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Anyone had an ECV for a breech baby?

(30 Posts)
misdee Wed 01-Dec-10 18:25:12

baby is still breech at 36weeks I have a scan tomorrow to see whats what. i am hoping they will try ECV before we go down c-section route.

has anyone had one? can you tell me about it please?

so far i have been propped up all night on pillows, hung upside down, scrubbed floors, crawled about on al floors, been in some rather strange positions to try and move him, but its just not working.

cece Wed 01-Dec-10 18:33:09

I nearly had one but the day I went into have it done at nearly 41 weeks the baby had turned to the correct position. Found out at scan prior to ECV and no idea how or when he turned!

misdee Wed 01-Dec-10 18:37:17

am glad you didnt have to have one cece.

have been googling, apparently it has a 50% sucess rate. which seems ok.

never had one breech at this stage

duke748 Wed 01-Dec-10 18:38:54


I am also 36 weeks and little one is breech. I am due to go into hospital on Friday for a scan to confirm.

I have looked into an ECV but I think I have decided that I won't go down that route if offered.

My understanding is that baby is breech for a reason and that physically manipulating him into another position isn't 'natural', could distress him and has a low chance of success.

Of course, you might think an ECV is worth a go, lots of people do. Have a look on YouTube for some examples of what happens at an ECV. Try this for example (ignore random cheesy music):


You can ask your consultant about the protocol for ECV, ie how long they would attempt it for and their statistics ie. what their success rate and what their complication rates are.

I hope all goes well for you. And for my own personal reasons, I'd love an update on how you get on!

misdee Wed 01-Dec-10 18:42:11

its hard isnt it duke. my main reasons for wanting to try ecv is that i have 4 children already (all natural births) and c-section absolutly terrifies. I am stubbornly independant, and cant bear the thought of having to rely on others afterwards. Though have been told that recovery from a planned section is easier than an emergency one. also dh starts a new job tomorrow, and we were planning on deferring his paternity leave till after the xmas period (dh works in retail)

The scan tomorrow is to confirm if he is breech, but with the heartbeat being heard at the top of my bump, i think its pretty obvious he is.

KirstyJC Wed 01-Dec-10 18:45:56

I have had 2 - both my boys were breech and I'm fully expecting the third (due March) to be upside down as well!

Both ECVs were fine, the first was really quick but the second took about 5 mins. It does hurt (quite a lot actually), but I imagine a CS would hurt more.

You go in with a consultant and I think another person too (junior doctor or midwife I think). DH also there. You have electronic monitor on baby to check heart rate for about 30 mins before and they attach it again afterwards to check that the baby is fine.

They have an ultrasound there and check a lot as they go to make sure it's working OK. The consultant uses the scan to check which way the baby is facing, and then gives you a little injection of muscle relaxant in your tummy, at the side away from where the baby is. They then put one hand on the back of baby's head and the other on the bum and then push......not very nice but it does work. Second time I had it the baby was quite large (8lb11 at birth!) so it was much harder to move him around and more painful, but it was worth it and I will gladly have one again - anything to avoid a CS if possible!

Most ECVs go fine; some don't work but although I was worried about the risk the stats are good - the consultant had done over 600 ECVs and only 1 person needed an emergency CS as a result, and was fine anyway.

I hope it turns for you, but if not I'm sure you will both be fine. smile

missmakesstuff Wed 01-Dec-10 18:59:39

My DD was found to be breech at 37 weeks, bit of a shock as my homebirth went out the window.

I had two goes, it was ok, but didn't work. had a planned C section, and two weeks from ecv until it, I spent a lot of time doing handstands in the pool, on hands and knees, and having moxibustion (the midwife who was at the ecv did it, apparently I was her first failure!)

Nothing worked, C section was brought forward cause of possible pre-eclampsia. I was told very close to the date of my section that I could have pushed for a natural birth, but I decided against it, as it would have been in hospital, and it ws kind of better the devil you know at that point. thankfully I didn't as I had other complications, I think I would have ended up with an emergenncy CS.

I hate hospitals, but it actually wasn't too bad (although I practically discharged myself after 48hrs!)

So, ECV was ok, uncomfortable, but not painful, the breathing techniques I had learnt helped me stay calm.

C section - theres lot of good advice on here, but take all the drugs they give you, dont try to do too much, and you may find you are fairly mobile after a few weeks. I was ready to go for walks, short ones, at about 2-3 weeks,DD is 7 months, I still struggle a bit at times, but I am lazy and havent been doing exercises!

long term, my stomach muscles arent great, and I occasionally get pain in my scar, but then I'm lazy! I found it a bit of a struggle at first, felt like we hadn't really bonded at first, as I felt so unable to do anything for her, but I breastfed straight away, she took to it great, and we are doing fine - 7 months on.
sorry for the essay!

misdee Wed 01-Dec-10 19:27:56

thats the thing, i have been torn between homebirth and a hands off water birth at the hospital.

but now looking like neither

missmakesstuff Wed 01-Dec-10 19:28:02

and meant to say - wishing you turny thoughts!

Its just my dd it didn't work for, she stubborn, even now!

ethelinaTheBloodyGreatXmasElf Wed 01-Dec-10 19:30:30

I had one. It was fine. No problems at all. My obstetrician said in 15 years she had never had one go
to emergency CS. I would do it again if needed.

misdee Wed 01-Dec-10 19:30:47

thank you.

he has a good attempt at turning, gets halfway round then flips back to breech. think his bottom may be wedged in

missmakesstuff Wed 01-Dec-10 19:33:14

yes, I remember feeling really fed up those last few weeks, I had finished work, midwife was coming over for talk about the homebirth - then she said 'ooh, that baby is big all of a sudden - and it all went tits up.
still sad as think theres no chance of either for subsequent births either sad

But chin up (or rather, bum up!) you never know, and I know its a cliche, but it really doesn't matte, not when you hve your baby safe and sound. have no way of knowing what would have happened if she hadn't been breech, it could have been the same story - no-one knows for certain.

and really, although the c sect and being in hospital was grim, all I remember mainly is the hour we spent, in a private room, with her on my chest, feeding and sleeping, and we were just looking at her (and drinking tea!). was lovely.

Good luck, and look into moxibustion, it is meant to work really well for most!

HappyGirl1 Wed 01-Dec-10 19:35:44

I had an ecv 2 weeks ago, really couldn't decide whether to do it or not but was happy we did then as it worked.. it's def sore particularly afterwards where they were digging into you but if it works it's worth it

tjandpootle Wed 01-Dec-10 19:35:58

My DS was diagnosed breech at 39 weeks. I had a successful ECV the next day - it was exactly as KirstyJC described.

He came naturally 2 weeks later with no complications. I was so glad I had it as I was out of hospital in a few hours and, like you OP, I'm very independent and just wanted to get on with things.

I would say give it a go. The risks are minimal and you could end up with your hb/wb. (I had a home water birth with my DD and it was wonderful.)

missmakesstuff Wed 01-Dec-10 19:38:26

if he is making his own attempts at turning, thats good, surely! DD din't move an inch, was wedged into my pelvis and ribs, was bloody agony.

funny thing was, I kept telling everyone, kept saying, this cant be right, I feel so uncomfortable, couldn't sit for bony bits in my ribs, but they all said, no, youre fine, its all good. 3 midwives and a couple of consultants said they thought she had turned, and were proved wrong. so she really was stubborn. came out with a bruised bum and everything (but a perfectly shaped head, was commented on several times by lots of people, apparently you don't get that with a natural birth!)

try and keep positive, and read up on some of the methods for turning, will give you laugh if nothing else (for one you need a bag of frozen peas and a torch) hmm

misdee Wed 01-Dec-10 19:41:33

i have been told the frozen peas one.

am going to try some reflexology next. then maybe the peas.

missmakesstuff Wed 01-Dec-10 20:10:18

dont forget the torch!

Moxibustion is like acupressure, on the feet, with moxa sticks. its actually really easy to do, you can find videos on you tube. theres a point on the outside of the little toe, just by the nail, you light the moxa stick and apply it as close to your foot as possible, it generates heat, to stimulate the point, also has herbs in it. been used for years apparently, my midwife was going to be able to start offering it on the NHS I think.

I do have a moxa stick hanging around here somewhere, you can have it if you want, pm me if you want to try it!I could actually feel DD having a proper wiggle when it was being done.

mejon Wed 01-Dec-10 20:26:30

Let us know how you get on. I'm 33 weeks tomorrow and baby is still breech (from aches I'm getting she's lying across the top of my stomach). I've been trying the lying on my back with hips in the air thing (breech tilt?) - much to DH's amusement - agony to get into an out of position, and bouncing on my ball, on hands and knees, shining torch etc. Hasn't shifted yet. I know I've got a while to go yet (another scan at 36wks to check) but I'd really like to avoid having a CS if at all possible. We live out in the sticks and need a car for everything - DH doesn't drive and we'd be scuppered with me out of action.

misdee Wed 01-Dec-10 20:28:46

will update tomorrow.

will look into that moxa-stuff, am sure i can find someone locally who does it. smile

am very tired and achey tonight, i slipped over on a sheet of ice earlier so bruised my pride and bottom, so not feeling great.

ethelinaTheBloodyGreatXmasElf Wed 01-Dec-10 20:28:51

My weeble stubbornly wobbled from breech to transverse several times a day for weeks. Little sod never did push further on. When theyturnef him the doctor was sweating with the effort, and when she stopped halfway to check the monitor she was stood over me with one hand on the head, one on the bum, twisted round to see the screen, straining to hold him in position. Once he passed transverse though, he flipped the rest of the way easily and stayed there. grin
It is a brutal procedure from your point of view, but worth it if it works.

I also did the inversions etc, and moxabustion. All did as much good as the truckload of chocolate I ate, at least I enjoyed the chocolate...

gillykins2011 Wed 01-Dec-10 22:18:31

hi i had an ecv at 38 weeks. My DS had been in breech all the way thru and had no intention of turning!

KirstyJC's description was exactly like mine apart from they gave me an anti nausea drug first and gave me something to relax my stomach muscles. I did find it hard and had to deep breathe to get thru it as it was quite painful - just treat it like you would treat labour.

My worst bit was that they had me on my back with the thinnest pillow and as a result I kept starting to faint as the blood clearly wasn't able to circulate. I found this quite distressing as the fainting brought on nausea so take some extra pillows in!! not a nice process but worthwhile if you want to avoid a c-section!

lucy101 Wed 01-Dec-10 22:30:39

I had to post as I am earlier than you guys (30ish) but my baby has been breech all along. I had some acupuncture (preparing for the moxibustion) on Monday night and on Tuesday he slowly worked his way around (was not very comfortable).

I had a scan today for other reasons (have had scans every other week more or less) and they confirmed he was head down for the first time.

I was a bit sceptical (and of course it could be coincidence) but my midwife suggested I do it as she has seen it have good results.

misdee Thu 02-Dec-10 09:26:20

at 32 weeks he was head down. i had a scan then to check posdition of placenta. he flipped to breech sometime between 32-34 weeks and has refused to budge.

hopsital in a couple of house, ewill be good to see him on screen again, but hoping they can find no reason for him being breech.

duke748 Thu 02-Dec-10 10:11:32

Good luck for today. Let us know how it goes.

misdee Thu 02-Dec-10 15:24:53

Baby is head down yippeeeee!

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