I witnessed my first external cephalic version (EVC) today. My client has been trying to encourage her breech baby to turn for 7 weeks now. And while she and the baby handled it wonderfully, the ECV that she’d hoped to avoid proved unsuccessful.
In googling all the information about turning breeches, I keep thinking about how I would feel and what I would do with a persistent breech. Feel: it would be difficult to keep the stress levels down with the multitude of techniques to try. Seriously, you could easily spend hours a day trying all the techniques out there. And it would be difficult not to feel some blame with all the messages of “you must relax and let your baby turn” or “what fears are holding your baby from turning?” Do: 20 years ago, it wasn’t unusual to birth a breech vaginally. Now, however, at least in my neck of the woods–I don’t know a care provider who would give it a go. I suppose I would cross into another state or head to The Farm.
I don’t really know where I’m going with this post. I guess I have lots of sympathy right now– with all the things to *do* to get a baby to turn. My head spins and I don’t even have a breech. I know that this family has only a short time before baby will arrive one way or another. And I know they have been hard at work trying out all those ways to make a baby turn (including acupuncture, moxibustion, chiropractic, inversion, now ECV, etc). I’m praying their baby will spontaneously flip soon.
If you’re interested in ECV, you can watch a youtube clip.
Could you tell if it was as painful as it is described to be?
It was painful. But it was quick. The whole procedure (which included 3 tries) probably took 5 or 6 minutes. Some people do get an epidural but these OBs said they preferred not to use an epidural because they relied on feedback from the mom to keep them from going too deep or too far.
A friend just emailed me yesterday that her planned birth-center birth in NH didn’t happen because the the water she was leaking contained meconium and upon examination, the baby was breech. The midwife tried to turn baby, but no luck. C-section. I guess midwives elsewhere won’t deliver breech babies either. 😦
I did find out that the nurse-midwives at SC’s Bamberg Hospital will deliver some breech presentations (along with VBACs and twins). Granted Bamberg is a three hour drive but it is covered by insurance (including medicaid). I hear hotels are inexpensive in Bamberg.
My grandma lives in Bamberg. I’d heard of the nurse-midwives (from Carey, probably) but I didn’t know they did breech births. Good to know that’s an option!