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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.

deebeeandboys Tue 09-Jul-13 20:34:31

My 4th was an undiagnosed breech vaginal birth. He was breech on a scan at 35 weeks, but they didn't pick up on it- not until he came out feet first!

My stubborn 5th was still breech at 36 weeks- I was planning a homebirth but thought if he was going to be breech, I'd be happier in hospital, as he was considerably bigger than his brother and I didn't want a section or ECV- if I'd know for definite my 4th had been breech, I also wouldn't have wanted either, but then this was my 4th- don't know how I'd have felt if it was my first baby. I did the spinning babies thing (weirdly it helped my SPD, being upside down), then at a scan at 37 weeks he was head down and stayed head down.

ScariestFairyByFar Tue 09-Jul-13 20:39:19

I tried everything to turn dd acupuncture, hand stands in swimming pool, hot bath and chasing her with ice pack and ECV. None worked had elcs at 39 weeks and it was perfect apart from the cutting her hip she still has the scar at 2.

The worst bit about the ECV was the faces of the people watching they all looked horrifiedgrin

dollybird Tue 09-Jul-13 20:47:55

DD was an undiagnosed breech - they didn't realise until they saw her bottom coming out! Very easy birth (was my second). I don't know when she turned but I was induced and they had no idea!! No hip problems either (unlike her non-breech brother)

ArtemisiaofCaria Tue 09-Jul-13 20:56:06

I went into early labour at 36-37 weeks, a week before my ECV was booked. I went straight to theatre when I started having contractions, just twinges.

starlightloz Tue 09-Jul-13 20:58:19

My last son was breech and I had an ECV. It was a bit like a Chinese burn but was really quite painless. He didn't move at all and the consultant kept trying to turn him either was when it became quite obvious to me he wasn't budging an inch.I tried lots of the methods to turn him like swimming, scrubbing floors, keeping my feet raised above my head as if up against an ironing board etc but he was having none of it and was quite comfy where he was! I was measuring low on amniotic fluid though so he didn't really have much room to move around in. I had a caesarean at 38 weeks and all was smooth and perfect. Whatever happens try not to worry, babies tend to do their own thing and it usually works out for the best whatever horror stories you hear and soon enough you will hold that precious baby. Hope all goes well.

FryOneFatManic Tue 09-Jul-13 21:06:08

I didn't mention earlier, but I did know when DD turned round into the breech position. I was lying in bed reading and turned to DP and said "She's moving, that's her head up here." He said not to be silly but midwife confirmed it at booked appt next day.

VodIsGod Tue 09-Jul-13 21:44:26

I had an ECV at 36 weeks and it was fine. It took about 20 seconds and was just getting a bit uncomfortable (NOT painful) and then it was over. I stayed for an hour's monitoring afterwards. Baby stayed down and was born naturally in water at 40 weeks at the community hospital in our town. It was everything I'd wished for and I was so glad I had the ECV as my other two pregnancies ended in inductions and instrumental deliveries. Perhaps he would've turned anyway but I have never regretted having the ECV. It enabled my only positive birth experience.

FWIW the ECV was done at a large teaching hospital but a consultant famous for his technique!

ZingWidge Tue 09-Jul-13 21:52:48

I had EVC with DS4.

it was horrible. like chinese burns. and the drug they give you to relax the womb made me shiver, shake and gave me an awful headache.
I felt quite ill for about 2 days afterwards.

and it didn't work anyway, he was footling breech so I had ELSC.
I wish I hadn't gone for it and would never opt for it again.

ZingWidge Tue 09-Jul-13 21:53:33

sorry, baby's all over me, hard to type!

stiffstink Tue 09-Jul-13 22:06:43

I had to be naked for many hours after the ECV, clothes hurt against my skin, it was like friction burns.

Glad I tried it though, I wanted a natural birth and I knew it was my one shot at turning a very wedged breech baby.

stiffstink Tue 09-Jul-13 22:18:45

It failed but still glad I tried it.

tallulah Tue 09-Jul-13 22:24:42

My 5th had been head down all along then turned at about 37 weeks. I was at the cinema when she turned and it was a horrible feeling.

They told me there was nobody in the hospital experienced enough to attempt a breech VB. I was offered ECV but it was clear that it was my choice. The alternative was straight to ELCS.

Went for ECV as I was petrified of having a section. The consultant did it, with a MW to assist - no-one else in the room. Painful would be an understatement. The MW asked me later if it felt as brutal as it looked shock. Baby was quite firmly engaged and would not shift, so was born by ELCS a week later.

As it turned out, not only was she breech but she was back to back too, so I think the delivery would have been difficult. The CS was fabulous and I wondered afterwards why I'd been so against the idea. I wished I'd had the other 4 that way as well grin.

storytopper Tue 09-Jul-13 22:25:04

My experience is a bit old - DS1 is 31 years old - but I will tell you anyway as it might be of interest. I went to the hospital for a routine check at 38 weeks. They thought he was breech and also suspected small for dates so I was called back to see a consultant. I was given an x-ray (had to lie face down on a table - eek! - thought I was going to burst) then went for half-hour ultrasound where the consultant talked constantly to a trainee he had with him.

The X-ray showed DS as breech - sitting on his bottom with his legs straight up in front of his face. The consultant estimated his weight as 7lbs 8oz and said I had a large, well-shaped pelvis and was therefore OK to try breech delivery.

I went back the following week and they found that DS had turned by himself and was now head down. I didn't feel any particular movement as he seemed to be turning all the time.

He was born at 40+4 and weighed 6lb 11oz - long but slim - which he still is.

CocktailQueen Tue 09-Jul-13 23:00:07

I had a failed ECV at 38 weeks but dd had been in the same position all along and it didn't work. Turned out - after my CS - that I have a bicornuate uterus (heart shaped) and DD was stuck in one corner, unable to move. The cord was wrapped 3x round her neck when she was born. that's why the ECV didn't work...

So sometimes these things work and sometimes not. There are loads of non-intervention things you can try - moxibustion, look at spinningbabies website for ideas, optimal foetal positioning etc. Go for it. BUT I tried all these and they didn't work, and in the end we knew why. So don't fret if things don't go as plan. A healthy baby is your goal in the end.

DevonCiderPunk Tue 09-Jul-13 23:13:03

My 1st was breech and couldn't be turned due to low fluid. Had a c-section. My 2nd was breech until about 32 weeks when I went to an active birth workshop and was taught to perform an adapted headstand! did these daily and before long, baby was in a perfect presentation, head down and facing the optimum way. Of course it could have been co-incidence...

Ended up having a section anyway for non-position reasons, but glad I gave it my best shot!

ToffeeWhirl Tue 09-Jul-13 23:26:08

I had my breech baby turned, after trying accupuncture, which didn't work. Turning didn't hurt, but it felt very odd and I didn't feel right afterwards. My first baby had been born after a four-hour labour, but this one felt completely different. I never seemed to go into labour, but I was in a lot of pain for several days. Eventually, I started bleeding and went into hospital, where they found that I was ready to give birth. My baby's oxygen levels kept dipping, so they became very concerned about me and said I'd need a Caesarean if I couldn't get him out soon.

When my son was born, shortly afterwards, he had the cord wrapped twice round his neck and three times round his body, which is why his oxygen levels were dipping each time I had a contraction. He came out not breathing, but it was only a matter of seconds before the midwife got him breathing. My DH was absolutely terrified, but I was in a daze.

I worried for ages afterwards that DS2 would be brain damaged, but he is an extremely bright, healthy seven-year old now. However, I do think we may have had a lucky escape and I do suspect that it was turning him from a breech baby that caused him to be all wrapped up in the cord and stopped me going into proper labour. A midwife told me later that I had had what they call 'a silent labour'.

If I were ever in the same position again (not likely as I am now 48!), I would not have the same procedure, but would opt for a Caesarean.

Incidentally, my first baby was in a posterior position and was successfully turned because I used Jean Sutton's kneeler-rocker (and yes, I certainly did feel it when he turned, although it wasn't painful). This was available from her daughter in law on 020 8890 8298, but I'm afraid this was 13 years ago, so I don't know if it is still valid. I am very thankful that I used the chair, as I had a very quick and relatively easy first birth. I'm not sure if it would work for a breech baby, but it might be worth a try. There is a website about turning a posterior baby here.

Hopefully, your baby will turn all on his or her own, but there's no harm in trying to encourage him/her as well.

NonnoMum Wed 10-Jul-13 00:00:12

Reflexology turned my breech baby.


hatsybatsy Wed 10-Jul-13 11:22:36

failed ecv with ds. 4 doctors/midwives around me - each grabbing onto different bits of ds and trying to yank him round. I had to hold onto the table as was being pulled so hard. no space for dh to get near me and hold my hand.

they got him half way round then had to stop - there was no shifting him. I had finger nail marks all over my belly by the time they'd finished.

I was not made aware I had a choice about the ECV or that I had the right to tell them to stop during the procedure.

I felt upset and quite sick afterwards as didn't get on with the drugs they had given me to relax.

If dd had been breech, I would not have had another ECV - it hurt way more than either of the 2 CS that I went on to have.

vjg13 Wed 10-Jul-13 11:26:52

My consultant who was a obstetric professor was very anti ECV although the registrar was desperate to try it. I didn't want to try anyway so had a planned CS.

libertychick Wed 10-Jul-13 12:52:32

That's sounds awful hatsy. It's a shame that so many health care professionals don't seem to explain things properly and that so little emphasis is placed on your choices - obviously in emergencies they have to get on and do the best they can but for most things there are generally a few options available and the choice should be informed by a proper discussion.

mawbroon Wed 10-Jul-13 13:07:59

I tried everything to turn DS1, including ECV. The consultant took one feel of my bump and said the baby was stuck and he didn't want to use the amount of force it would take to turn him.

So, I had an ELCS where the surgeon discovered that my uterus was heart shaped and DS1s head was stuck in one of the lobes. So there was no way he was ever going to turn, no matter what I did.

It certainly explained all the rummaging around that ds1 seemed to be doing in the weeks before birth. I reckon he really was trying to turn, but just couldn't.

BonzoDooDah Wed 10-Jul-13 13:35:23

My first was an unstable lie - basically turning round and round and round (I couldn't even feel her - I think I had a lot of fluid). Anyway she finally settled head up.
A bit fed up with this I went into the shower and put it on as cold as I could bear and directed the water at where her head was. She moved away from it! So I kept on until she was pointing down!
It can't hurt as it is through your own skin so you'd know if it hurts - and she moved by herself - so I'd give this a go before anything more "mechanical".

JewelFairies Wed 10-Jul-13 14:29:09

My sister had a breech baby and refused for the consultant to try and turn the baby. Just as well, they had trouble getting her out during the c-section because the umbilical cord was unusually short.

ScampiMummy Wed 10-Jul-13 14:51:50

I had a successful ECV at 39 weeks. Wasn't painful and dd was born naturally at 42 weeks, a hefty 9lb so not much space for manoeuvre either. Only doctor and mid wife in the room, and certainly no stress. It just depends how much you want to avoid a CS. If you do, surely it's worth giving an ECV a try? Don't forget that it's usually the horror stories that you read when googling because success stories aren't particularly interesting.....

Kasterborous Wed 10-Jul-13 14:53:39

We had the same thing our DD was breech and they offered to turn her. We had decided to go ahead with it until the we actually got to the hospital then changed our minds. The consultant was actually quite pleased we didn't want it doing because he thought that it might well not have worked especially because it was my first baby. He said they had to give us the option though. They were very understanding and booked us a date for a c-section our DD never turned so I had the section and it was fine.

Good luck with whatever you choose and a c-section really isn't that bad especially if its planned.

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