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turning a breech baby

(120 Posts)
JRmumma Mon 08-Jul-13 12:01:27

IM currently 33 weeks and my baby is still head up. I know I still have time for baby to turn but i don't think it will as has been in this position all along. At midwife appt this morning she was talking about what would happen if baby doesn't turn by 37 weeks and the turning the baby by hand procedure sounds horific. Grateful for any sharing of experiences of this.

Jorior Mon 08-Jul-13 12:16:20

Hi there,

My DS2 was still breech at 33 weeks and I felt the same as you because the turning procedure doesn't seem nice at all. He ended up turning on his own so thankfully it didn't come to that.

This time around I'm doing yoga classes and our teacher talks about a move she calls 'the scoop' which is supposed to be good for getting babies to turn. Stand upright with your legs wide enough so you feel steady on your feet. Tilt your pelvic bone forward, then up in a scooping motion and repeat as many times as you can. If you feel more comfortable walking around while you're scooping, you can scoop with each step.

Apparently getting on all fours and making a figure of 8 with your hips also helps get a baby into the right position.

Good luck!

Stropzilla Mon 08-Jul-13 12:35:36

My baby was breech all through my pregnancy, and I was scheduled for a c-section. On the MORNING of the section, baby turned head down! I still had the section. Could have chosen not to but i was utterly fed up by that point!

Please read up on this and be aware, there are contra-indications that you may not be suitable for turning, one of which I had and the consultant missed so I was very pleased I didn't go for it.

donttellalfred Mon 08-Jul-13 13:57:13

I also have a breech one at the mo, but only 29 weeks so hoping he will shift of his own accord. As well as the exercise Jorior describes, you can do a version of the yoga 'child pose', where you go on all fours, then rest your arms on the floor in front of you and put your bottom in the air - you might need pillows/ birthing ball to support your chest. This is supposed to help. Also scrubbing floors, apparently...

JRmumma Mon 08-Jul-13 19:44:03

stropzilla did you refuse the turning thing then? I really don't like the sound of it but think i should probably give it a go and avoid a c-sec if possible. I don't think i have any of the things that would prevent me from doing it. IM low papp-a but don't think that's an issue

Teaandflapjacks Tue 09-Jul-13 10:17:55

Mine was breech until very recently - 32 weeks (34 weeks now - 35 friday). I would have also refused the turning manoeuvre based on the known risks of it, for what it is worth, I considered a C-sec less risky than this manoeuvre (I read up a lot on it).

But what I think turned my baby was cleaning actually - hoovering, and using dustpan and brush on kitchen floor, mopping, cleaning shower floor etc etc. And actually there is a bit of truth behind this because of the movement with your hips etc. I should also add, since she turned I ended up going into early labour, and am not on bed rest until at least 36 weeks, but I think this is fairly unusual!

Pascha Tue 09-Jul-13 10:20:17

I had ecv at 37 weeks for ds1. It was fine and he stayed down.

puffinnuffin Tue 09-Jul-13 10:35:27

My baby was breech and I ended up having a C section (which a lovely experience).
I had an ECV. It was pretty barbaric and sent me into premature labour which fortunately they managed to stop. I was surprised how many people were in the room involved in the ECV! If I was in that situation again I wouldn't do it. It was a horrible experience and didn't work for me.

However a weird thing which did my baby move was going to have accupunture and he burnt herbs on my toes (can't remember what it's called moxi??something). My baby did turn during this but flipped back afterwards.

rubberducky24 Tue 09-Jul-13 10:38:19

my DD was breech from the 20 week scan right through to birth. I was offered an ECV but declined it - I didn't like the look of it and figured if the baby was going to turn it would do so of it's own accord. Like teanandflapjacks I also did a lot of research and found the thought of the ECV more daunting than the section. Went into labour naturally before my planned section, was scanned on arrival at hospital and once confirmed baby was still breech, I had to wait for an available theatre slot as due to it being a Saturday there was only one theatre open. C section and recovery were both fine.

JRmumma Tue 09-Jul-13 11:01:41

Thanks everyone.

Well hopefully cleaning works then! Im on mat leave now and got lots of that planned to get the house straight before baby comes.

Do the midwifes etc just expect you to try the ECV or is it a discussion that's had as a choice?

Teaandflapjacks Tue 09-Jul-13 11:50:24

Its totally your choice with the ECV - you are well within your rights to refuse it, however they may try and paint it as non optional IYSWIM. You just said no, you have read the risks and done a lot of your own research, and you consider the risks of the ECV greater to you than a c-section. end of. If you did decide to go for it, you can of course also stop them at ANY point, even just before if you feel uncomfortable. And actually certain positions (they check with scan) are not considered appropriate for it. Have a look at the spinning babies website too.


Teaandflapjacks Tue 09-Jul-13 11:51:23

You just say no I mean, not said no..! :-)

ilovepicnmix Tue 09-Jul-13 11:57:07

My baby was breech and remained that way. I tried moxibustion and the ecv. Moxibustion stank and the ecv was sore. I also did various 'poses' every day but the little bugger was not for turning. I ended up with an elective c section which was fine but im glad I did everything I could to avoid it.

mrsshackleton Tue 09-Jul-13 12:00:32

I had two breeches, they tried to ecv the first, but it was immediately obvious it just wouldn't work (not much umbilical fluid) so they stopped straight away. A friend had ecv and the baby flipped instantly, no pain at all, so not all experiences need be terrible.

JRmumma Tue 09-Jul-13 12:04:39

I just watched the ECV on youtube and even though the woman looked calm and pain free, it made me feel sick and anxious to watch and don't think i fancy it!

I think it just feels (to me personally) like cheating to go straight for the c-section and not try it. But at the same time it only works 50% of the time, and apparently less likely to work if its your first baby, so im less inclined to put myself through something that i know will be traumatic for me (im a worrier) and less than 50% likely to work.

Iamhot123 Tue 09-Jul-13 12:18:02

My ds was breech and I too refused the ecv. My theory was that he was that way up for a reason. The dr did say to me after I told him that he doubts he would have been able to turn him anyway.

I did spend a lot of time on my knees but he didn't turn so I ended up with an elective section at 39 weeks. It was an amazing experience and although I am a little sad that I will never experience labour, I know I did the right thing. Recovery was relatively simple and what matters most, ds was delivered healthy.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Tue 09-Jul-13 12:29:49

I read ages ago that if you or your dp/dh were breech babies then this increases the likelihood of your offspring also being breech babies.
Here is the link, it is pretty interesting:

libertychick Tue 09-Jul-13 12:36:28

My DD was breach - read Royal College guidelines for ECV. I refused the ECV and the doctor just nodded and agreed with me. I had the guidelines in my hand for the discussion with all the questions highlighted so they probably figured not worth the row! The deciding factors for me were that I was in a category where there is a low success rate for ECV and natural births post successful ECV are more likely to result in instrumental delivery or emergency C. I felt planned C was preferable to either of those options.

In the end DD turned herself 2 days before planned C, section was cancelled, then the little sod flipped back to breach again, then they realised the placenta had stopped working, she went head down again so I was induced - nothing happened so DH and I insisted on emergency C rather than a second induction attempt. Recovery was fine and DD great.

Another key question is the experience of the person doing the ECV - it's one of those things that seems to be a 'knack' and experience counts - don't allow a junior to use you as a practice run - ask how many they have done before and what their success rate is.

CorporeSarnie Tue 09-Jul-13 12:41:06

My baby was found to be breech at 35 weeks (there were some head/bum identification issues so not spotted until then).
I talked to my obstetrician friend about the risks of an ECV in the days before going into the Mat Unit, she helped convince me was the right thing to do, I was low-risk until this point, and was really keen for a 'normal' delivery, I remember crying at my antenatal class that I would have to have a CS blah blah blah. I had done lots of pilates and yoga, aqua aerobics, swimming, spent loads of time on my ball etc., so none of the pseudo-scientific positioning stuff made any difference. I tried lots of inversions between then and going into hospital.
On the day of the ECV, went in, procedure was calm and not painful at all, but... baby was firmly wedged in my pelvis and not for moving. So booked in for ELCS the following week (when would've been 37 wks).
4am the next morning I had a show, waters went at 8am just as I ate breakfast. Went in, dilated to 7cm by noon, obs asked if I wanted a vaginal delivery, hell no! Baby born just after 1pm, at 36 weeks by CS. She was fine if a little small and froggy-legged. And anyone who thinks that I didn't "experience labour" can f the f off... I walked to theatre, stopping only for contractions!
Choose whatever you think best - the baby will do what it does. Some go, some don't, some flip back, some go of their own accord (DH did this according to MIL). This is one area where you really can't control what happens. And at least there was no tearing nor damage to my baby's hips. We should count ourselves lucky really that we have access to positioning scans and therefore go in informed smile

JRmumma Tue 09-Jul-13 12:45:19

Thanks libertychick, the more i read into this the less inclined i am to do it. It seems that the docs don't argue if you say no, which suggests to me that they would rather do a c-sec than an ECV, and if that's what their confidence is in, then it speaks volumes to me.

This might all end up being academic as im still only 33+1 so baby may turn yet, however he has been in this same position for a long time so i think he might be in for the long haul! I said that to midwife yesterday and she didn't dismiss it sp i think she might have agreed. Usually she is quite patronising.

BizzyLizzy70 Tue 09-Jul-13 12:47:35

Hi my baby was breech at 34weeks-ish. A friend said kneeling on all fours in a lukewarm bath turned her friend's baby. So got my husband to get me in position in our high sided birth. He then went downstairs and fell asleep on the sofa. Meanwhile the baby water was getting colder and my knees hurt. I was just about to shout my husband again when the baby completely flipped. I will, thank god, never experience anything like it again. It was fairly painful but the weirdest feeling. It was scary but fantastic to watch my belly move like that and I only got a limited view. Felt like being in a real life Alien film! I screamed for my husband and after it was over he finally woke up. I was very wrinkly! Not sure if this is a good thing to do medically so if you are thinking about it I'd get some advice. The doctor confirmed the baby had turned the next day - I didn't need confirmation!

JRmumma Tue 09-Jul-13 12:53:32

corporesarnie thanks. The thought of it sending me into labour while baby was still breech terrifies me! Fair play to you for dealing with that!

FishfingersAreOK Tue 09-Jul-13 12:56:55

Just as an aside - if you do end up with a CS - elective or not, it is worth asking for them to check the shape of your uterus. Breech babies are sometimes a result of having a bi-cornurate uterus (nothing to worry about it is just not the normal pear shape - more upside down pear). My DD turned breech at about 36 weeks - she had been moving around bum-up/bum-down throughout - but due to the shape of my uterus she then kind of got a bit wedged bum down. She was born by ELCS and was a lovely experience.

We didn't ask at that CS so gave VBAC a go for DS but although he was head down, due to my uterus he "would never have made it out vaginally" according to the consultant who did the Emergency CS. In essence no where for him to turn and get down (I think). If I had know about the bi-cornurate uterus after DD I would not have bother ed with the 12 hours of labour grin.

Good luck with what ever happens and remember, there are pluses (and "meh"s) to every type of delivery- the biggest plus is yours and your babies wellbeing.

fussychica Tue 09-Jul-13 12:58:55

My DS was transverse lie so was booked in for an elective c section at 38 weeks on a Monday - over the weekend he turned so c section cancelled. Tuesday he went transverse again awkward bugger so taken in for almost immediate c section as it was considered too dangerous to risk going into labour. This was years ago - the c section was fine and recovery quick better than the emergency c's many of my friend landed up having.
I think he was just too lazy to go through all that birth canal malarkeygrin

BadRoly Tue 09-Jul-13 13:08:30

I had an attempted (and failed grin) ECV with dc1 almost 12 years ago shock. My consultant was apparently a bit of an expert and it was her thing.

My memory is of it being a far more unpleasant experience than my 3 subsequent VBACs! Not necessarily more painful, just unpleasant.

There were many many people in the room, all gowned ready for theatre. The consultant confirmed theatre were ready before she started which focused my mind hmm.

I had to lie on angled bed with feet higher than head and tilted to the side. From my memory they rotated dc1 round completely about 5 times. Dh assures me she only shifted about 6" grin

If dc2,3 and 4 had also been breech, I would have refused ECVs with them.

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