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When should I start worrying about my baby being breech?

(16 Posts)
whizzyrocket Thu 08-Sep-11 10:07:30

I'll be 32 weeks on Saturday and baby is quite firmly breech. He's never spent any time head-down really and now I think he's getting to the point where turning is difficult as last night he almost turned side-ways, which was really none too comfortable for me! A little painful actually. His dad is 6 ft 6 so I think he'll be a long baby (that could be tripe but it's my instinct) and perhaps that isn't helping.

I had a midwife appointment at the beginning of the week which was fairly standard: "yep you're healthy, yep the baby's healthy, yep the hospital have lost your bloods again and yep he's breech"... but she did say that if he hadn't turned by 34 weeks she would send me to be scanned if it were still her in charge of my care. But I'm moving.

So! Should I be worried? I can't book an appointment with the new midwife until I've moved (2 weeks time). Have any of you had similar experiences? How likely do you think a caesarean is if he doesn't turn? I really don't want one.

...And what on earth will scanning him prove?! Are we just going to look and say "that baby is the wrong way up" or will it help in other ways?

whizzyrocket Thu 08-Sep-11 11:20:39

Never mind. I found this if anyone's interested.

I'd still like to know if anyone has been through this?

pistonpower Thu 08-Sep-11 12:29:36

Hi wizzyrocket, sorry I can't tell from experience since this is my 1st (am 35 weeks) but at my 32 week MW appointment she said he was breech and if he hadn't turned by my next appointment (36 weeks) then I would go for a scan to confirm and then they would try and turn him manually. So you might still have time.

HPonEverything Thu 08-Sep-11 12:45:06

Hi wizzyrocket, same as pistonpower I have no experience but at my 35wk appt I was told baby is still breech and I am going for a scan at 37wk, and if the baby is still breech then they will turn him/her manually which also involves me crawling about a lot on all fours apparently hmm

I think you have plenty of time because at my 32wk appt the baby was breech and the MW said that was perfectly normal for the cooking time, and it is more when they get to 35/36wks that they start to tackle it.

Newmom2b Thu 08-Sep-11 12:47:02

Hi wizzyrocket, I cant speak from experience either however my baby is also breech I'm 34+4 and had a mw appointment this morning. They dont seem that concerned about it yet and have booked me in for a scan at 36 weeks and said if he's still breech then we'll discuss options after. I'm going to be getting down on all 4's with my bum in the air every evening now to encourage him to turn!

GetOffOfMyCloud Thu 08-Sep-11 14:20:14

I think we're all in the same boat here!! I'm 32+5 and mine's breech, but my midwife explained it all to me quite well so I'll try my best.

Apparently a high number of babies are breech at 32 weeks but the majority of them do turn themselves by 36 weeks. The scan is to confirm that it is definitely breech as even the most experienced midwife can occasionally mistake a bum for a head!

If it is breech, then they can do ECV to turn it, this basically means the consultant will have his hands on the bump and try to turn it manually. Apparently it can be a little uncomfortable but not agnosing, and you can have gas and air if it's sore.

If they can't turn it then you can either have a C-section, but you might also have the option of a vaginal breech birth, these are more rare as not as many midwives do it any more and it can be slightly more risky, but it's worth mentioning to your midwife and see if they would consider it. I'm extremely lucky that mine is almost excited at the thought of a vaginal breech - I think she hopes it doesn't turn. I hope it does though!! I'm currently weighing up the risks of a vaginal breech, compared to the risks (and extended recovery time) of a C-section just in case.

For the time being, she said to me that the following can all help turn it; lots of time on your hands and knees, leaving over a birthing ball, sitting backwards on a chair and leaning on the back of the chair. Basically lean forwards as much as you can, not back, so don't slump backwards on the sofa watching tv in the evening!!

Good luck with your breechy babies all!!

Cherrybug Thu 08-Sep-11 14:31:19

Have you heard of moxibustion? It's supposed to have a good sucess rate. You can google it and I think a lot of acupuncture places will do it.

HPonEverything Thu 08-Sep-11 14:51:00

getoffofmycloud a vaginal breech was mentioned to me, in a breezy sort of way too, but I will cross that bridge when I've had the scan and the consultant's had a good prod

both bum AND head seem to be at the top for me, which makes me wonder what kind of deformed short-torsoed shape my baby is, or it could be just me being thick (probably)

GetOffOfMyCloud Thu 08-Sep-11 14:57:07

lol HP, I don't think you're being thick at all, I can't work out what it does or where it is in there sometimes. I did wonder one day if I'm carrrying a centipede instead of a baby cos there seemed to be far too many kicks in such different areas of the bump for just two arms and two legs!! Especially when human joints only bend in certain directionsshock

And does anyone else with a breech find the kicks right down low on the bladder are really uncomfortable sometimes? [startled-in-a-meeting-with-the-boss emoticon]

whizzyrocket Thu 08-Sep-11 15:38:07

Hi all, thanks for getting back- it was rather quiet here this morning! smile

I've done a fair bit of research now which seems to have answered my questions but given me a few other things to worry about. This is interesting - 17 ways to turn the baby!

Apparently they scan to find out what kind of breech position the baby is in- feet up by the head, feet crossed across the body (I think mine is like this a lot of the time as I tend to feel a lot of kicks halfway up and generally to one side), or feet down. Feet down is bad for some reason. They also don't like it if the baby has its head positioned as if it's looking up. If it's like that or feet down and they can't turn the baby you're very unlikely to avoid a c-section.

The medical journal I read said that because vaginal breech births had fallen so so much in the last ten years finding an obstetrician with any experience of them is difficult which perpetuates the problem as the obstetricians are far more interested and confident in c-sections. However it was also arguing that as the babies had many fewer problems if born by c-section and the mortality rate was lower (they seemed to have done quite a large study) actually c-sections are good for breech babies... if not so good for their mums!

They were saying that babies born bottom first quite often had problems with their hips. That's enough of a convincing argument for me. I really really don't want a caesarean but if there's any risk of hurting my baby otherwise, I'll have one. Hopefully though he'll get shifting. I'll have to find a swimming pool and give that a go. Sounds the most comfortable way.

Good luck all of you, and I hope sharing what I learnt is helpful! grin

ThroughTheRoundWindow Thu 08-Sep-11 20:13:16

Hi there
Just to say that my baby was breech and so I went through all this. ECV to turn the baby isn't "a bit uncomfortable" it is actually quite painful. The consultant described it as a bit vetenarian and he was right. He is squashing around your tummy to try and move your baby. This is not a nice experience.

Vaginal breech birth is an option and what I wanted to do, based on information given to me by NCT. However after talking to the consultant I changed my mind. The bottom line is that there is an increased chance of the cord becomming compressed and the baby being deprived of oxygen and therefore suffering brain damage. For me it was a risk I couldn't take.

I was absolutely terrified of having a CS but I was wrong to be. It was actually a really positive experience and although I still feel sad that I wasn't able to birth my baby "naturally" I am also grateful not to have gone through what some of my antenatal friends went through with their births.

We went into hospital at 7am, went into theatre at 9am and had a baby at 9.30. No waiting, no hours of agonising pain. BAby was born surprised but happy. All the staff in the hospital esp the theatre staff were lovely. Although I felt pretty wierd after with the anaesthetic and everything it wasn't a difficult recovery and I wasn't as exhausted as women who've spent 24 hours in labour and so was more able to attend my baby in the first few days.

Baby was born surprised, but happy. She never cried much and at least partly I think that was due to be spared the stress of labour.

So, in conclusion, breech is a nuisance but not a disaster. And don't worry too much about having a CS.

Good luck!

grubbalo Thu 08-Sep-11 20:32:28

TTRW, just wanted to say thanks for adding such a nice positive post. I am 35w with a (currently) transverse positioned baby - as my second got into a similar position late on, I'm not too optimistic this one will move now! It's actually more transverse this time which would clearly mean a definite section, but your post is really lovely and reassuring. Thank you.

ThroughTheRoundWindow Sat 10-Sep-11 05:30:31

My pleasure!

Let us know how you get on. Oh, and if you do go down the CS route and are planning to breast feed take lots and lots of pillows with you to hospital. After two days of sitting awkwardly on a bed to feed without enough pillows or any tummy muscles my back hurt way more than my wound!

bigeyes Sat 10-Sep-11 19:30:56

My DS was an indiagnosed overdue breach baby.

I refused the turning thing and opted for a CS. The whole procedure was fine had a clear start and finish I knew exactly what was happening. Recovery is longer but I didnt know any different. Elective sections have less risk than EMCS.

I am only 16 weeks and the opposite of some people on here - scared of a VBAC!

I did see on health channel baby story thing about a women who tilted her bottom half up several times a day and her baby turned, though I couldnt imagine my DS turning he was jammed under ribs, and he still sleeps aged 5 with 'frog legs' which is common in breach babes.

Wish you all healthy births.

Hi. Try not to worry. Most babies DO turn head down, some even during labour, which is why a vaginal birth should be advised (latest NICE guidelines state that unless baby is transverse, vaginal birth should be attempted on low risk pregnancies).

Please visit It is fab at giving positions to turn babies.
Also google Mary Cronk. She is the UK's leading midwife on breech birth (basically, 'hands-off' labour and birthing on all fours. Lots of medical interventions are a fast-track to a c-section.)

And I also recommend visiting an acupuncturist who will use moxibustion - gives good results on turning babies.

Don't forget, before we had lots of medical procedures, most women birthed breech babies perfectly naturally. Many babies do turn even during labour. The only situation where a c-section would be essential (and these were the women/babies who died before c-sections came about) is if baby is transverse. Sadly though, your chances of a vaginal birth will depend on the attitude of your local trust, which is a shame.

matildawormwood Sat 10-Sep-11 22:36:56

My DD was breech through the entire pregnancy. Had an unsuccessful ECV at 38 weeks and was booked in for a c-section at 40 weeks. Turned up for the c-section and miraculously she had turned head down without me even feeling it. I would never have believed this was possible as she seemed pretty firmly wedged. I did try moxibustion and lots of walking round on all fours but I have no idea if this is what worked of if she would have turned anyway. So there's still time!

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