification as long as you can do an emergency stop, others require medical clearance before you can drive. I'm having an elective tomorrow and have been told if there are no complications I can be out in 24 hours, but that if I don't feel ready I can ask to stay another day.

f1ddlesticks Sat 16-Jul-16 04:47:10

After my EMCS I was out walking for miles with DH and the buggy after a week or so - it was the three flights of stairs out of our flats that put me off going out sooner! Recovery wasn't painful and to my mind was quick enough despite the v long, awful labour then emergency section. It was my first though so no idea when i could have picked up a toddle - but at 3 weeks PP I was carrying DD up and down those 3 flights of stairs in the pram carrycot. I'll be having an ELCS this Nov when DD is just 3.

sycamore54321 Sat 16-Jul-16 11:30:04

The present state of thinking is that breech birth is risky for your baby. You should discuss this event first and foremost with your doctor.

Be very wary of Internet breech 'experts' - if it were all so simple as being "hands off", why would you need any expertise at all?

The other considerations you mention, like driving etc can be overcome if necessary by throwing money at the problem (taxi, short-term nanny or other paid help, some kind of daycare for your toddler while toe husband works or he takes unpaid leave, etc). I would firstly assess of you can afford to do that as it really opens your options. If not, then I would think a bit more creatively. You have no family nearby but could you have someone come visit and stay with you for the third week, say? Or who might take your toddler to stay with them for a short while?

Zoomzoom12346 Sat 16-Jul-16 20:46:39

If you are really confident that a breech delivery can be done safely then go for it, but otherwise I wouldn't risk a breech birth just because of cs recovery. I think you will be fine with your DH taking 2 weeks. I had a very complicated cs & pph on the Saturday and my husband had to be at work again on the Monday (he did half days for the first week and then back to normal 2nd week). My parents stayed 2 weeks to help. I was absolutely fine by about 1-1.5 weeks and didn't need them any longer, even with a vaginal birth i would have written that first week off as not being able to do much so i didn't think cs recovery was that bad. So I think you will be fine by the time your DH goes back to work after 2 weeks but could you have someone come to stay just in case? Or does DD go to childcare normally? Could you increase her days for that few weeks just to make it a bit easier for you? With my next I will increase childcare for a few weeks and I am also teaching older DC to do a few things independently like climb the stairs safely (crawl up using hands and feet and the same going down - on their tummy feet first - i follow up just in case). This will minimise lifting in case I need cs again. DC are already good at being gentle with mummy's tummy so will continue that til I'm healed. The only other thing I'd recommend is asking to take some stronger painkillers home just in case, as they discharge you with paracetamol and ibuprofen. I went home after about 48 hours and found I needed the stronger stuff for another day, but that might be due to the complications I had. As I said I'd only go for breech birth if I was sure it's safe, otherwise cs recovery is not that bad and a vaginal birth isn't always a guarantee to a quick recovery either. Wishing you and baby all the best whatever your decision

MrsUnderwood Sat 16-Jul-16 21:00:44

I had a C section for my DS as he was breech, my elder child was 2.10 when he was born. I stayed in for 2 days after as I had an infection, but recovered very fast when I was discharged. I found the experience much better than the vaginal birth I had, to be honest- and this is coking from someone who was terrified of having a C section and was booked for a homebirth.

Highlove Sun 17-Jul-16 08:56:09

Thanks so much all. Am due fur ECV this week so fingers crossed. Am still undecided but will meet with a specialist breech consultant if the ECV doesn't turn baby, and we'll decide from there.

My understanding from discussions with my consultant (who I'm under for other reasons and isn't the breech specialist) and in more detail with a registrar is that current thinking has moved on from assuming that all vaginal breech deliveries are inherently high-risk; the study that this was based on has been discredited and NHS practice/guidance is moving accordingly. In some circumstances - especially when you've had a previous straightforward vaginal delivery - evidence is suggesting it is at least as safe (for baby) as a CS. The hands off thing is based on medical evidence - basically that labour will either progress or it won't, and if it doesn't an unplanned CS should happen at an early stage, rather than intervention to try and encourage vaginal delivery. The consultant was very much of the view that trying to force or speed up a vaginal breech is when things go wrong - hence the 'hands off' advice.

All that said, while all that all sounds fine and logical, I'm still very nervous and don't yet feel I've got a straight answer about risks to me, as well as to baby. But equally am nervous about a CS, though I guess I'm slightly leaning towards that option.

Anyway, thanks for all responses and it's reassuring to know that CS recovery might not be as bad as I feared.

CelticPromise Sun 17-Jul-16 09:05:00

Your consultant sounds right. If they are happy to support you in vaginal breech I'd give it a go. It's a variation of normal, not an emergency. They will have a low threshold for cs if anything goes wrong. I second recommendation for spinning babies and Mary Cronk too.

SauvignonPlonker Sun 17-Jul-16 09:22:19

I had a CS for breech, was home 48hrs later. I was allowed to drive within 2-3 weeks (hospital c-section leaflet said so & insurance company went by medical guidance so said yes).

I wouldn't have considered a vaginal birth. Can the hospital guarantee all these experts in natural breech birth will be around when you deliver?

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