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So, who else has a breech baby?

(13 Posts)
ReshapeWhileDamp Thu 11-Nov-10 23:14:36

Fancy a support/tips thread? smile Unless there's already one running, in which case, please point me at it! (I've been reading the 2007 Breech Watch thread and thought we needed a new one.)

Me: 33.4 and we found out DS2 was breech at a scan last saturday. The scan was for growth, and so I also know he's on the large side, though following his centile line and I don't have diabetes. He is an extended breech - head up on the left and legs straight up with feet on the right. Now I know why I've been having a burning sore spot high up on my bump for the last several weeks!

I have an independent MW, but unfortunately, she isn't very experienced with breech births and has always got in a more experienced colleague to assist. Her best breech colleague lives about 3 hours' drive away... hmm She's been great, given me lots of reading and advice and said he'll probably turn anyway, but my thoughts have been drifting towards the benefits of an elective section today, though I'd love the confidence and expertise to attempt a home vaginal birth. Not sure I can bring myself to do that, though.

I've tried some inverted poses and I've got a friend who does moxibustion, for what it's worth. Any other tips/success stories?

Tangle Fri 12-Nov-10 09:45:50

I don't have a breech baby now, but DD1 was stubbornly and persistently breech. I also had IMs (although not booked till 36 weeks) but was very fortunate to live near 2 wonderful ladies with very good breech skills - which gave us the confidence to have a home breech birth.

When we were trying to make our minds up on what to do, we read a lot and found the most useful things to be "Breech Birth" by Benna Waites and "Breech Birth: What are my options" by Jane Evans to be very balanced and informative. The former has a chapter on complimentary techniques that you might find interesting. Googling Mary Cronk is also worthwhile, if you haven't already.

You have my sympathy - deciding how to bring DD into the world was one of the hardest things I've had to do, and I still believe that there is no universal right answer. What's right for you will be dependent on so many personal factors, including what your instinct tells you to do.

I'm very happy to answer questions about our decision and our experience if that would help. Otherwise, good luck and fingers crossed your DS realises that head down is a more conventional position that would make everyone much happier

ReshapeWhileDamp Fri 12-Nov-10 14:36:42

It's so hard, isn't it? I wish I could be more determined and confident and just go for a home vaginal birth. We are about 25 mins drive from the hospital, which isn't great in an emergency but could be worse. But how many paramedics/ambulance drivers are skilled in the correct way to deliver a breech? confused At the moment, I'm thinking that if he doesn't turn, I'm leaning towards a planned section rather than attempt it at home. And god forbid I'd try to have a vaginal birth in hospital - I would far, far rather a section than do it their way - epidural, lying on my back, and all!

My MW did say she could get Jane Evans to come, given notice, but it's a long drive for her. I'm getting stuck into all the reading she gave me, anyway. Ind MWs are fab, aren't they? grin

Tangle Fri 12-Nov-10 16:36:51

IMs are brilliant (as long as you get the right one for you) I'm gutted that one of my IMs is retiring and the other has just moved 90 miles away.

We're about 25 minutes from the hospital. We were reassured by our IMs that, in their experience, breech babies tend to be either very straightforward or the labour tends to have stalled and be going no where. In the first instance there's no need to transfer and in the latter its not a blue light emergency and the likelihood of giving birth in the ambulance is pretty slim. For us the former was definitely the case - I had a latent phase that went on for days, but once active labour started DD was out within 6 or 7 hours. 9lb 12 and I quite enjoyed it!

We were at the same decision point as you - either HB with experienced IMs or CS. There was no way I was going for the medicalised vaginal delivery in theater with a cast of thousands looking on. I think that was what I found most frustrating - what I felt to be the safest option (hands off, vaginal breech birth in hospital) wasn't possible as the hospital didn't have (or wouldn't admit to having) the breech skills and they wouldn't/couldn't offer honorary contracts to IMs. I was always quite anti-CS, though, so once we'd tracked down some IM's that had the skills and that we felt we could put trust in it was an easier decision - still not easy, though, and the registrar's/NHS's version of events really wasn't helplful

Just a stray thought, I don't know whereabouts you are but I do have an idea of where Jane Evans is based. Its possible that my IM has moved close enough to be of use as a back up to you - she's now in Glastonbury. I don't know how busy she is, but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her

HappyGirl1 Fri 12-Nov-10 16:58:58

i've a breech baby right now and am 36+2.. have another scan on monday so going to try some funny sitting positions in the hope baby moves!

not sure about having an ecv though.. it's prob silly but i worry how it might hurt baby

ReshapeWhileDamp Fri 12-Nov-10 17:10:00

tangle - I'm in South Oxfordshire. My MW said Jane Evans was in Dorset. It's a long way. sad Glasto is too, but thanks very much for the tip!

It really is maddening that Ind MWs aren't allowed to practice in hospitals, with all the riders and disclaimers in the world. But there it is, and we knew it'd always be a risk in hiring one.

HappyGirl, are you trying anything else 'alternative'? I've been recommended moxabustion - not really my thing but I'll do anything. I also have concerns about ECV - worried about trauma to the placenta or cord, or the cord getting tangled (but then that could happen if the baby turns on its own). Apparently the risk of distressing the baby is a lot, lot lower than you'd think, given you generally have to take your hospital bag and they might cannulate you 'in case of emergency'. hmm I presume if it were really that risky, they wouldn't do it, just offer a section.

TheUnmentioned Fri 12-Nov-10 17:12:30

Im no longer pregnant but dd was breech at the stage youre at _ she turned and was 9lb 4oz so a fairly large baby.

onimolap Fri 12-Nov-10 17:13:03

I had my breech baby in a hospital using gas and air only. That was however in a London teaching hospital where they are used to seeing all sorts, so perhaps the staff were more skilled (MW only until transition, when a registrar appeared).

Unless they section you under the Mental Health Act, they cannot compel you to have an epidural. Could you simply refuse one once you're there?

tjandpootle Fri 12-Nov-10 17:23:58

My DS was identified as breech at 39 weeks! Before that they'd always got his head and bottom mixed up grin and thankfully the MW thought we'd better check at the last minute.

As it was so late it was unlikely he'd turn so I was offered an elective CS. I asked about an ECV and they seemed doubtful as he was almost full term but booked me in for the next day saying if it didn't work, I'd have the CS in the afternoon.

It worked!! They give you a uterine relaxant and then put a hand on the head and one on the bum and turn! You and the baby are monitored throughout and you have to stay for a few hours afterwards to check all is OK. He arrived naturally 3(!) weeks later.

He was quite small though (6lb 14oz at 41+6) so that may have made it easier. Also, the lady next to me was having the same thing and it didn't work and it brought on labour. She was fine - just brought on the CS earlier!

Compared to the discomfort of a CS an ECV is fine, the risks are low and they monitor you closely. It does depend on the size and position of your baby how successful it will be though.


Tangle Fri 12-Nov-10 17:29:25

To be fair, one of our IMs did say that she'd feel uncomfortable acting as a MW in a hospital unless she knew it well - she felt that she'd be of limited use if it all went pear shaped as she wouldn't know where to find things or where to go. Which I can see the logic of, but it still felt as though it should be possible to have an IM as an addition to the hospital MW rather than instead of - and it would give the hospital staff a chance to gain breech skills. Insurance is such a pain .

The alternative thing that I didn't try and wondered about was the Webster Technique. Its a chiropractic technique that starts with the premise that any asymmetry in the mother's spine/pelvis can result in tension/torsion in the uterus (can't remember exact phraseology now) that can prevent the baby turning. Release the asymmetry and suddenly the uterus should relax and the baby has more chance of turning. I'd want to be very sure of the experience of the practitioner before starting, though.

Other slightly more bizarre options included using warmth/cold (sitting in a warm bath and putting a bag of frozen peas on the baby's head), using light (to attract the baby's head down, and using sound (either daddy's voice or music to do the same thing). I don't know that any of them have any science behind them, but they do make you feel like you're doing something (and can result in comedy moments ).

IIRC the guidance for an ECV is that they'll scan immediately before hand to check exactly where the placenta and cord are. If they can't be sure then many consultants won't even try (and you can stop at that point). We were quite prosaic and felt that if she was breech it was for a reason - and that a vaginal breech birth was a realistic option - and so declined an ECV. If it were "successful ECV or CS" then we may well have given it a shot.

KarenHL Sun 14-Nov-10 21:29:58

Reshape, we must be due around the same time, I'm 33.2 at the moment.

I was told that DS is breech a few weeks ago. A long story, but the hospital seem to think he is unlikely to move (I have complications), although my MW thinks he has. Hoping for another scan when I next see the OB, to see who is right.

Anyhow, we'll be going to the JR, which I imagine can't be too far away from you if you're S.Oxfordshire. They have 'encouraged' me to have a natural birth (although I would like an elective, largely because of the complications I mentioned earlier). The hospital are of the view it is quite possible to have a natural birth with a breech baby, and they do this more often than I do ... iyswim smile. Hope all goes well for you.

Miffster Mon 15-Nov-10 11:05:42

Reshape, I'm having a scan to see if he is breech ( due 14/12//10), ( I don't think he is, the mw thinks he might be) meanwhile, you might find interesting and helpful.

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Mon 15-Nov-10 12:13:06

I had a worst-nightmare vaginal breech in hospital, despite having planned a HB with an IM, and despite begging throughout for an ELCS. I found out later the consultant wanted to do a crash CS but couldn't bleep the anaesthetist in time.

It was terrifying, but what I never realised was what an effective painkiller and healer adrenaline can be. So whereas a CS would have avoided half the hospital with their hands up inside me (or so it felt, DH says there were only five people present), I was upright and home within hours.

So I wouldn't discount vaginal breech as an option. I've been told there's a chance DC2 will be breech and I haven't yet.

But will send all good vibes for babies turning ASAP. At 33 weeks there's still plenty of time.

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