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Footling Breech

(28 Posts)
staylucky Tue 09-Jun-09 18:20:55

Hiya lovlies,

Am 35 weeks and my midwife's just realised babba is a footling breech.

Was wondering if anyone's been in a similar situation and what the outcome was.

I'm trying really hard to be positive, this is my second pregnancy and last was all ok so am guessing that there's every chance that baby will turn in time. BUT I would like to know every possible outcome to be ready.

Am I right in presuming that with a footling breech they wouldn't attempt an external turn? Does anyone have any other ideas for nudging the baby along?

I'd really hate a c section unless it's absolutely neccessary so am willing to try anything!! grin

crumbled Tue 09-Jun-09 18:38:25

get down on your hands and knees, sticking your bum in the air (higher than your shoulders) and swaying. My yoga teacher said this would give the baby space to move. I was painting the skirting in the baby's room at the time but unfortunately it didn't work for me!
worth a try though!

the outcome: waters broke at 36 weeks and after scan to check position had to have cs. Uh. however, good job they didn't have time to do the external turning (I was booked in but didn't get that far) because the cord was round dd's neck. So maybe that's why the bum in the air stuff didn't work?!

funnily enough, just had a playdate with a mum who had a natural breech delivery (not footling though) and all was hunky dory.

I seriously didn't want a cs, but breech deliveries are notoriously difficult and can be dangerous so I'd take advice and get baby out safe. Good luck!

LeninGrad Tue 09-Jun-09 18:41:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LeninGrad Tue 09-Jun-09 19:08:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

glimmer Tue 09-Jun-09 20:49:01

I would ask for a scan in two weeks or so.
My midwife misdiagnosed the baby's position. Would be a pity to worry for nothing....

staylucky Tue 09-Jun-09 22:18:15

Hiya, I've been for a scan on Monday and he def is. I knew to be fair anyway cause his feet are trying to kick their way out of
My cervix LOL.

Am having another scan in2 weeks but am
Concerned I might not make it that far. Midwife hasn't really seemed concerned but I'd just like to try and explore a few options instead of just ending up on the table.

Thanks for he bum in the air tip crumble will give it a go!

staylucky Wed 10-Jun-09 08:20:32

Crumbled even, sorry.

Does anyone have any experience of some of the more alternative options?

Chiropratic adjustment, moxibustion, all that jazz? Midwife at the hospital after my scan told me to visualise hmm not that i'm knocking it...

TheChewyToffeeMum Wed 10-Jun-09 08:35:00

Hi I had this with DD 3 yrs ago. They did try an external version but I was told it was far less likely to work - and it didn't!

I tried everything to get her to turn naturally - bum in air, hand stands in swimming pool etc.

Ended up with straightforward elective cs at 39 weeks (much less painful than forceps delivery 2 yrs later!).

I really didn't want a section but my consultant explained that the risk to the baby of cord prolapse was high due to footling presentation and I felt it would be selfish to refuse a section.

As it turned out I think my body was trying to go into labour for >1week before delivery as was having irregular strong contractions daily - midwife said this was because the foot does not exert enough pressure on cervix to dilate it.

If you try everything and baby stays footling try not to feel guilty about CS - I did for months until I accepted that I had taken the safest option for the baby.

mogwai Wed 10-Jun-09 08:41:21

My friend had an emergency C-section for an undiagnosed footling breech. The madwife thought it was the head that was engaged into the pelvis hmm.

She basically felt his foot come out and went to the antenatal clinic and whoops - there it was.

They were both absolutely fine, though she swears he always slept with one foot up and one down - he's four now and she has the smallest C-section scar you can imagine!!

staylucky Wed 10-Jun-09 10:11:58

Ahh, thank you guys

I think i've spent the whole pregnancy preparing for birth and this has just thrown my idea of what would happen. Had not even considered CS...

Mogwai scarily thats not the first story of escaping feet i've heard shock Could you imagine it!! Although, I have half expected it at times the way he's been kicking me, lol.

Chewy thanks for your experience, I'm guessing that an elective has to be at least less stressful than an emergency. Part of me does feel a bit selfish about the whole wanting to birth thing. It's really only for my own personal experience that I want to avoid CS. Birth to me is like the big fat full stop at the end of pregnancy, it's tough but neccesary. I just can't imagine popping into hospital and half an hour later being handed a baby! (ok am sure it doesn't quite work that way)

Truthfully i'm not that much of a hippy that I would risk babbas health though.

Thanks for your advice and thoughts x x

zanz1bar Wed 10-Jun-09 10:33:51

I have had two footling breech babies.

Misdiagnosed with the first and had an emergency c-section as also had an abrupted placenta and huge loss of blood, general anesthetic. not fun.

Second exactly the same but had an elective c-section which was calm, joyful, pain free and wonderful.

I tried everything to turn the baby from reflexology to sitting everynight for weeks with my bum in the air, they did not budge an inch.

One doctor suggested that i may have a heart shaped womb so once the baby is stuck, its well and truly stuck.

I would plan for a c-section, get your help sorted out for the first few weeks after(to begin with stairs are tricky, walking long corridors and driving is not a good idea) but ytou will be amazed at how fast you will heal, and how tiny the scar is.

And it can be as easy as a pinprick in the back 1/2 later healthy baby and a cup of tea just like my second baby.

staylucky Wed 10-Jun-09 21:07:34

Thanks zanz1bar Poor you, the 1st birth sounded traumatic. Your 2nd was obviously much more positive though.

I can't describe to people just how bloody awful it feels to have feet down there lol. It's mental isn't it!?

Am booked in to see my chiropractor on Monday, he has always managed to pull me round whenever i've seen him so am keeping my fingers crossed. If he doesn't turn after that then i'm just assuming it's a CS.

Thanks for all the positive advice everyone about CS, I was proper worried.

maxbear Wed 10-Jun-09 21:35:39

an external cephalic version should be more likely to turn the baby I think because the body is not being splinted by the legs. It is babies whose legs are up by their ears that are very difficult to turn. grin

jenwyn Wed 10-Jun-09 21:42:15

I had a breech pregnancy .

Only difference was that mine was twins shock

CS was not even a consideration when DS & DD were born and they were both born naturally at 41 weeks and weighing 7+ lbs each. It can be done and I am always shocked at how CS seems to be the option in so many (otherwise straightforward)cases.

Good luck and try not to worry too much
*more easily said than done emoticon

staylucky Wed 10-Jun-09 21:54:53

jenwyn, my hat off to you *total admiration* I am guessing that you had a really good and supportive healthcare team?

I feel resigned to cs because my GP/Midwife are completely crap and will not entertain anything other than the easiest option for them.

I often am completely gobsmacked by some posts on other threads about the high levels of care -quite rightly- ladies can get from doctors and consultants etc. It's just not like that where I live and i'm not sure i'm strong minded enough to fight them.

Thanks maxbear, that's not ruled out then.

jenwyn Wed 10-Jun-09 23:55:16

Good and supportive healthcare team? What's that then?

Nope - did the 12 week scan which showed 2 babies and then didn't see anyone until 30+ weeks. Too busy with 1 year old.

No further scans and no interventions .Only did one thing and that was make sure I had Epidural marked in big letters on my card.Fantastic.

But this was all nearly 30 years ago.We were just supposed to get on with things and the money wasn't there for operations etc.

Worked for me at the time and thankfully neither I nor babies were in any danger or distress. Women are tougher than you may think-but of course you don't need to tell men that...

TheChewyToffeeMum Thu 11-Jun-09 14:31:39

I thought footling (ie one foot down , one leg flexed) was more difficult to turn due to being longer.

I was told the risk during delivery is also higher in footling compared to frank breech (both legs flexed) as the presenting part is so much smaller ie a foot versus a bum grin.

Of course it is all academic as you can't choose what type of breech it is just like you can't tell baby to turn head down. Also you are much less likely nowadays to find a midwife/doctor who is confident in delivering a footling breech vaginally because they advise them all to go for sectionhmm

I think you just have to get as much info as you can and choose what seems safest for you both.

lynniep Thu 11-Jun-09 14:41:56

hi staylucky.

I had a footling breech, but unfortunately it was undiagnosed and I had to give birth 'naturally' (it didnt feel terribly natural at the time!)

I was given the choice of a c-section, but by that time he was already down the birth canal and they told me it was more risky to both of us to do a cs at that point, so he came (was manhandled) out the standard way.

Problem was he got stuck, was without oxygen for an unknown time period, came out not breathing, started fitting, and his organs shut down. He was rushed away to SCBU and we were basically told they didnt know if he'd make it, and he could be brain damaged.

I had pretty much 20 people in there when he was born - none of whom (including the consultant who delivered) had ever seen a footling breech (non-twin).

Well, he did make it, he's not brain damaged (although he is a nutter!) but his/our first year was dampened by our anxieties about his development. On his yearly appointment he was discharged thank goodness - it was obvious he was developing normally.

So, this time around, I get a late scan, and at least I should have the benefit of being able to make the c-section choice earlier than the 'I can feel a hand - no - its a foot' stage. I definately would opt for the c-section this time!

staylucky Fri 12-Jun-09 08:50:15

Hi Chewy, I think mine has both feet down there little beggar, Agree with the unconfident midwife remark though.

Thanks Lynniep for your experience, have googled and watched a few breech births on the tweb and have to say it doesn't look ideal, owww! Am glad your son is ok xx

Tangle Fri 12-Jun-09 22:59:13

DD was born as a footling breech at home with IMs, weighing 9lb12 and 10 days past my EDD. She was scanned as full breech earlier the day I went into labour but obviously decided to be contrary in the next 5 hours! After a latent phase lasting a few days active labour took just 7 hours. It was a lovely calm experience and I had one of the best birth experiences of anyone I know.

She'd been breech from about 28 weeks so we'd had a chance to do a lot of reading, thinking and talking. Having talked to MWs experienced in vaginal breech birth we came to the conclusion that vaginal breech birth was not intrinsically dangerous, although vaginal breech with inexperienced attends is. We also found a substantial difference between a MW led, hands off breech birth and a Obs led medicalised vaginal breech delivery - and if the latter was all that had been available I'd have been begging to be booked in for a CS before I left the room. This article by Mary Cronk summarises the differences nicely.

If you can get hold of a copy in time, "Breech Birth" by Benna Waites has a chapter on complementary methods of encouraging your baby to turn. If you really don't want a CS you might want to consider talking to IMs near you - they often have more experience of breech babies (as they're not bound by NHS policy to recommend a CS) and can be very flexible on terms for women that aren't being supported for whatever reason by the NHS.

Fingers crossed for you

Itsonono Tue 16-Jun-09 09:58:20

I'm in your position right now, except I am 1 week exactly away from my due date. My daughter just turned somehow in the last 8-9 days. She is footling breech, but her head is off to my right side.

My Dr. is saying my daughters position is pretty much everything you don't want if a turning is going to work. Footling breeches are apparently extremely difficult to turn and can easily end you up in emergency c-section. It also really stresses the baby out.

I have tried swimming, laying around a lot to give her plenty of room, making sure I eat enough so she has the energy she needs in case she does decide to flip... I am even trying the ice method. Take a bag of ice and put it where her head is. She will supposedly move away from it.

I found out she was breech Friday. Today is Monday and she has turned. She was head totally up but now her head is in the middle of my right side. So while she is turning, her feet have not budged. Not quite sure what I need to do to get her feet out of there so she can slide on down.

staylucky Tue 16-Jun-09 10:18:28

itsono Have they planned a c section for you? You are very close now!! I presumed that they wouldn't risk a natural labour? Bless you, sounds like you've tried everything though. My bubba is as yours in right now, head to the right, bum opp, feet down. He has been spinning rather than turning and trying to move but so far he's back where he started.

Went to see my chiroprator lastnight and feel realy really good, no violent work this time, pretty much just massage and releasing trigger points. Pelvis feels like it has tilted forward though and have had loads of movement since the app so am hoping this might do it!

My SIL carried my niece breech and she said it was right at the last week she turned, am keeping fingers crossed for the both of us xxx

Itsonono Tue 16-Jun-09 12:18:03

Yes, my c-section is scheduled for this Friday June 19th =/.

staylucky Thu 18-Jun-09 13:30:37

Good luck itsono. Hope all goes well x

joford Fri 19-Jun-09 15:29:17

Just saw this post after googling "footling breech". My baby was born at 39 weeks on 11 May at home after only a 2 hour labour from waters breaking. It was only when the midwife noticed a foot instead of a head that we realised he was breech!

They got me out of the pool super quick and I delivered him on all fours in my dining room. The pushing stage was 36 minutes and I would say easier (though more painful as not in water) than my first, who was head down. He was 8lb 4oz and absolutely fine, cried immediately after coming out and is a very bonny boy called Rowan.

It was only after he was born that I realised the risks that were involved in a breech delivery and particularly a breech delivery. A quick read of the Wikipedia entry wen he was a day or so old (and references to cord prolapse, brain damage etc.) put me off looking at anything else until now.

If his presentation had been discovered earlier I cannot say whether I would have opted for a CS or not. I am very pro-natural birth, but obviously the safety of the baby (and me!) comes first.

Luckily I had 2 experienced midwives in attendance, and one (my regular midwife) subsequently checked the research and apparently although earlier research suggested an inherent risk in vaginal delivery, more recent research shows that it is no more risky than having a CS, even for a footling breech.

Hope this helps anyone who has been diagnosed with a breech baby x

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