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Successful ECV anyone???

Hi ladies

My bump is breech at the moment and at 36+6 there is little hope of him/her turning by itself. I've got an appointment with the consultant this afternoon to discuss my options and I'm sure an ECV will be offered. As far as I can tell the success rate for this is very low and I'd love to hear from anyone who had a successful ECV. The last thing I wanted was a c-section but my sister had an ECV with her first and said it was awful (and it didn't work) so I'm just trying to figure out whether it's worth putting bump and myself through that or just settling for the c-section I dreaded.

Many thanks

Serena xxxx



  • Hi

    My friend has a successful ECV but she did say she'd never go thru it again, the pain was unbearable. sorry!
    its hard to plan for anything, I planned for a home birth but ended up having emerg c sec after 18hours in a labour, so be prepared for any eventuality as I hadn't and i struggled to get my head around a c-sec

    good luck xxx
  • hi serena
    i'm a midwife, and although i have never had a breech baby, i've seen a number of ECV's on the Day Unit where i work.

    i couldnt give you percentages on how many are successful, as we seem to go ages without success, then loads with!

    as to painful - if it is painful, you need to tell them to stop! if uncomfortable, just see how you feel with that. they should monitor your baby before & after the attempt to make sure eveything is ok for you.

    i would say give it a try - if it doesnt work, you havent really lost anything in trying - you'd still have a breech baby, and be strongly advised to have a C/S!

    if it does work, then you get the chance for a vaginal delivery!

    good luck with whatever you decide, anyway!! - and let us know what happened!!

  • Hi, I've got 2 friends who both had an ECV. It worked for one of them who had a normal birth, but it didn't work for the other one who had an elective c-section
  • Lily was breech and I had an ECV at 37 weeks to try and turn her round. Unfortunately it didn't work but I'm glad I gave it go and I would do the same again. I can honestly say I didn't find the procedure painful, but it was uncomfortable - a bit like someone giving you a chinese burn. You can ask the consultant to stop at any time if you find it painful. I was monitored before and afterwards to check all was OK (fortunately it was) and you are told to go in prepared for a section as in a small number of cases it can bring on labour. As I said the procedure didn't work for me so I was booked in for a section at 39 weeks. It was the last thing I wanted, but after the failed ECV i became resigned to it and everything went really well and I had a very positive experience.
    I would recommend you give it a try, but good luck with whatever you decide.
  • hiya my lo was breech so gave the ecv ago as i was desparete to have a vb,but it was so painfull i had to tell them to stop...i had to have a c section but everything worked out just fine in the end!x
  • Thanks for your replies everyone. It seems everyone's experiences are very different. Well I've just got back from seeing the consultant and she's booked me in for an ECV tomorrow afternoon. She was very positive about it (I suppose she would be!) and said there was a 1 in 3 chance it would work. Apparently my baby hasn't engaged in my pelvis yet, it's still floating around, so that's in my favour. She also said they would monitor me before, during and after to make sure baby doesn't get distressed. And she also said in rare cases they have to deliver the baby by c-section if it does show signs of distress after the procedure, this scares me a little!!

    So I think I'll have to give it a go. Like you say ollier2001 I've nothing to lose really.

    Keep everything crossed for me that it's a success!!

    Serena xxxx
  • thats what happened to me they will monitor baby before and after i stayed for about 2hrs after being monitored,im sure you will be fine....gud luk.x
  • Well I finally had my ECV yesterday (I chickened out on Tuesday, and it was postponed on Wednesday!) and it was a SUCCESS!! It did hurt but it was bearable and my little one turned at the 1st attempt. I feel a little bruised today, as if I've been punched in the stomach, but it was soo worth it and I'm still in shock that it worked! It now looks like I'll get the vaginal delivery I so wanted!

    Thanks everyone.

    Serena xxxx

  • serena! that is great news!!

    i'm really glad it worked for you!! hope all goes according to plan with your vaginal delivery!!

    love nicki

  • Hi Serena - I'm so pleased that you finally got your ECV & that it was a complete success!!! I bet thats a weight of your mind..

    Nat X x 39 wks + 6 days
  • I had an ECV and at 37 weeks and I would like to say that they monator the baby's movement and heartbeat for about 30 min before they start and after the ECV. The specialist only took 46 sec to turn my baby and it was not painful or uncomfortable. I understand that I was one of the lucky ones but all I can say is that it really is worth a try as it should not be painful or stressful for the baby and they will stop if you are in pain or the baby is distressed in any way.

  • I had ECV done this morning and would like to say, it wasn't bad at all. My baby is so active, I was told it can change position before due date ( 38+ week now) anyway but despite that fact it was worth to do it as I want VB. After going through most forums about ECV I almost cancelled my appointment today but finally did it! I was just petrified reading about all bad experiences and feel sorry for mums who went through pain, from my experience thou I would like to say - just try it, It wasn't any unbearable pain in my case, monitoring baby's moves takes much longer than just repositioning - it took no more than couple minutes to put my baby in a right position, don't be scared, it doesn't hurt - it's just uncomfortable for FEW MINUTES. Regards, wish everybody good experience with ECV and want to say thank you to doctor who was doing my ECV - you're a star! Womens Hospital Edgbaston, Birmingham.
  • I had an ECV done last week at 38+4 and it was quick and painless (5 minutes). The odds were on my side as I think my baby girl is under 7lb, this is my second child and she wasn't yet engaged...I think it also helps if mum is relaxed about the idea and is able to let the doctor 'do their thing', though they did give me tablets to relax my womb. If it was my first pregnancy I think it would have been tougher as there would have been less 'give' in my muscles and I was much more uptight and protective of the pregnancy. Thankfully my girl has stayed head down and am still awaiting a second natural birth, fingers crossed! I would very much recommend trying this procedure to anyone that really wants a natural birth and to avoid a C-Section.
  • Just to add that my baby girl turned out to be 7lb 11oz born (accidentally on the bathroom floor) at 40+4 - a normal vaginal birth..though she came out back to back image had the ECV at 38+4.
  • Hi everyone,

    I'm 36+6weeks and had an ECV this morning - this is my 3rd pregnancy and my second birth was an undetected breech (still managed a normal delivery) so I was being carefully monitored this time around!

    I was really apprehensive going into it, but step by step here's what happened:

    - I arrived, got settled into a room on the delivery suite and had my temp checked, blood pressure checked, and hooked up to take a trace of the baby's heart rate.

    - About 40 mins in, the consultant came and explained the procedure to me, and did a scan of the baby to double check positioning, plus how much fluid there was and where the cord/placenta were. The baby was bottom down with her feet tucked under buddha style.

    - The consultant then tried to turn the baby - this basically involved him trying to cup the baby's bottom up and out of my pelvis, and guiding the head around. It felt like exactly what it was - a grown man putting most of his weight against my belly!! Uncomfortable, but not painful - and the lovely midwife mouthed to me to keep breathing which really helped.

    - That didn't work unfortunately, so he recommended I have the muscle relaxant injection and that we try again once it had taken effect. This made me feel a tiny bit jittery, but just as though I'd had one too many cups of coffee, nothing too dramatic.

    - About 20 minutes later, the consultant came back and said the muscle relaxant had made a big difference to how much he could mobilise the baby. He tried to turn her into a forward roll twice but she kept slipping back - and then he tried turning her backwards and he must have got her about a 3rd of the way around and she just suddenly flipped the rest of the way herself! Again, the consultant was putting a lot of his weight into my belly, but I knew what to expect this time around and kept breathing, and while it wasn't comfortable, it wasn't painful either.

    - They had another scan to confirm that she was now head down, then hooked me up to take another trace of the foetal heartbeat - she was very wriggly (probably annoyed at having been moved!) and the trace kept cutting out, which probably meant we were hooked up a bit longer than we probably could have been, but the trace was fairly much the same as the one taken before so they were happy for us to go home about 40 minutes later.

    I feel a bit tender around the belly this evening, but otherwise completely fine - and now just hoping that bump stays where she's supposed to be and doesn't turn back - but overall I've had a completely positive experience and would recommend that it's worth a try!!

    Good luck to anyone considering it.

  • The problems with ECV are not always straight after the procedure. I've read reports of a lot of mum who had ECV and went on to have very difficult births, stillborns or babies that died days after being born. The reason seems to be risk of cord entanglement, one lady said her baby turned successfully during the ECV, but was born with the cord wrapped three times around its body and neck and it was cutting his oxygen supply and he couldn't breath on his own for a while. Another one said the ECV cause a minor placenta abruption which was not detected during the ultrasound and meant that the baby couldn't breath at all on its own after birth and died a few days afterwards. I don't think the statistics include information about vb deliveries after ECV, they only cover problems that came up straight after the procedure. Something to thing about...

  • This is a sore subject for me! Was booked in for ecv today desperate to turn my baby to get the natural birth I wanted. Signed paperwork got my meds to take beforehand then they rescan me and drop the bombshell that she's footling breech so they can't turn her due to risk of cord prolapse if her waters burst whilst turning her. I would really have liked to give it a go though but gota have a c section now x

  • Hey ladies

    Saw this thread and joined just to reply really as I went through the EVC just yesterday.I can see some of these replies are old so I thought I'd provide a newer reply for anyone searching the web like I did when considering having the ECV done.

    First things first , I found out at 36 weeks that my baby was breech (footling breech, meaning I could not even try for a breech vaginal birth if I wanted one) I saw my midwife one week later and explained what the scan revealed and she checked the position of my baby and said she thought that he was now head down but she referred me to have a presentation scan to double check and good thing she did as he was not head down but had both feet in the left side of my pelvis and head under my ribs!! 

    I then went to speak to a consultant that Monday and we decided seen as he is not in a favourable position even for a vaginal breech birth we should try the ECV to try and avoid the C-section. When the consultant explained the ECV he said and I quote...'' we gently try and coax the baby round but we do not force them round, and the procedure shouldn't cause you much pain but may be uncomfortable '' so I thought what the hell lets do it. He also said explained that the risk is low for complications but I should bring my partner with me in case I need an emergency c section as the baby's heart rate will drop a little during the procedure and if it doesn't come back up that's when they will perform an emergency c-section! My babies heart rate did not drop at all during or after the procedure and seemed to stay very steady and it is monitored closely throughout

    By the time I was booked in for the procedure I was 37 weeks + 6 days which apparently is a bit late to have it done it is preferably done between 36 and 37 weeks as the longer you leave it the least likely it is to work because the bigger your baby is getting and the less room they have to move.

    It was ECV day I went in at 1.45 and waited a while in a delivery room which was a bit daunting itself. Then I was asked questions about allergies etc . The consultant ended up being the same one I saw on the Monday who decided with me it was the best thing to do. Which was nice. Anyway they linked my baby up to a heart rate band thing to monitor his normal heart rate for 20 minutes and during this time they took my blood pressure , listened to my pulse and took my temperature and I provided a urine sample. After 20 mins they injected me in my arm with a drug that is also used to treat asthma, I felt a little drowsy for a minute and then my heart raced a little. Face felt a little lazy ! But heart racing stopped and overall felt ok just a little weird ( I could fully tell I had been given something) anyway 14 minutes later the consultant came back and said we were ready to start and asked me to lie on a pillow and slightly lean towards the left. I was offered gas and air but I said I didn't want any and id see how I'd go, the midwife present did keep suggesting I should have it to hand and thank god I did. The second he started pushing on my belly.... I swore loudly and began the gas and air , tbh it was much more painful than I ever expected and much more rough than I thought. My partner looked a bit concerned as he knows generally I'm quite tough and deal with pain ok hence the '' oh I don't need gas and air'' let me tell you something take the gas and air and start it before they start as it hurts like hell , it brought tears to my eyes,they did ask on a few occasions if I wanted to stop but I said no cos I wanted to know that I had tryed my best to allow my son to be born naturally!! Tbh it didn't feel as if they were pushing that hard so I wasn't concerned for my baby so thought man up woman you have to go through childbirth yet!! Well it turns out I won't be as it didnt work an

  • So not all of this posted but hope it helps to be mums decide what to do next I don't really know how I feel about the whole procedure but probably would have felt better if it had worked if I'd been through the pain and got a result but as it didn't happen I don't think I'll be trying again this is my first pregnancy and I feel the experience has made me feel pretty crappy.

  • Hi Lou1990, thanks so much for sharing your experience - but how did things turn out - have you had your baby now or are you still due?

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