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Breech baby - please give me some hope

(49 Posts)
CADS Tue 04-Oct-05 16:45:00


Just got back from my 34 week check, baby is breech and has been the entire time.

My midwife doesn't sound too positive about the baby turning and has actually made it sound pretty hopeless.

This is baby no 2 and I was hoping for a home birth so the possibility of a c-section instead is a quite upsetting.

Midwife is also refusing to do a home assessment which apparently is required, in our area, for a home birth until the baby has turned. Is she just being obstructive? She didn't come across as being supportive when I told her about wanting a home birth when I was 28 weeks. Have been waiting for her to come and do the home assessment for six weeks and today was told the reason she hasn't done it, is because of the baby being breech.

How late did your breech baby turn? Hoping you can all lift my spirits.

amy2310 Tue 04-Oct-05 16:49:35

Hi my baby turned at 36.5 weeks so there is hope Im keeping my fingers crossed for you. I had a similar problem but my MW came round eventuallya nd my home birth went very well keep me up to date. Do you know what you are having?? Apart from a baby!!

expatinscotland Tue 04-Oct-05 16:55:21

Good luck, Cads! Turn vibes to you.

mamaoftwo Tue 04-Oct-05 17:54:28

Just q quickie as I shoudl be clearing up before bathtime!

DS1 was breech until 28 weeks then turned on his own and was normal delivery.

DS2 was feet down breach until 39 weeks. I really didn't want a c-section and refused hospital 'turning' method, but did go for 4 sessions of accupuncture (moxibustion) where they hold a candle by your little toe. Sounds weird, I know, and in all cost about £150 but he turned at 40 weeks and was delivered normally. I'd pay £150 again to avoid a c-section.

Look in to it. I went through a local natural health centre. I'm not sure how early you can have the candle thing, but a qualified accupuncturist will help you.

Good luck. Let us know how you get on.

MiaouTheFamiliar Tue 04-Oct-05 18:06:17

dd1 was still breech at 38 weeks and I was booked in for a section. I had a scan at 4pm and she was still breech. I went to the hospital at 10am the next day, and asked them to scan me again just to make sure - they were a bit reluctant, and said I would have felt her turn if she had. Fortunately they did scan me - she had turned during the night! She stayed head down and I delivered naturally at 39 weeks.

frogs Tue 04-Oct-05 18:14:28

There is a lot of stuff you can do to get a baby to turn:

Chiropracters do something called Webster's technique which can work;

Acupuncturists have various techniques including burning stuff on your toes which sounds ridiculous but is apparently pretty effective.

There are also various positions you can adopt which encourage a baby to turn, mainly variations on getting your bum higher than your chest. If you google "breech baby" or "turning breech" you'll get lots of info. Get cracking on the alternative medicine stuff pronto because most of it is less effective past 36 weeks/

Hospitals should offer something called an ECV (External Cephalic Version) which is a medical procedure where the baby is manually turned. This is what I had at 37 weeks after all the alternative stuff failed. There are a lot of horror stories about ECV, mainly put about by people who've never had one. For me it was uncomfortable but not agony, and effective. My hospital (central London teaching hospital) reckoned on doing an average of 2 ECVs a week, and the last time they had to do an emergency caesarean was 4 or 5 years ago. Apparently there's an average 50% success rate, but this is much higher if it's not your first baby. So pretty good odds. Once the baby has been turned you have as much chance of a natural delivery as anybody else.

If that hadn't worked, I would have looked very seriously at having a vaginal breech delivery, possibly involving getting a private midwife with experience of breech birth to come into the hospital with me. Home breech birth is probably not advisable -- not something I'd have been prepared to risk, anyway. According to my consultant the main problem with breech births is not that they are inherently dangerous, but that staff have become deskilled in performing them because of the increase in Caesareans. So a vicious cycle has developed.

The UK expert on vaginal breech delivery is an independent midwife called (I think) Mary Cronk.


mears Tue 04-Oct-05 18:41:10

CADS - I revently attended a very inspirational study day with Mary Cronk - should your baby remain breech I would advise you contact her.
Her details ar here

Can I say that at 34 weeks, it is likely your baby will turn. Have converstations with your baby and encourage it. You should be offered ECV but mary Cronk does say that should only be done if the mother feels it is right.

You have the right to a homebirth if that is what you want, even if the baby is breech. However I would say that you need to have a midwife who knows what she is doing and you need to have conidence in her.

If your midwife is obstructive, ask her who the Supervisor of Midwives (SOM)is so you can contact her for advice. The SOM is there to support women and midwives with a role to protect the public. You cannot be prevented from having a home birth because you are breech.

bonym Tue 04-Oct-05 19:07:57

CADS - dd1 was breech and was successfully turned by ECV at 37 (iirc) weeks. As frogs says, not painful - in fact very easy in my case.

DD2 was also breech up to about 32 weeks - a friend was giving me fortnightly refloxology sessions and I mentioned it to her. After the session I felt a lot of wriggling around, and hey presto, at my next check baby had gone head down. She stayed that way and I had a home birth.

Munchkinola Tue 04-Oct-05 19:30:02

My baby was breach up until 3 hours before birth. I didn't know she was breach till I got there and was so out of it I was passed caring tbh but she twizzled and twirled like a gooden. My bump wasn't named Angelina Ballerina for nothing

CADS Wed 05-Oct-05 08:43:35

Feeling a bit more helpful today. Thanks everyone.

Amy - We are having a girl. My mom always says girls like to give their mothers a hard time.

Mears - Do you know if they can still do a ECV if you have an anterior placenta? My midwife didn't have a clue.

Take care

CADS Wed 05-Oct-05 08:44:10

Meant hopeful not helpful

frogs Wed 05-Oct-05 09:23:53

ECVs used to get a bad name in pre-ultrasound days because they were being done 'blind' ie. without being able to check the position of the placenta and cord.

They have become more common recently because ultrasound enables them to be carried out much more safely. When I had mine there was lots of scanning beforehand from several different people. They also put you on a monitor before and during the procedure to check the baby isn't under stress. They you have to be monitored for an hour afterwards.

I don't know specifically about anterior placenta -- not all medical staff are terribly well informed about ECV, because it hasn't become as widespread as it should. There are still lots of horror stories around from preultrasound days. Personally I would ask for an urgent referral to a large teaching hospital where you can get advice from someone who knows what they're talking about.

piglit Wed 05-Oct-05 09:30:29

My mum always says that I was breech until she was 10 days overdue with me. She says she vividly remembers me turning one night - she could actually see me turning inside her (and there wasn't much room)....

Good luck and good luck with the home birth.

3PRINCESSES Wed 05-Oct-05 09:41:50

Just to throw in-- dd2 was breech, and no amount of consultant prodding and palpating, accupunture/moxibustion, sitting with my knees on the sofa and my elbows on the floor could get her to turn... BUT I did have a fantastic delivery. Like you was devastated not to be allowed the home birth I wanted, but in the end it was by far the best birth of all my children. She was a footling breech, and the midwife got a mirror so we could see her little purple foot emerging. Of course, I'd had to have an epidural (never would have countenanced one normally, but was given no choice, and thought it was marvellous in the event) so I was relaxed and focused, and it was all really peaceful and magical.

Keeping my fingers crossed that your little one does turn, but just wanted to let you know that it's not the end of the world if she doesn't. Good luck!

mawbroon Wed 05-Oct-05 14:08:53

Reading with interest as mine is still breech at 36+6. I am going for ECV on 21st October (will be 39+1)and will have a section there and then if it doesn't work. I am not keen on having a section, but think it is less risky than a breech delivery given that my DHs side of the family were all large babies with big heads. I'm hoping that the ECV works but my consultant told me that whether the baby turns or not is entirely up to the baby and that nothing else you can do will help....

I suppose that includes crossing my fingers

mawbroon Wed 05-Oct-05 14:12:25

Also CADS, mine WAS head down but decided to turn breech at 34 weeks, so these huge movements are perfectly possible. My baby must be a boy as is refusing to ask for directions!!!

I read that only 3% are breech at term, so hopefully you will be one of the 97%

Good luck

CADS Wed 05-Oct-05 19:51:17

Thanks again guys.

Princess - Did you have a independant midwife or was it just your regular NHS hospital. Worried that I will be told that there aren't any experienced midwives at the hosiptal and that I will have to have a c-section.

Mawbroon - Good luck. Hope we both get to have the birth experience that we want. LOL re asking directions. Mine is a girl and seems to be as stubborn as her mother.

3PRINCESSES Wed 05-Oct-05 20:16:04

Mine was just NHS, but this was 7 years ago and I've heard that, due to risk of litigation etc they are a lot less willing to risk it these days. I did have to do a lot of 'assertiveness'- one consultant I saw just kept saying, over and over again, 'baby is breech you have no choices' until I wanted to run away and give birth in a forest, but on the whole the midwives were supportive. And the situation was much improved by the fact that I went into labour on a Saturday afternoon when there was a very important rugby match on, so all the doctors were out of the way and left everything up to the midwives who were very laid back about it

FrumpyGrumpy Wed 05-Oct-05 20:23:06

I had a breech baby. Had an epidural because it was twins and high risk of c/s. Having had a totally natural horrendous birth first time around the epidural and whole experience was fantastic and being breech made no difference. He turned over and over again right up to the last few days (even hough he was sharing space!). The epidural was essential though just for keeping it all calm and well under control. Best of luck.

Coathanger Wed 05-Oct-05 20:34:22

My DS3 was breech until 38weeks. I thought I was in early labour one evening and called the midwife out. I had previously decided on a C-section if he was still breech when the time came. My MW was great and checked him and agreed he was still breech so sent me straight to hospital for surgery that night. Got to hospital and the MWs there couldn't decide which way round he was! So they called for the consultant on call, who, after having a right go at the midwives for not knowing their job () scanned me and told me DS3 was head down!! Little monkey! Apparently if baby turns quite late it is common to experience what seems to be labour. So, beware!

I hope you baby turns in plenty of time - I'm sure she will. Good luck with it all XXX

Frizbe Wed 05-Oct-05 20:55:03

Have heard of doing 15 mins on all fours a day, pref, with your bum higher than your head, so watch TV in this position to make it go quicker, it apparently encourages baby to turn!

mawbroon Wed 05-Oct-05 21:50:07

Frizbe - I asked my consultant about that, and he said it would make no difference whatsoever - it is up to the baby whether it turns or not. I do believe that it is useful though when the baby is head down, but back to back

I'm having a go at moxybustion tomorrow. Nothing ventured nothing gained. If the baby does turn, I will never know if it was going to turn anyway, but if it doesn't turn, then i will know for sure that it didn't work!!

3PRINCESSES Wed 05-Oct-05 21:51:14

I found moxybustion made mine lurch around dramatically! But alas... not turn.

mawbroon Thu 06-Oct-05 13:11:54

How far on were you 3princesses?

amy2310 Thu 06-Oct-05 20:38:21

Having a bit of a gidy day today so I have got to say I am happy cuz I was the 1st person to reply. Im glad that we have all helped tho Cads mumsnet is great every1 helped me so much when I started suffering from depression!! THANK YOU sorry I am mad!! xx

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