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Breech Babies

(20 Posts)
Rhubarb Sun 23-Nov-03 20:32:43

I'm posting this on behalf of my sister whose pc has packed in. She is 36 and a bit weeks pregnant and her baby is breech. She has a hospital appt on Tuesday to try and get it manipulated, but she's obviously worried about the risks, including her water's breaking as the baby will be classed as premature.

She doesn't want a section, so what I'm essentially asking is:
Has anyone had a successful manipulation of a breech baby?
How easily could she give birth to a breech baby vaginally?
How could she help the baby to move herself?

I'll pass on any comments to her. She is quite worried about this so I know she'd be really pleased to get some feedback.

august24 Sun 23-Nov-03 20:44:26

Okay, this may come across as very crazy, but my 2nd dd was breech quite late in my pregnancy(I think I was 34 weeks which is about the time they should turn?!) and my midwife said to do visualizations of the baby turning around. And so I did that, closing my eyes and thinking this little girl is turning around. Also she told me to go to a deep pool and to swim under water! I am not sure if either of these worked(or if she was always planning on turning) but she did turn, and boy did I feel it!
here is a link with other ways to turn a baby!
A funny thing my friend told me about Breech Babies is that the always want to be where the action is and that is why the stay head up. My dd is always in the middle of whatever action is going on!

tamum Sun 23-Nov-03 20:55:02

I would have two warnings, I'm afraid. Firstly, my consultant gave me some exercises to try which involved kneeling on all fours. These *completely* knackered my back. Secondly, I had ECV (the manipulation), and had absolutely no idea of how painful it would be. It wasn't completely unbearable, but it was hellish and I would have coped much better if I'd had some idea in advance, I think.
It didn't work either They put me on a drip to prevent labour from starting, but it wouldn't stop your waters breaking, presumably.
I did end up having a section, but only after a lot more investigations revealed I have a really narrow pelvis, and the baby was predicted to be 8lb (spot on as it happens). The consultant had been happy to let me try a normal birth until then, but it was my second. I think they're more reluctant if it's your first, but a friend of mine who is a midewife managed to have a vaginal breech birth with her first.
Wish your sister luck!

pupuce Sun 23-Nov-03 22:05:18

Hi Rhubarb

I presume this is her 1st pregnancy? (August - 2nd time around your baby may turn and engage for that matter later in pregnancy as your uterus/stomach is not as tight )

ECV have a 50% success rate. If she believes in homeopathy I'd suggest taking pulsatilla 200 BEFORE (this may be too late as she may not easily find it in that "dilution" )

ECV are not often that painful but can be uncomfortable.... one of my friends (whom I had told she should bring her DH with her for support) said she found it very easy and really didn't see the point of having him there.... everyone is different!

Her waters *may* brake but they may not (hours after the ECV - not that common)... if they do brake and baby is still breech (i.e. ECV was unsuccessful) they will want to section her as they will worry about cord prolapse. If her waters brake and the baby is head down and engaged she can proceed the "natural" way.... and BTW she does not need to rush to hospital but can stay at home, waiting for her contractions to start. This might take 1 or 2 days (fairly common to be at least 24h). If baby is head down but not engaged and her waters break I believe the safest thing is to go to hospital.... they may want to section her but I think she could argue against it.... they just need to be vigilent (avoiding cord prolapse again)

Birthing vaginally a breech..... well ...... if it's a first labour she won't be encouraged to go vaginal BUT ultimately it is her choice. Independent midwives are often quite use to delivering breeches as they tend (on the whole) to get the trickier home births (VBACs and breeches). If it is a subsequent labour she can certainly attempt a breech vaginal birth.... the problem is that less and less midwives are skilled in this as the tendency is for sections. There have been debates about this on Mumsnet in the past.

As to how to turn baby....
Visualisation as August suggests
Headstands in pool
Pulsatilla 200 in homeopathy
Accupuncture
Reflexology
Osteopathy

all claim to work,... personnally I'd opt for the pulsatilla 200 and osteopathy.

Also this is a chicken and egg thing.... but the more worried she is the likelier it is to stay breech. I have seen papers reporting that the incidence of breech is higher in women with anxieties/fears.

At 36 weeks her baby may NOT be premature.... there are plenty of babies who are born at that age and never see the special care baby unit.... and some at 42 weeks do end up there ! The reason they attempt the ECV so late is to avoid babies being born too early and because potentially the baby can turn back!!!!

Nome Mon 24-Nov-03 10:06:05

My ds was breech and I had an ECV to try to turn him at 37 weeks. I was told a 40% success rate in first babies. It was painful and afterwards they said they should have offered me gas and air. The pain took an couple of hours to go. They gave it three goes but the little git wouldn't turn... A friend's ds was also breech (same ante-natal class) and had an ECV too. It didn't work for either of us, but turns out that there can be good medical reasons for this, as her ds's cord was very short and wasn't going to let him go anywhere!

I was told it also depends what kind of breech it is whether they are happy for you to try vaginally. My ds sat like the Buddha, legs crossed, occasionally putting a foot down to kick my bladder, hands by his ears. My friend's ds had his feet by his ears and his bottom down. Bottom down is better as you are more likely to get enough pressure on the cervix to start things off and keep them going, whereas gingerly poking a foot down isn't really going to do much. If I'd pushed for a vaginal delivery I could have gone for one, but it would have been very heavily monitored, no birthing pool, lots of people involved instead of just a few.
HTH

Rhubarb Mon 24-Nov-03 11:28:20

This is her second baby. I've given her all the advice I can about kneeling on all fours, using a birthing ball, going belly down in the bath etc. But I knew she would be more likely to listen to advice given by other people rather than her little sister!
She's due in hospital tomorrow so I'll phone her tonight with these suggestions and any more that pop up. She is very worried about the docs turning it and may well cancel, but if she does that she will need tips on how to try and get the baby to move itself. At the moment all she seems to do is lie on the sofa, she drives everywhere and doesn't do much walking or exercise, which I don't think is likely to encourage the baby to adopt a head down position.

Therefore if any of you have any tried and tested techniques, please let me know so I can pass them onto her tonight. A section would be awful as she has 3 other children (2 adopted) to care for, one with Downs Syndrome (2 yrs old) and a husband who cannot afford to take any time off work. But I don't know how she'd feel about giving birth naturally, she tends to hang onto every word the medical staff say and she really doesn't stick up for herself much.

pupuce Tue 25-Nov-03 09:57:19

How is it going Rhubarb? Has she decided to have the ECV?
If not I would really suggest osteopathy sooner rather than later!
She decided to go vaginally (I presume her first was?).... then she may well be supported by the hospital.... if she is in doubt she can get some extra support like a doula... same is true postnatally especially if she has a section!

Rhubarb Tue 25-Nov-03 11:27:50

Hi Pupuce - she's cancelled her appt until next week so we're looking at natural methods she can use to get the baby to turn. She can't afford to pay for Oestopathy, so unless she can get an appt on the NHS before next week I'm afraid we'll have to rule that out.

pupuce Tue 25-Nov-03 12:19:25

Hang on Rhubarb.... she can't afford £40??? So she would rule that out before having an ECV? What if the ECV doesn't work, is the section going to cost her less than £40 to "live with".... she might need to spend money on a baby sitter because she is staying longer in hospital for example or have to take taxis...
I am not having a go at her specifically BTW but I am always amazed at how "we" women can think sometimes! If she had a flat tyre.... would she not spend the money on having it fixed ? Why is her body not worth the expense ? We want the solution but aren't prepared for the costs? I see women who are in real pain from SPD, 1 visit at the osteopath can make all the difference... some go others don't.... what IS £40 on a monthly budget? Cut down on 1 or 2 things and you're quickly there (I am not talking about your sis specifically here as I don't knw anything about her of course).
She could try pulsatilla 200 (that cost about £3) and she can easily mail order it from helios.co.uk

Rhubarb Wed 26-Nov-03 10:46:04

Sorry Pupuce I didn't realise it was only £40. Can you give me more information on how it would work? I'll phone her and tell her about it.

I have suggested the homeopathic stuff to her already.

pupuce Wed 26-Nov-03 11:02:08

Gosh.... I am no osteopathy expert ... i.e. I am not exactly sure what they do (but I know they do it) but what she "should" do is ring her MW, ask her if she knows one in her area, ring the chap/lady and ask if
1. they do this (presumably if MW gave a name this person is experienced in pregnancy) - the reason MW don't spontaneously suggest osteopathy is because it is very rarely ON the NHS
2. what it entails
3. Costs
4, can they see her ASAP?

BTW in London prices might be a higher (maybe £60 for some of the most experienced ones - I think)

motherinferior Wed 26-Nov-03 11:15:45

I have just posted this on the other thread..
Moxa sticks are part of acupuncture, and have had good results at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, where trained acupuncturist midwives use them. About 20 per cent more of the babies turn than you'd expect ordinarily at that stage. (I wrote an article on complementary medicine on the NHS last year and talked to the midwives for this. They were really good and had assessed their results properly, they didn't just say 'oh it's great' in a woolly sort of way.) You will need a trained acupuncturist - check the British Acupuncture Society website which will give you lists of accredited practitioners in your area.

HTH?

Rhubarb Wed 26-Nov-03 11:23:18

Thanks, I'll pass all of this onto her!

flump Sun 07-Dec-03 13:50:18

hi all. i am 36+ wks gest with baby number 3 (i have spoken to a few of you before) and have so far had a completly awful time. i suffer spd which is painful and i was admitted to hospital last week as i had been having contractions for hours..luckily this turned out to be braxton hix but they are really strong and i get then for long periods of time numerous times a day. Anyhow the midwives at my antenatatal appointments have been telling me my baby is breech for some time now and at my last appointment on wed past they told me my baby was still breech abd theyre now getting a little concerned. i am aware that subsequent babies can turn later but i cant help feeling slightly panicked that after everything else that has gone on this pregnancy, i may also end up with a c section!! Is there anyone who can give me some facts and advise on my situation? thanks.

flump Sun 07-Dec-03 17:58:07

hi me again...desperate for some advise please. can anyone help? read message below.

popsycal Sun 07-Dec-03 17:58:56

no advice sorry...but didn't want you to feel ignored....good lluck with it

pie Sun 07-Dec-03 18:01:40

I don't have any advice on the breech flump, but I just wanted to say that I'm sorry to hear that you've been having such a head time of it.

((((((hugs)))))

flump Sun 07-Dec-03 18:07:12

thanks, its just one thing after another but at least it will be over soon. she's coming one way or another and hey..at least shes healthy which im thankful for. i can tell you now though there will be no more aftter this one...i'd have to be mad to do all this again.

marsup Sun 07-Dec-03 18:19:52

flump, can't you have one of those ECV manipulation things they talk about further down this thread? I thought it was supposed to work quite well with 2nd/3rd pregnancies. I sympathise about the BH, I've been having lots too and they are annoying - though SPD sounds infinitely worse. Good luck with it all!

pupuce Sun 07-Dec-03 19:33:56

Flump - depending on how keen you want a vaginal birth..... (we have discussed on Mumsnet before the downside of sections for SPD sufferers).

If you really want to rule out a section you can have a vaginal birth of breech if you have already birthed vaginally - how bad is your SPD...is it bad enough that you have been measured to see how wide you can "spread" your thighs ????
- You can also try homeoptahy- get abhold of pulsatilla 200 ASAP. If you ring Helios tomorrow I am sure you can get it by Tuesday!
- do you know an accupuncturist or an osteopath.... you still have some time but not a whole lot....

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