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Anyone have any recent ECV experiences?

(22 Posts)
liisha Sun 08-Jul-18 14:43:02

I'm a FTM to be and my little ones in the extended breech position, I'm currently 36w2d.
I've been booked in for an ECV on Friday and I'm really nervous, I really hoped for a natural birth as I have heard from many people that the recovery is usually quicker than that of a c section. I really want to breastfeed and I know if I am to I may have to persevere that bit more if I am to have a caesarean.
Also I have a few questions for the person on the day of the ECV such as how many they've previously performed and that I don't want it doing in a rough manner if that's the way they're going to do it.
I haven't really been given any instructions regarding the ECV such as what not to eat or drink on the day or if I have to fast beforehand but I haven't been given any instructions on the preparation.
Thank you to anyone that can shed some light, I haven't really set out my queries as questions, sorry!

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liisha Sun 08-Jul-18 18:23:07

I wish someone would respond 🤞

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georginaaoxo Mon 09-Jul-18 07:49:43


I had an ECV at 37weeks as my baby boy had been breach for 2months! It was the same with me no real instruction on what to eat or not eat ect so I had my breakfast as usual and just held off for lunch as my appointment was at 12.

At our hospital it was so much waiting around as they first have to scan you again to make sure baby hasn't turned then you wait for someone to take you up to the ward where they do it. They then have to monitor babies heart rate for 30mins just so they know what normal for your baby. You'll then have to wait for the consultant to be available to perform the ecv. We were there from 12-6.

The ecv is uncomfortable but is over in a minute. It took my doctor 3 attempts to do it and it was over in a minute(that's not an exaggeration either). They do push down quite heard as they have too to move baby but that minute of discomfort was 100% worth it was I got to have a vaginal birth with no pain relief as I hoped for,

They monitor baby for an hour after to make sure their okay, it's a low percent that turn back after an ecv too! I'd say 100% worth it and I'd do it again in a heartbeat, no where near as bad as people told me I promise!

Hope this helps xx

liisha Mon 09-Jul-18 09:04:51

@georginaaoxo help isn't the word! Thank you so much for giving me such an informative response.
Your situation sounds exactly the same as my current one, my little boy has been in this extended breech position for quite a while an all.
My appointments at 12:30, blimey I'm going to be starving if I'm there till 6 lol but hopefully all goes well.
Did they say anything about drinking a lot of water beforehand? Because I'm pretty rubbish when it comes to going with a full bladder.
Also did you take a urine sample with you? I'm not sure if I should from home to save time doing one there?
And lastly did they make you wear a gown or just leave you in your own clothing?
Sorry for bombarding you with questions, your answer has just filled me with the hope I needed, it only takes one negative experience for me to read about to feel iffy about my ecv.
Thanks again! x

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georginaaoxo Mon 09-Jul-18 09:18:09

Heya don't be silly it's fine! Glad I could help! I didn't take a urine sample with me but I think I did one when I went up to the ward, you could take one with you just in case if you're bad with a full bladder because you may be waiting a while and if you don't need it no probs, try and make it as fresh as possible though like just before you leave.

No gown just normal clothes with your top up, they put the bed really high up so you feel like you're nearly upside down on your head but your not!

I read loads about how painful it was and it scarred the crap out of me but I figured it couldn't be worse then the csection because I was dreading that. I was sure he wasn't going to turn - stubborn baby but he did!

It feels funny once it's done as you're so used to little feet being down there and then there was a big head 😆 that's when I got my stretch marks I have to admit, which was prob the worst part about it because my tummy had to stretch to accommodate the change in position.

Best thing I can say it just go with the flow, be as relaxed as you can and what will be will be.

Nearly all the time they turn and if they don't they may still turn on their own xxx

liisha Mon 09-Jul-18 10:38:46

@georginaaoxo ah you're so lovely, you've really put my mind at ease because after reading the odd horror story on here I thought, is it selfish of me to not want to go through a big surgical procedure but I'm only thinking about recovery and that I want to be able to handle/breastfeed him myself once he's born without being in pain.

I wasn't so much scared of the pain for myself (minus the ones who said it's worse than their childbirth experience) but I was scared incase they were to cause him discomfort because some of the videos on YouTube with doctors using the pressure of their fist to push the baby into position frightened me.

Aww that's cute! I have his little bottom low sat comfortably around my pelvic area and his feet are stretched near his head but when I position myself in certain positions it's like I have a lump above my belly button which is his head lol.

I've just got to book myself in for a wax now because on some of the YouTube videos the upper bikini area is exposed and I'm in no position to have any exposure, I was just wanting to book a wax as late as I could incase I went over but that wouldn't be the case if they book me in for a c section.

I'm just praying it goes like yours and he turns and I get the natural birth I hoped for!

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Bowlofbabelfish Mon 09-Jul-18 14:09:35

I personally wouldn’t consent to an ECV under any circumstances.

Mine is currently transverse and if it stays that way then I guess it’ll be a section.
For me there are too many risks involved - cord compression, placental abruption, and the physical force needed. If mine hasnt turned then so be it - I can’t tell if there’s a reason for that (short cord, cord round neck, another physical obstruction etc.) a small abruption may not be picked up at the time and then turn into a serious issue later.

If you do go for it, make sure you’re monitored fully for an extended time afterwards, not just 30m-1hr. The place where it’s done should have full NICU and emergency c section facilities available. Also ask what the success and complication rate is of the individual who will be performing the procedure. Be aware you can withdraw consent at any time during the procedure as well if you feel too much force is being used.

liisha Tue 10-Jul-18 15:26:50

@Bowlofbabelfish I am aware of the main possible reason baby hasn't turned as I have a little fibroid on my uterus and I've been told that may prevent baby from attempting to turn.

I do agree with you and I will be asking questions and I will be asking about how much force is used as the ones I've seen on YouTube are really reassuring by a doctor and it's called soft touch ecv and he's ever so gentle.

I always wanted my baby to be coated in microbe laden fluid (said to ward off illnesses/help digest food) as I've read many studies on the benefits of that coating when they're born via the birth canal.

Thank you for your advice, I very much appreciate it and I hope all goes well for you as well and your baby flips on his/her own if you desire a natural birth.

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WhirlingTurkey Tue 10-Jul-18 19:07:24

OP, not what you asked (sorry), but this site is hugely helpful for suggesting ways to encourage baby to turn on their own. I'm sure you are probably already aware and have been doing the exercises/positions already, so apologies if so - obviously not all babies will turn on their own, regardless of what you do, but worth trying if you haven't been already. I just thought it was worth sharing as it helped me!

milney25 Tue 10-Jul-18 20:04:07

Hi @liisha I had an ECV yesterday so can share my experience in case it helps.

I was talked through the procedure before I consented, I believe they were honest about the chances and the rather minimal risks. Statistically 1 in 200 ECVs end in a lab emergency csection. But as I was at the hospital anyway, it didn't seem that much difference to having a section for a breach baby.

I was hooked up to the monitor for ten minutes to check baby's heart rate, all was well. They gave me an injection to relax my uterus. Consultant then brought the scanner in and checked babies position. She pushed very hard on my abdomen and at the top of my bump to try and get his bum out of my pelvis. He wasn't my shifting, and they were scanning every few seconds to check his position. She asked if she could try the other way and I consented. It was painful, it wasn't just uncomfortable, and I was squeezing my partners hand very hard. He found it difficult to watch. But it was totally manageable and over very quickly.

In the end, the consultant said she didn't think it was going to work and we stopped. They monitored the baby for another 15 minutes, he was perfectly fine. They booked me in for a csection.

It didn't work, but I'm glad I tried. I can walk away knowing I did everything to give him a vaginal delivery and all the benefits that come with that for the baby. I'm quite sore today in my abdomen, so be prepared for that.

I really hope that helps and I hope your little one turns for you.

WaffleFroggy Tue 10-Jul-18 20:16:27

Hi, I had an ECV 2 years ago with my transverse breech baby. It is very uncomfortable and a bit painful - I would compare it to having a really intense physio session! But it lasts literally a minute. Mine didn't work and I had an elective c-section anyway.

My 2nd baby was a vaginal birth and the recovery is sooooo much easier than after a c-section. Almost incomparable. Even though I had forceps / epidural / episiotomy - the whole works! it was still way easier. So if I had a breech baby again, I would 100% have another ECV. The risks are minimal compared to c-section and for me at least it is worth it for a vaginal birth.

I hope it goes well and he turns - good luck OP!

liisha Tue 10-Jul-18 20:53:38

@WhirlingTurkey ah thank you and yes I have been trying the various positions to get him to turn since 33 weeks but without any luck.

Hips elevated, head lower and then the car positions but he's not wanting to budge, I still keep trying the exercises hoping he'll turn on his own but no luck thus far.

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liisha Tue 10-Jul-18 20:59:19

@milney25 thank you for sharing your recent experience with me, I do pray your little one surprises you and turns on his own to give you the vaginal birth you'd hoped for! They do say some babies turn at the last moments and I guess if I have a similar outcome I can only hope for that as well.

I like the fact your consultant didn't persist too much, I wouldn't want them to force anything for me either. I've also been told I'll be getting an injection to relax my uterus, is this injection given in the stomach/back area?

And that's exactly my thought process, at least we can say we tried an alternative approach!

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liisha Tue 10-Jul-18 21:02:05

@WaffleFroggy that's what I've been thinking to it's worth a try, my friend recently had a c section and to see her in that pain afterwards wasn't nice, she was struggling to get up after she'd sat on the sofa and I can only imagine it'd be the same when getting out of bed.

It is a major surgery so I think if there's a possible prevention method, it is worth a try!

Thank you for the good wishes, I hope he turns for me an all!

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milney25 Tue 10-Jul-18 21:02:27

@liisha I feel like I'm mentally preparing for csection in two weeks now, so it's ok!

The injection was in my arm, though I have heard some hospitals give you pain relief too. Mine didn't they said they wanted you to be able to feel if it was too painful so you could ask them to stop!

liisha Tue 10-Jul-18 21:06:37

@milney25 that is one thing I'm actually grateful about though, the fact that we've been able to mentally prepare if it comes down to having a c section, I mean fancy finding out last minute or having an emergency one it would be much more stressful.

I've not heard one person be prepared for a c section nor do they go over it in antenatal classes which I find bizarre as more and more people I've encountered have recently had emergency c sections and they've had a really lovely birth plan written out without the idea of a c section even being mentioned.

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liisha Fri 13-Jul-18 17:27:20

I thought I'd update you girls on my situation.

I went through with the ECV today and it did not work for my little one, they said his bottom had engaged into the pelvis therefore it wouldn't butt out (aha sorry couldn't help myself).

I was very happy with how it was done, the doctor was very gentle and my baby was monitored for a great period both before and after. I was more concerned with him becoming distress which I'm glad was not the case.

I will be having a c section a day before my actual due date which I've accepted unless my baby decides to do some last minute flipping.

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WaffleFroggy Fri 13-Jul-18 22:45:12

I'm sorry to hear he didn't turn OP - my little ones bum was engaged too! And she came out bum first during the section grin At least now you can prepare yourself for the c-section which can be really positive and calm when it's elective - mine certainly was. I recommend you stock up on peppermint tea for the horrible trapped wind you get afterwards and lots of chocolates to eat while you're sitting on the sofa recovering and letting everyone else run around after you. Good luck!

WhirlingTurkey Sat 14-Jul-18 09:13:02

I'm sorry you didn't get the result you wanted OP. But at least you know what is going to happen now and can prepare. Although you know you can deliver a breechling vaginally if you wish to? I'm sure you would prefer a planned section (I think I would too personally!) but it is your decision to make at the end of the day.

Regarding preparing for a c-section. I'm surprised about your comment re: antenatal classes not covering them. We did NCT and they went over the process in great detail, which was very useful as 4/8 mums ended in c-section, one planned and three emergency. I assumed that all classes would cover them!

liisha Sat 14-Jul-18 09:24:56

@WaffleFroggy aww thank you, yeah to be honest I feel privileged to have had the most optimum time to mentally prepare myself as he's been breech since about 28 weeks.

However I am a tad bit concerned if he decides to want to come early as they've give me one day short of 40 weeks for my ELCS.

Can I just ask about our little breeches, once born are their legs fine? I've seen some images and worried myself a little, I mean they look ideal for a nappy change but they're positioned very differently.

@WhirlingTurkey I wouldn't be a candidate for attempting a vaginal delivery as he's my first, they said they don't know if my body is capable of giving birth as I haven't before therefore the risk would be quite high.

Me too I was shocked that she told me they didn't brush over it and she said it was most likely because that's not what they are planning for anyone though I think many women have them therefore they should at least prepare them for the alternative.

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WaffleFroggy Sat 14-Jul-18 13:05:15

My breech baby's legs didn't look any different at all from normal but I'm not sure how long she had been breech for as I only found out at 39 weeks. You might be offered an ultrasound scan of his hips once he is 6 weeks old to check his legs are all are ok - I had this but we also have a history of hip dysplasia in the family so they might not think you need it.

Just one point about preparing for a c - section- what I was not prepared for was how many people were in the room! Lots of theatre nurses, anaesthetists, etc etc. Made me feel reassured but just wanted to flag that in case it makes you anxious having lots of onlookers!

INeedNewShoes Sat 14-Jul-18 13:13:28

Sorry that it didn't work for you OP. I had a failed ECV at 38 weeks last April then a ELCS the following week. I'd been really keen to have a vaginal birth but I have to say that the section was a really positive experience and a lovely way to meet DD!

You get to meet your baby soon and that's the thing to focus on smile

My top C Section tips are to not mess around with the wound. I only ran water over it daily to clean it and it healed wonderfully.

And start eating a handful of dried apricots a day a couple of days before the section and for a few days afterwards. I'd heard enough constipation stories from friends who've had sections and I was determined not to let it happen. The apricots, plus drinking plenty of water, worked a treat.

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