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Breech - can i request a scan to confirm?

(29 Posts)
sunface Wed 31-Aug-11 16:36:58

hi all, i'm 35weeks this week and at my 28 week appointment baby was breech, went again at 32 weeks and the midwife (who i'm not that convinced by) said baby had turned. This is my 3rd DC and i don't want to go into labour with an undetected breech baby. Question is, can i request a presentation scan even if midwife has said baby is head down?? Or should i just ask for a 2nd or even 3rd opinion first?

magicmelons Wed 31-Aug-11 22:22:52

No advice but watching as i'm in a similar position except that MW keeps saying babies head down but i'm convinced she is wrong she has only checked for the briefest of seconds and i'm sure its not bum its head she is feeling. I still have plenty of time for it to turn but would like to know what to do if we continue to disagree.

banana87 Thu 01-Sep-11 08:50:48

I've never given birth on the NHS (I am a private patient) but I don't think they scan to confirm breech, I think they can usually tell by feeling. I would trust the midwife, they do this job day in and day out and are probably pretty experienced in determining where the baby is.

mummytime Thu 01-Sep-11 08:59:42

I would request one, and I can't see why not. Just to confirm breech or not doesn't even have to use the fancy machinery, my breech was confirmed with a hand held one about 1 hour before my cs (and I know the cost for that kin of scan used to be about 50p a shot for sheep smile ).
Banana of course they can confirm breech by a scan. You see where the head is, the feet and so on!!!!!

TinkerTailorSoldierLibrarian Thu 01-Sep-11 09:05:13

I don't think banana is saying that they can't tell by scan but that they don't check by scan mummytime.

They won't scan you at 32 weeks because even if they suspected breech, there's still time for your baby to turn. Give it a couple of weeks and a couple more appointments and if nearer your due date you suspect breech, start to ask questions then. Only something like 3-4% of babies remain breech to the end so the odds are in your favour.

And midwives are fairly good at palpating position whereas mothers are notorious for confusing heads and bottoms. grin

SlinkyB Thu 01-Sep-11 09:10:43

I'd trust my instincts and ask for a second opinion. If you're still not sure then request a scan and see what they say.

I had my first baby in Jan; midwife kept saying head was down, but I wasn't sure. They let me go 12 days overdue before inducing me. Twelve hours later, contracting, hospital staff discover baby was breech and he was born by emcs; partner almost didn't make it!

Good luck and keep us updated please; I'd like to know what to do if this happened again to be honest.

magicmelons Thu 01-Sep-11 09:22:17

Its not uncommon for MWs to discover baby is breech during labour so i would go with your instinct, it's no harm FWIW my last baby was transverse until about 36 weeks and then turned so you don't need to do anything just yet. And banana even MW get it wrong sometimes despite doing everyday, there was somebody here the other day who mentioned that she was examined during labour only for her MW to announce she had felt testicles.

mummytime Thu 01-Sep-11 09:35:00

If it is a breech they should scan! If you are concerned I would request a scan.

Why should they scan? Because it may be more complicated than a simple breech (eg. mine was a footling breech), and then there is no way they want you to go into Labour.

sunface Thu 01-Sep-11 09:46:46

thanks ladies, i'll be 36weeks+2 at my next midwife appointment next week so i'll see what she says then. SlinkyB sounds like you had a very similar experience to my sister in law. I just don't understand (i'm assuming it's a cost thing) why they don't routinely scan women in this country when they are close to their due dates to check for presentation etc,surely it would help avoid EMCS and other possible complications - anyway, guess that's a separate post altogether!!! I'll keep you all posted as to the outcome next week.

TinkerTailorSoldierLibrarian Thu 01-Sep-11 09:59:19

They do scan if they suspect breech but not this early on. They do it later as most breech babies turn. They won't routinely scan if the baby is head down.

As I said, just see how you get on at your next appointment. Have you tried bellymapping at all? Sometimes can be quite good at giving you an idea of how your baby is lying.

I'm not sure if routine scanning at the end would help. Because babies still move late on, presentation problems aren't as simple as breech vs ceph etc. In most cases a skilled midwife/obs and attentive care should be enough. Not always the case though I know.

SlinkyB Thu 01-Sep-11 10:07:02

Yeah, I had three different midwives check me when I was being induced, and not one of them realised baby was breech. They came to apologise the following day and seemed pretty embarrassed! I just told them not to be silly, they're only human and we all make mistakes.

I'm guessing they hold back on scans due to cost too, which is a shame.

TinkerTailorSoldierLibrarian Thu 01-Sep-11 10:10:08

If only 3-4% of babies are breech at term, then the cost probably isn't worth it. There are lots of things in pregnancy with a risk around those odds which we don't routinely check for. Most of those breech babies will be picked up due to palpation and other presentation problems would be missed because of the baby's size at that point so it probably wouldn't make much difference.

DD was unbirthable due to presentation but she wasn't breech. Her position was misdiagnosed by 3 midwives during labour. I'm fairly confident a scan wouldn't have picked it up either.

lucysnowe Thu 01-Sep-11 10:26:25

Yes, definitely ask the midwife. I've had one midwife and one GP tell me my baby was head down when it wasn't. It's very easy to mistake heads and bottoms too when palpating and mums are usually quite good at detecting hard kicks to the bladder. smile As mummytime says, there are all kind of breeches, some are more awkward than others, so a scan would be useful.

Graciescotland Thu 01-Sep-11 10:37:27

When I went in for a check at 39 weeks, waters broken but not contracting, they gave me a quick scan to check fluid levels and position. I just assumed everyone got a quick scan before delivery.

SESthebrave Thu 01-Sep-11 10:43:28

My DS was transverse breech. MW had said he was head down from about 22weeks but I know he didn't change position as I could feel what she told me was his bum sticking out of my side. Turns out that was actually his head! When I had my 39wk MW appointment, I asked her if she was sure and she said she thought so but sent me for a scan to check a few days later. Thank goodness she did! As he was transverse (across so not properly breech), they kept me in and did a CS a couple of days later as by that point he was 8lb9 and not going to move!

pistonpower Thu 01-Sep-11 12:53:57

I am 34 weeks and my MW said at the last appointment (32 weeks) that the baby was breech. If it hasn't turned by my next appointment (36 weeks) then they would do a scan and if still breech then try to turn the baby manually. First time baby for me so didn't know that was an option.

banana87 Thu 01-Sep-11 13:25:11

I think it would be a waste of resources to scan every woman with suspected breech as they can usually tell this by feeling. Your midwife said baby is head down, I can't see why they would scan you just because you think otherwise. Ask for a second opinion smile.

sugarsnappea Thu 01-Sep-11 15:18:23

I really wish that I had a late scan for my last pregnancy, DD was breech and undiagnosed by GP, 3 midwives, HS etc... so after a 24 hour labour at 40 + 12 weeks I was raced off for a crash section when 2 little feet started making their way down.
This time around my obstetrician scans me at every appointment so I get one every two weeks or so, If he didn't have a machine in his consulting room I would pay at 39 weeks just to make sure.
Good luck, trust your instincts, and never feel bad about getting a second opinion - we do it with builders, plumbers etc after all and they're only fixing our homes

acatcalledbob Thu 01-Sep-11 15:35:41

DD2 was scanned every week from 33 to 41 weeks and turned 6 times during those 8 weeks (including from head down to breech between weeks 40 and 41). My consultant with 30 years experience as an obstetrician had a problem telling whether she was breech or not without a scan - it's incredibly difficult - but I had a planned CS (literally, "are you busy tomorrow?") as soon as she was confirmed breech at 41 weeks, thank God I didn't have to go through labour first.

There's plenty of time for baby to turn, but get more opinions and trust your instincts.

sunface Thu 01-Sep-11 15:48:32

thanks ladies, so sorry to hear what some of you have been through. You are both so right in terms of asking for a second opinion, no point in holding back with somethings as life changing as this! Question for those who were breech, where were you feeling the movement of baby? i am getting really strong movement at the top of my right thigh at the moment confused!

magicmelons Thu 01-Sep-11 15:55:44

Banana of course its not a waste of research to do a relatively cheap test if the suspect a breech or if the mother does. To do a scan on every woman would be a waste of resources. I have pretty good idea where my baby is because of having a feel myself, some experience and because of where i feel the biggest kicks. With my dd who was head down from 31 weeks on i could catch hold of her foot under my ribs sometimes and the rib pain and heartburn was awful, ds was transverse till late on and in lots of ways a more comfortable pregnancy, not so much heartburn and don't need to wee 5 times a night yet, similar to this baby who is lying oblique.

NonnoMum Thu 01-Sep-11 16:08:39

I had scans with all of mine at around the 36 week mark. First two weren't (just bony bums) but the 3rd was.

do ask, they can't always tell by 'feeling' (forgotten the technical term)

banana87 Thu 01-Sep-11 16:51:39

Scans aren't cheap magic. I'm not saying it's a waste of resources for every woman. If a woman is late in pregnancy and the midwife suspects a breech then of course that's reasonable. To have a scan any earlier than 36 weeks because a patient thinks they know better than the midwife would be, especially when you can just ask another midwife for their opinion smile.

SlinkyB Thu 01-Sep-11 16:52:14

sunface I didn't feel much movement at all. Was usually a little worried, as everyone used to ask "are you getting kicked?!" and I'd always have to reply "er, no".

I could always feel a large, very hard lump really high up on my bump. Never felt like anyhing "dropped", and never had any digs in my ribs, but sure everyone's different. My baby had his feet next to his ears on both the 12 and 20 week scans, and honestly don't think he ever changed position!

magicmelons Thu 01-Sep-11 17:24:50

But that's exactly what the OPs question was confused she is nearly 36 weeks thinks MW might be wrong and and as other have confirmed. They do get it wrong, sometimes a few of them at the same time. A scan is a damn site cheaper than a EMCS and a whole lot less stressful.

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