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32 weeks and MW says baby is breech - anyone know any reliable stats on how likely he is to turn by himself?

(10 Posts)
DangerMousey Fri 05-Oct-12 16:48:55

Just that really. I got a bit upset after MW appointment yesterday at 31+5, as I have been really hoping and preparing for a MLU water birth. Really want lots of skin-to-skin and want to breastfeed, and feel like these things will be less likely if I end up with a c-section.

I know it's early days yet really, but I wondered what the likelihood is of him turning? I think if he is still breech at my next appointment (at 34+3), then I think they will get the whole ball rolling on a scan, and then talking about an ECV (which I am minded to refuse), and then setting up a date for a just feels a bit like things are moving in a direction I wasn't ready for! (sorry, am being pregnant and hormonal I know!).

mummy2benji Fri 05-Oct-12 17:01:24

Not sure of exact stats but lots of babies are breech at that stage. I used to see lots of mums-to-be in antenatal clinic who were breech still at that stage but had then turned by around 36-37 weeks. Ds himself was breech at 34 weeks but had turned by midwife appointment at 36-37 weeks. I looked up some silly exercises on the internet on how to try to persuade baby to turn and did these strange bum up in the air poses every night for a couple of weeks - I think they were pointless in the end as I remember feeling an almighty flip inside a couple of days after that midwife appointment, so he probably turned quite quickly. It gets less likely that baby will turn beyond about 38 weeks, as there is less room in there for him / her to flip round, but having said that I've seen a few women turn up for their elective caesarian at 39 weeks only to find that baby was now head down! So try not to let it worry you or spoil your plans. x

moosemama Fri 05-Oct-12 17:06:43

Not sure on stats, but my dd was breech at 37 weeks and turned several times cephalic and then back again between then and 42 weeks. Literally every time I was checked she'd turned the opposite way to the last time.

Of course she had to decide to be breech when I went in for a check at 42 weeks and having been told that there was no-one in my trust experienced enough to do a breech delivery or ECV. I was told I was looking at a CS the next day. Fortunately, they had overlooked one particular consultant, who happened to be on the ward and was very experienced in ECV. Having initially been very anti, after the consultant had talked it all through with me I opted for ECV over CS (for lots of reasons) and they did it there and then.

It was successful, she turned on the first try, no problems at all. Iirc, I was monitored for an hour before and afterwards to make sure she wasn't in distress. I was scanned using a mobile scanner to check placental position etc, literally a couple of seconds before he turned her and then again afterwards. I spent a couple of hours being generally monitored at the hospital before going home and sitting bolt upright all night to stop her from turning again! I was then induced the next day and had a very speedy delivery with no complications.

The consultant said they would only try twice and wouldn't try for longer than either 30 or 60 seconds at a time (I can't remember which sorry). He was insistent that both mine and the baby's health were the most important thing and they wouldn't pursue the ECV if there was even a hint of a problem, hence all the scans, checks and monitoring.

32 weeks is very early days, but I totally understand how you are feeling, because I felt the same when they told me dd was the same. I had planned a home water birth and we had everything set up and good to go. I am also phobic about hospitals and surgery in particular, so the idea of a CS terrified me. Dd was my last baby and I desperately wanted the kind of birth I had planned, but in the end, all that mattered was that I had my beautiful baby in my arms safe and sound. Okay, she was delivered in hospital (in a side room as I didn't make it to delivery) rather than at home, but it really didn't seem important once she was here, iyswim.

NattyCraig Fri 05-Oct-12 17:42:46


I am 36+1 and got told last week my baby is breech, midwife booked me in for my bloods doing next week at a drop in clinic then told me I'd see her again at 39 weeks. I don't feel like this is normal. Surely they should check prior to 39 weeks if baby is still breech or not?
I rang this morning to speak with midwife as a bit upset at the lack of info. Just got told if baby still breech at 39 weeks then they would discuss options with me then.
My worry is if I go into labour with baby breech it will distress me and him more than is necessary and end in an emergency c section... I would rather have the section booked in and be mentally prepared for it.
Fingers crossed our babies turn! However your health people sound better than mine, as nothing has been said / discussed with me other than "he's breech"


moosemama Fri 05-Oct-12 17:54:59

This is a link to the NICE guidelines for routine care of healthy pregnant women. It has a section on what their guidelines are for breech presentations and being offered ECV etc.

Their guidelines relating to C-sections are here.

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists info, here. info.

Hopefully, it might help you to get them to give you more information and/or an earlier reassessment if you let them know you've read up and are informed on the subject.

BionicEmu Fri 05-Oct-12 18:56:08

Not as useful as the post above, but wanted to add that my DS was breech at 32 weeks but had turned by the time I.went into labour at 33 weeks. There's still plenty of time for your baby to turn, but reading up on the guidelines would mean you're more prepared whatever happens, so hopefully a bit more reassured/relaxed.

cherry219 Fri 05-Oct-12 18:59:39

My baby is currently breech at 35 weeks, and has been since 28 weeks (my last baby was also persistently breech and was successfully turned by ECV at 37 weeks, I went on to have a normal vaginal delivery at term). At 31 weeks, my MW referred me to a consultant when I was 34 weeks. That was last week, I saw the consultant who confirmed the breech and booked me for a scan and a further consultant's appointment at 36 weeks, where, if the baby is still breech, they'll book me for ECV.

There are dangers to ECV, as with most things, but it's safer to have an ECV and then a natural birth than to go for a c-section. For me, it's really important to have skin-to-skin afterwards, and so I'll do everything in my power to get a natural birth. If that means ECV again, so be it. They are super careful while they're doing it, constantly monitoring baby and with a portable scanning unit to one side so they can scan and check the baby at any point.

With regards to what you can do in the meantime, there is some useful advice on the spinning babies website, but I've been advised to bounce on my gym ball a lot and spend time on my hands and knees or with bum in the air.

Good luck!

wkmmum Fri 05-Oct-12 20:34:07

I know exactly how you're feeling. Saw my mw on weds (when I was 32+5) and was told baby had turned breech. It completely threw me. I've always been very open minded in that even though I'll make a birth plan I know things may not go according to 'plan'. But I really wasn't expecting to have to consider having my baby in any way but the way I 'planned' at this stage.

Don't know where you are but here the mw said that if they still think baby is breech at 36 they'll scan me to check. If baby is still breech they'll over me ECV (which is also somehow I'm not keen on). I said to mw that I'd also try hypnosis/acupuncture/reflexology.

Ultimately, if baby isn't budging they won't insist on a cs. She said they have a consultant mw they'd want me to see but they do do vaginal breech deliveries here.

For now though I think I'm gonna be spending a lot of time on all fours trying to get this baby to turn!!! And I'm trying not to get stressed about it as there's still plenty of time for things to change xx

HardlyEverHoovers Fri 05-Oct-12 20:44:59

Hi, my baby was breech, I was advised by a friend to try moxibustion, which is an acupunture technique which is known to be very effective in turning babies, there's some info about it here:
It involves having hot incense near your little toes and is actually very relaxing!
Unfortunately baby decided also to come early, before I'd completed the treatment and he hadn't turned.
I had a c-section, the last thing I wanted, tried to do it naturally be he wouldn't come out. Just to reassure you in case things don't change, it was fine, had no impact on bonding/feeding etc. Had skin to skin with him pretty quickly and he fed then as well, breast fed exclusively until weaning and still feeding at 20 months. They did have to keep taking him away for short periods for various things but that was more because he was prem.
I'm not saying I'd choose a c-section but my fears about it did not come true, thankfully.

PrimalChic Mon 08-Oct-12 10:31:41

The lady who ran my hypnobirth class said babies usually turn in the last few weeks and not to worry if you're told you're breech before then. Just don't do any wide leg / stretching positions until baby has turned as you don't want their bum to engage!

Hypnosis is supposed to have an 80% success rate for turning breech babies though I'm not sure how accurate that figure is.

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