External cephalic version (ECV)…stories? And a poll!

posted 4 months ago in Pregnancy
  • poll: ECV. Yay or nay?
    I had a successful version and it wasn't so bad. I'd do it again in future breech pregnancies. : (2 votes)
    50 %
    I've had an unsuccessful version but it wasn't so bad and I'd try it again in future pregnancies : (2 votes)
    50 %
    I had a successful version but it was so terrible that I would never do it again. : (0 votes)
    I've had an unsuccessful version and it was so terrible that I would never do it again. : (0 votes)
    I've never had a version, but someone I know has and I'll tell you all about it in the comments. : (0 votes)
  • Post # 2
    Member
    32 posts
    Newbee

    I had a version at 37 weeks. We had also tried some postural stuff, accupuncture (Moxa), and he wasn’t moving. While I understand the procedure has risks, those risks are lower than the risks associated with a major surgery like a c-section. The version was successful and not that painful. I just closed my eyes and focused on slow breathing and it took just a couple of minutes. The procedure is done in a labor and delivery room and they go ahead and give you an IV in case it were to lead to an emergency c-section. I talked to a couple of doctors in my practice about it and one of the doctors had seen it lead to an emergency just once. The others hadn’t ever experienced that in 20 years.

    It is only successful half of the time, but for me that was worth a shot at a vaginal delivery. I went into labor naturally one week later. He remained head down and I had an uncomplicated birth (long labor, but no complications) The rates of success depend on the amount of fluid you have, whether it’s your first birth, how big the baby is and how exactly he/she is positioned. I actually didn’t have my hopes up on it working based on a number of reasons, but I’m really glad we did it and that it worked. I wouldn’t hesitate to try it again in a future pregnancy.

    Post # 3
    Member
    158 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: July 2016

    I’m right there with you! I’m 38 weeks today and had a version done a few days ago, at 37+4. Unfortunately it was unsuccessful – baby’s head just won’t move past a certain point. Like your boy, my girl has been head up the entire time as far as I know – I’ve been driving myself mad trying to get her to turn for the last few weeks, and am now just trying to come to terms with how things are. We’ve got a c-section booked for two weeks from now (eek!).

    The version wasn’t painful, just a little bit uncomfortable – the jab of muscle relaxant was actually more painful than the version procedure itself – and the baby didn’t show signs of distress. I wouldn’t have an issue doing it in future pregnancies, especially as the success rate is higher for non-first-time mums.

    Post # 4
    Member
    84 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: April 2016

    I haven’t had a version but wanted to pop in because I’m 36 weeks and my little guy is currently breech also. He’s been in the same position for at least the last 4 weeks and doesn’t show signs of moving. I’ve also been gonig to accu and chiropractor and trying all the at home methods with no luck. I have a consult scheduled for next week and we’re planning to go ahead with the version if I’m a good candidate for it. It worries me too for the same reasons. I feel guilty introducing more stress to the baby. Anxious to hear more stories. 

    Post # 5
    Member
    9173 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2013

    My good friend had a succesful version at 37weeks iwth her second.  She said it was quite painful but I assume she would do it again because it’s better than a csection.  Her 2 year old was with them (husband came too, obviously) and the OB said that dad may want to take the 2 year old out of the room lol.

    Post # 9
    Member
    9173 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2013

    littlegraykitten :  Sure, FWIW they did not take the 2 year old out and she said it was painful but not worse than labor or anything.  I’m sure it varies depending on the situation and personal pain tolerances.  Overall vaginal birth recoveries are MUCH easier than csections, that’s the reason people are doing the ECV’s to begin with.  But yes, there is still a great deal of variability between situations so you never know what you’re going to get regardless.

    Post # 12
    Member
    32 posts
    Newbee

    littlegraykitten :  they gave me a shot in the arm of muscle relaxer and then waited 15 minutes before starting the procedure.  I was most nervous about the shot because they told me the meds would make my heart race and that was (for whatever reason)more scary to me then the pain of the procedure. Mine was also a first pregnancy and I believe he was in a traditional breech position,  but I’m not sure.  I am currently 10 days postpartum and recovering really well.  I get wanting to be able to mentally prepare for a csection, but I think you can still do both.  I went ahead and prepared myself for a csection, and was pleasantly surprised when the ECV was successful.  And vaginal birth is definitely not easy, but was a really amazing experience and I’m glad I got to experience it.  I was not told not to eat,  just to not have a really full stomach.  I ate something light that morning. 

    I’m sure differing pain tolerance is a big part of people’s varying experiences, but I can’t imagine how anyone could describe it as excruciating. I wasn’t sore afterwards or anything.  It was just short lived pain/discomfort 🙂

    Post # 13
    Member
    1240 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: February 2011

    My first baby flipped herself breech at 34 weeks and was flipped back by ECV at 38 weeks. I can honestly say that my ECV was painless and over within 30 seconds. I would do it again in a heartbeat because without it I wouldn’t have a chance ar a vaginal delivery but trying it gave me at least a 50% shot.

    As for the risk / safety aspect, the procedure was carried out in the delivery ward, I had been fasting and I had an IV line in. My OB specifically told me that he would stop at any time I asked him to and he had both his junior doctor and my midwife assisting him.

    Post # 14
    Member
    158 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: July 2016

    littlegraykitten :  I wasn’t given any instructions about not eating beforehand, but I opted not to have breakfast that day anyway just in case. 🙂 The muscle relaxant injection was an arm jab. I didn’t get or need any pain killers. The pain was simply what you get when someone presses hard into your stomach for a short period – not too bad and not lasting. Would’ve been a thousand percent worth it had it worked, but like you I had a tonne of factors working against me: first time mum, anterior placenta, footling and persistent breech baby, etc.

    I should say I’m in the UK so if you’re in the US procedures your side may differ!

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