External Cephalic Version or C-Section

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    Hi girls,

    Was in OLOL on Friday and found out that my baby is breech at 38+1. My options are to go for a External Cepahlic Version (which is basically where the doc trys to turn the baby from the outside) or an elective c-section. I have an app. to speak with a consultant on Wed, and if I decide to go with ECV they will do it there and then but if the baby’s heart rate drops they might have to do an emergency c-section.

    I don’t know what to do and it’s stressing me out. DH says to wait and speak with the consultant but then if Ido that and decided against the ECV or if it doesn’t work then I risk being in hospital over Christmas (I have a two year old and want to avoid that if possible). I’m also worried that something could go wrong with the ECV and that by even thinking about it I’d be putting my baby at risk :(

    Has anyone had an ECV before and if so how far along were you and did it work. For those of you who had c-sections (emergency and elective) – how was that and what was your recovery like afterwards? Also in general terms I’d be interested to know what you would choose to do if it were you.

    I would be really grateful for any responses please


    Hi Razzle Dazzle,

    On my last pregnancy my baby was breech at 37.5 weeks, I went to hospital for a scan and they said they wanted me back for another scan at 38.5 weeks to decided what course of action to take – the midwife said a c-section was likely. I was very upset and stressed, as I was planning a home birth.

    I spoke to my homebirth midwife and she suggested I get down on my knees and clean the kitchen floor – this suspends the baby and allows them room to move and can be successful.

    It sounded mad but I was willing to give anything a go,so I got down on my knees with two cloths and cleaned the kitchen floor. I stayed that way for about an hour and I could feel my baby moving around a lot.

    I went back to the hosp a few days later and they confirmed that she had moved and was no longer breech and thankfully, I got to have her at home and it was a wonderful birth.

    This might be worth a try – when you are on your hands and knees the baby pops out a bit and if he/she is stuck and facing the wrong way, this position can give him/her the room they need to maneuver.

    If you can get your hands on a copy of Tracy Donegan’s ‘Better birth book’, there are some good tips in there about turning breech babies – such as moxa sticks – and these have been very sucessful for some women. you can get that in Eason’s & Waterstones.

    If baby has not turned by the time you go back to see the consultant, maybe the ECV would be worth a shot? It may be a little uncomfortable but could be easier than having a c-section.

    Hope some of that helps, the home remedies worked for me so worth a shot – you may look a bit mad but if it works who cares 🙂

    And try not to worry too much, you’ll be in safe hands no matter what happens.

    Good luck, let us know how you get on.


    I had 3 C-sections. First emegency, the last 2 elective (due to the condition of the first one).
    For me, recovery was fast and nearly pain free. For the first section on day 3 they offered me typical painkillers (off from morphine and heavy painkillers), and I did not understood why? they thought I did not understood the english, so they explained what a pain killer is.
    Then they told me to take it anyway.
    I don’t have much tolerance for pain. Just got lucky, but did not have any contractions prior to the c-section, did that helped, maybe?

    But I did EXACTLY what I was told : no lifting weight, only the new born baby (not the other sibling).
    First 24 hours in hospital, never lift my baby myself, always called midwife (was told to do that), had to wait sometimes for the midwife to come (was not the only mum in maternity ward 😆 😆 😆 )
    But the major downside is you can’t drive or lift weight for 6 weeks, if you want to avoid bursting stiches and other troubles.

    Spend 4 days in.
    But if all good, you can always ask to go out sooner.

    If you need a floor to clean to help your baby move (that’s what I wish for you), I can give you my adress 😆 😆

    Wait for the consultant to talk more about it. But having some ideas and questions will help you make the decision. The consultant gives you advices, that you have to take on board but at the end of the day it’s your baby, your delivery, your decision to make.

    Best wishes,



    If you need a floor to clean to help your baby move (that’s what I wish for you), I can give you my adress 😆 😆

    Thanks Fabienne but my own floors are manky enough to keep me going for a while 😆 Good to know though that you got through your sections okay.

    Sabbi, thanks for your advice too. I have been doing the "knee chest" position exercises they gave me which I suppose is a similar concept to cleaning the floors except more boring! 🙂 Am going to go to the pool tomorrow and to try some swimming and will give the floors a good going over tomorrow afternoon 😉 They mentioned the moxa stick to me alright…left a message with an acupuncutist yesterday but she never got back to me. It said on the internet that they work better the sooner you start them though i.e. that they may take some time to have an effect…but time is not really on my side at this stage 🙁 I was attending the MLU so really disappointed about this but will do whatever’s best for babs in the long run of course.

    Thanks again for the advice and will let you know how things go on Wednesday 🙂


    Hi Razzle Dazzle, I have no advice for you sorry but really wish you the very best of luck.
    I think if it were me I would try the ECV first, I have heard it is painful but don’t know any more about it. I think because of having another lo and it being so close to Christmas I would try to avoid a section if the ECV could work.
    Let us know how you get on and if there is anything I can do for you. Thinking of you xx



    Believe it or not, I was just reading the Gentle Birth book (on hypnobirthing & also by Tracy Donnegan) & there is a whole section on how to try to get the baby into the correct position.

    – knees higher than pelvis (ie looling back in armchair, comfy couch, low car seats). Don’t put feet up too much
    – don’t cross legs

    – kneel / sit upright or on hands & knees
    – watch tv kneeling on floor over beanbag or cushions
    – sit on dining chair facing back of chair
    – sit on wedge cuhion in car
    – swimming (breastcrawl)
    – use birth ball
    – exercises on all fours (wiggling hips from side to side, arch back like cat followed by dropping spine down)

    Hope this some help. Best of luck. Hope baby turns all by itself.


    Thanks newmomma…was really down about it over the last few days but feeling better now…pregnancy hormones not helping the situation of course! 🙂 I think I will try the ECV assuming the conversation with the consultant doesn’t change my mind.

    Thanks for the tips too pookie2. Ya will definitely try the brest stoke tomorrow when at the pool and have been doing that exercise you suggest (arch back like cat followed by dropping spine down) so hopefully something will work. 🙂

    Will let you know how things go girls xx


    Hi Razzle Dazzle,

    Good luck with all the things you try over the next few days – it will keep you distracted anyway which is a good thing.

    I never thought to recommend acupuncture, Mark Bell is a fantastic acupuncturist in Drogheda, I have been to him with some pregnancy related issues and he is wonderful. If you wanted to have a chat with him, you could give him a call tomorrow and see if he has any advice – his details are 041 980 6908 and info@markbellacupuncture.com.

    Mark sometimes pops into the Bagel Bar/ Laurence Town Centre parent & baby event, which is on this Tuesday morning, so you might also catch him there for a chat.

    Good luck cleaning that floor tomorrow – make sure to kneel on something soft like a blanket, your knees will really feel it after a while but if it turns baby, well worth it. 😉

    Good luck and take care and if you are free Tuesday morning might see you at the Bagel bar. xx


    Good luck with the ECV if you go down that route… my mam had this done about 40 years ago, she did say it wasnt nice but not that bad either, she got the result she wanted the baby turned!

    I had two sections, the first day or so you can be a bit stiff and sore, but the quicker you get up and moving about the better, i THINK its 72 hours after a section you can get home.. i had ds2 on thursday evening and got home Sunday morning…. but had to go back the next day to get my staples out and ds to get heel prick test.

    Dont be stressing, im sure the timing of things will work out well, fingers crossed you have baby either before or after the man in red arrives xxx

    Mark Acu

    Hi Razzle Dazzle

    You are going through the mill of it at the moment and I know you are thinking the clock is against you but as the ladies have suggested you still have options.

    I have treated many ladies in the same situation and would be more than happy to have a chat with you. I have a background in fitness Pre and Post Natal Exercise on land and a Specialist Water Based exercise course. I would strongly suggest that you DON’T do breast stroke as it causes a excessive lumbar back area arch and may aggravate or cause lower back ache. Research has shown that two simple things really work based in the water. 1. Just walking in it, with the level of the water chest level or deeper. 2. Using a noodle float lying forward and relaxing letting the noodle support your body weight. Both of the above are successful as your body is totally weightless in the water therefore letting your muscles, joints you and baby relax.

    Secondly through Chinese Medicine we use Moxa sticks to help baby turn and its very successful. The only issue is the fact that you are 38 weeks and there may not be enough room for baby to turn. The treatment is sooo simple to do. You come into my clinic and I show you how to do it at home. There are no needles involved and its very relaxing.

    I hope I have given you some useful information but please feel free to call me and I can chat with you more specifically. I have appointments tomorrow morning but hope to call into the Laurence Centre between 10.15 and 10.45 if you are there feel free to pick my brains

    Take care

    Mark Bell

    Ps Thank you Sabbi for your comments 😀


    Thanks for all the replies guys and your advice Mark…happily though my baba has decided to turn on on his/her lonesome 😀 Was having some pains accross my belly since Sunday night, so called OLOL maternity yesterday evening and they said given that I was breech to come in and they would monitor it for a while. Anyway was there for a couple of hours, the monitor yoke was showing that I was contracting so I was preparing myself for a night in the hospital and a possbile C-section if things progressed when the doc came along, scanned me and told me that the baby is now cephalic (woo hoo!!)

    To be honest I think that the baby acutally turned while I was in the hopital because at one point there was a great commotion on the monitor and the heart rate went right up. They sent me back to MLU who were happy that everything was as it should be and sent me home. The pains continued sporadically through yesterday evening but then went away and haven’t had one since about 3am this morning. I’m just so relieved, it really feels like a huge weight has been lifted off me. Went to Boots earlier to pick up a tens machine….all I need now is for labour to start (the sooner the better so my little gymnast doesn’t do any more tumbles!!)

    Thanks again for all your advice and words of support 🙂


    Thats great news Razzle, fingers crossed that baby arrives soon


    Thats brilliant news, fingers cross you go yourself and all over and done with by the time the big man in red shows his face


    ah that’s great Razzle Dazzle – best of luck with the new babs will be looking out for news 😉


    Great to hear it Razzle Dazzle, fingers crossed all goes well for you now xx

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