View Full Version : Breech baby at 36 weeks
02-02-2003, 07:24 AM
My baby is in a breech position and I am currently 36 weeks along. Her head lays between by rib cage and belly button with her feet down near me cervix, and she has been in this position for at least 6 weeks. My doctor has suggested an external cephalic version (ECV) to try and turn her. Has anyone had this procedure completed, and if so, do you have any experiences, recommendations, suggestions to share?
Your time in responding is definitely appreciated!!!
02-02-2003, 12:08 PM
I haven't had it done, but I still think at 36 wks the baby has time to turn. I have heard the version is or can be painful. I think if I was in that position I would wait a little longer before having it done!! But, that is my personal opinion, not a medical one!
02-07-2003, 10:28 PM
I've heard that it can be painful AND that because they can't see what they're doing, they can actually hurt the baby. If the baby has room to turn and is able to turn s/he will. If not, then pushing and shoving may not be the answer. They had "talked" about doing this with me with my first child, and I ended up going into premature labor at 6.5 weeks early. When they did the c-section, they found out that I had had a septate uterus. So, it would have been painful, possibly harmful, and completely ineffective had they tried.
02-10-2003, 01:51 PM
I had an external version done with my DD at 37.5 weeks. She was in a transverse breech position. I was lucky and the version did work on the third and final atempt to "turn" her. I'm not going to lie -- it was painful -- but in the end I'm glad I chose to go that route than an automatic c-section. My DD was born at almost 41 weeks vaginally with no complications.
I'm 34 weeks pregnant with my second and just found out that this baby is also lying in a transverse position. My Dr. said that we would discuss my options (if the baby doesn't turn on it's own) at my 35.5 week appt. My OB practice's policy is NOT to let you deliver a breech vaginally b/c of the complications that could arise. Basically they either schedule a c-section for a week or two before your due date or you can try the version between 37 and 37.5 weeks. If it doesn't work (the version only has a 50% success rate) then they schedule a c-section. They also wait til you are considered full term to attempt the version in case a complication would arise. It's (at least in my case) done in the maternity ward right next to the c-section OR. Also, my Dr. did it under U/S guidance so they were very careful about what they were doing.
I'm hoping this baby decides to flip on it's own, but if not I think I'm definitely going to opt for the version again. Like I said it's painful, but it doesn't last for that long and I know recovery from a vaginal birth is MUCH quicker than a c-section.
Hope this made sense.......feel free to ask me any questions if you have any!! Good luck :)
02-11-2003, 06:20 AM
My DS was frank breech at my 36 week checkup, and my dr. also started talking about doing an external version. We agreed that we would try it at 38 weeks. But much to my suprise, at my 37 week checkup, he had turned head down again! So you *definitely* still have time for your little one to turn on her own.
02-17-2003, 11:11 AM
I want to say thank you to all that responded to my question about the external version - especially Katiem for sharing her experience.
My baby was still in a breech position at 37 weeks, so we had the choice of scheduling a c-section or trying an external version. After a lot of research and discussion with my doctor, we opted for the version. It is recommended that the version is preformed at 37 weeks in the hospital maternity ward with two doctors present. In case anything goes wrong, they insert an IV prior to the procedure, and they will perform an emergency c-section. My doctor administered a drug (I forget the name) to relax the uterus. The drug has a side effect of making your heart rate speed up and will make you feel a little jittery. They placed an external monitor on my stomach to monitor the baby's heart rate, and they also utilized ultrasound to check her position and heart rate. My doctor then placed mineral oil on my stomach and she along with another doctor pushed on my abdomen to try and rotate my baby. They will typically try a forward roll first, but my placenta was in the way, so they opted for a backward roll. On the first attempt, she rotated back up. My doctor waited a few minutes and tried again. On the second attempt, she rolled and her head was located in my pelvic area. They kept me on the external monitor for an hour after the procedure. My baby's heart rate stayed normal throughout and after the procedure. My doctor preformed a follow-up ultrasound a few days after the procedure and everything looked fine. In all, the procedure is a bit painful, but the pain only lasts during the procedure. I was a little sore the following day - I was more mentally worn out than anything else. If I had to make the choice again, try an external version or schedule a c-section, I would opt for the version. I felt that my doctor and the hospital staff kept a close eye on my baby during the procedure. I know everyone's experience is different, but hopefully this information will help someone else who has questions about the procedure.
My baby is due in 12 days & I can't wait to meet her! Thanks again to all that responded!!
- Elizabeth and Ayden
02-24-2003, 10:34 AM
I'm in this situation, too. :( I'm about 36 weeks and I've been trying EVERYTHING-- swimming, pulsatilla, breech tilts, talking to the baby, playing music, shining the flashlight; I'm going to try hypnosis and the Webster technique this week, too. I'm so upset! I desperately want the chance to go through labor; I've been looking forward to it for most of a year, now!
02-24-2003, 11:02 AM
Did your Dr. talk to you about the possiblity of trying the version yet? I know it's not a guarantee, but when all else fails it's definitely worth a try!!!
02-24-2003, 03:39 PM
I'm waiting for 37 weeks to plan a version. (One more week.) I really don't want to do it with drugs, and really don't want to do it at all, but I'd rather that than a c/s! I'm waiting to try hypnosis and chiropractic this week before going ahead with that plan.
02-25-2003, 07:47 AM
I hope the hypnosis works for you!! Keep us posted! I have an appt. tomorrow to check the baby's position and if there's been no change we'll schedule a version for the begining of next week. I'm a little more aprehensive this time knowing exactly what to expect. Send some vertex vibes my way :)
02-25-2003, 10:35 AM
Yes! Woo-woo vertex vibes coming your way!! Come on, babies!
02-25-2003, 04:47 PM
When I was 36w with my DD, (last pregnancy) they found she was also in a breech presentation. In fact on all the u/s you can see she has her legs crossed very tightly with the feet resting on my cervix. (those kicks hurt worse than any kicks I felt during any of my pregnancies) We scheduled a version for week 37, however, they did and u/s right before the procedure. It turns out that I did not have enough amniotic fluid to make the procedure "safe" so my doctor did not attempt it.
I'll admit I was very let down. I wanted a normal vaginal birth more than anything. (I had had one with my son 5 yrs previous and it was amazing!) My doctor and I went ahead and scheduled a section for the following week.
I met my little Hannah on Dec 20, 2000 and we were home for Christmas eve. I'll admit, the recoup time was longer and more difficult (especially because I had a 5 yr old at home), but I had a lot of support and I followed drs orders. Within a few days I was feeling like myself again (a little sore in the mid-section). All in all, it really wasn't that bad of an experience. I had my beautiful baby girl which made it all worth while.
I just wanted to wish you both the best of luck and let you know that if the version (or any other technique) does not work, don't get down about it. It's all worth it in the end.
02-25-2003, 04:51 PM
I'm glad to hear your c/s experience wasn't traumatic. I've been thinking about the possibility a lot lately, as I have had my heart set on a homebirth.
Are you planning a VBAC this time around?
02-25-2003, 04:57 PM
I am planning a VBAC all the way with this baby! I have been using birthing relaxation tapes, doing perineal massage, and kegels like crazy. (not to mention this baby is vertex which hopefully will help) I really want a vaginal birth. Especially since my DD#1 is only 2. I had a lot of problems with my DS (only 5 at the time) understanding that he couldn't "hop on my lap" anytime he wanted while my incision healed. My DD still occasionally needs to be carried and lifted in and out of her crib. If I do have to have another section (which my doc said risk should be very low since I've already had a vag birth w/o complications), that's going to make things pretty difficult around my house. I guess no matter what we'll manage, but I'm crossing my fingers!
02-26-2003, 09:34 AM
Well the vertex vibes didn't work! This little one is in a definite breech position. I decided to try the version again -- they checked my amniotic fluid levels and said that it looked as though there was still time to attempt to flip her. I have the version scheduled for Tuesday morning and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's successful. I would hate to go through all this only to end up with a c-section anyway.
I really was torn on my decision -- after my last version I said I would never go through that again. But with a 2 year old, a new baby, and a DH who can't take much time off of work --- I just don't know how I would manage recovery from a c-section.
I'll keep you guys updated!!! Thanks for all your support :)
02-26-2003, 10:02 AM
Jen, did you use drugs during the version attempt? I'm just curious, because it's a decision I'll probably need to make in the next week.
Carol-- good luck with your VBAC! I hope you have a great experience.
02-26-2003, 10:24 AM
They gave me a shot of something to relax me, but that was it. It wasn't anything strong. I can't remember what it was though. I also believe I was given a IV line in case something went wrong and I had to have an emergency c-section.
Good Luck next week!!!!
02-27-2003, 10:31 AM
I had the external version done when my son was breech. They realized he was breech at 35 weeks. It was an extremely painful procedure for me. They gave me a medication to relax my muscles and I didn't have any type of painkillers. I heard of a few people getting something for pain, but I didn't. There were 2 doctors there(one was a resident) and they tried a few times, but nothing happened. I ended up having a c-section at about 38 weeks and it was perfect. My stomach was very black and blue after the version and I had alot of pain. I would definitely opt for the c-section. For me the pain of the c-section was not bad at all, compared to the episiotemy I had with my first child during a natural vaginal birth. Good Luck, let us know how it turns out.
02-27-2003, 11:28 AM
Thanks for sharing your experience. I know I've already scheduled my version for next week, but I'm seriously having second thoughts. When I had the version with DD (although it did work on the third attempt) -- it was the most painful thing I've ever experienced. I'm just having a hard time preparing myself mentally to go through that again, especially with only a 50-60% sucess rate. It's good to know that your c-section was not that bad in case I do decide to go that route!
03-04-2003, 02:41 PM
I didn't take time to read all the other responses, but i can give advice from my experience. I went into early labor with my son at 35 weeks. They discovered he was breech. I was given the option for the version or to schedule a c-section. Before we had the time to make the desicion, the baby decided he was ready and they had to do an emergency c-section. When they pulled him out, he had an extremely long umbilical cord that was wrapped around his neck 3 times, then around his waist, then his arm. If they had tried to turn him, it would have more than likely killed him.
When they first gave us the option for the version, the doctor said he had to tell us about it, but i could tell from the way he talked, it wasn't something he recommended. I was told it could be very painful and if this is your first pregnancy, it more than likely won't work and will just cause trauma to you and the baby.
What all this means is that i don't recommend the version. So many people will tell you to avoid a c-section at all costs, but i had one and i don't agree with that. It was not traumatic for me at all. I was just thankful for a healthy baby. The recovery was a little longer, but i had help from family.
Right now I am pregnant with my second baby due in july and am facing the decision of going with a VBAC or another section. I will more than likely go for the section because i am scared to death of the risks of complications that go along with a VBAC.
03-07-2003, 09:22 AM
My second child was breech. The doctors finally came to that conclusion around 35 weeks. I didn't know anyone that had ever done an external version so I did it, not knowing how painful it would be. My doctor was there with a resident doctor and they gave me some sort of muscle relaxer, that was it. I had no I.V. or anything. They used ultrasound during the procedure and they just pushed on my stomach and for me the pain was unbearable. I have a pretty high level of pain tolerance, but this was horrible. My husband(who is a surgeon) stood in the corner of the room with his mouth hanging open, thought it looked like some sort of medevil torture. Anyway, it didn't work, my son was stubborn, so I had a c-section at 38 weeks. After the version, the next day my stomach was so black and blue, it hurt to walk, I had to take Tylenol for the pain. My recovery from the surgery was better for me than from my natural birth with my first child. I guess its worth the try, you have a 50/50 chance of success. Good Luck!!
03-07-2003, 09:35 AM
I just had an unsuccesful version yesterday. I also had the version done with my DD, but it worked with her. Your description of what it's like is soooooo acurate! When I was hesitant to schedule the version this time after my last experience no one could understand why.... or just how completely awful the version is. I felt bullied into trying it again.....and now it didn't even work. My stomach is very bruised and sore today. I had asked about pain medication this time around and they said that wasn't an option b/c of the risk of an emergency c-section. My Dr. suggested *trying* again next week if the baby's one foot moves, but there is no way!!! I'm disapointed about not being able to have a vaginal delivery, but I feel I gave it my best shot. I think now I need to just prepare myself for the c-section. I'm glad to hear your cesarean was not bad -- I remember being pretty sore after my DD's vaginal delivery for a couple of weeks too, so hopefully this won't be any worse than that.
03-07-2003, 10:20 AM
Jen, I'm so sorry your version didn't work, and especially that it was so painful. :( I've heard that sometimes it really depends on the skill of the person doing it, because it's a manual skill just like massage or sculpture; sometimes if they are slow and gentle, it might work better. I know of a woman who tried a second time with a different doctor, and it worked. But that's probably the last thing you want to hear right now. I haven't been through it, so I can't know just what you're going through.
I went in for mine yesterday, and um, I'm embarrassed but elated to say that my midwives and I were completely wrong about the baby being breech. The hard head poking me in the ribs all these weeks turned out to be a very hard little tush! (I hadn't had an u/s since 7 weeks).
The funny thing is, though, that by the time I went in yesterday I had completely made peace with the idea of a c/s. If it didn't work and it was painful, I decided that rather than try again, I would just go ahead and plan a c/s, and make it the best possible experience. There's a great thread at Mothering.com about positive c/s birth experiences, and it really helped me to get there.
Wishing you the best and most joyful possible birth experience!
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