Experience with Breech Baby?

Updated on February 03, 2010
N.S. asks from Chicago, IL
15 answers

I am currently at the 32 week mark and I still have a ways to go but I have a quick question for all you moms out there with experience in this dept. I was at my 2 week exam yesterday and my midwife said she thinks the baby is breech as of now but that she cannot tell for sure yet since it is early on. She said that at the next exam she will either be able to tell or she'll have to check with an ultrasound device to see which way the baby is lying inside. She gave me the worst case scenerio with breech's and she also said what protocol is in order to alter a breech before delivery. I was just wondering if any of you have experience with breech's and how it worked out. Also, does anyone have experience with alternative therapies to turn the baby in the right direction and have it stay put to deliver vaginally. Also, did any of you have your baby breech and then have it turn in the last
weeks? All experiences are welcome. Thanks!

(PS with my other pregnancies I had vaginal deliveries so I don't know if uterus size affects the positioning of the turning as well.)

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So What Happened?

Thank you ladies for all your input and experiences. It sounds like it may be a little more common than I thought to have the baby turn later on in the pregnancy so that is good to hear. Of course I am still very worried about it and will do whatever I can in the next few weeks to try and resituate the baby but nature will take its coarse regardless. I am going to do some accupuncture as well and see how that works. We'll see! Wish me luck!!!

More Answers

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S.

answers from Chicago on

With my last son he was breech and the doctor suggested something called a cephalic version. They put me in the hospital and started an iv and externally, manually, manipulated the baby til he was no longer breech. It was a little uncomfortable but it worked. It actually was very cool how they could manipulate the baby. There are slight risks such as the cord getting in the way but they monitor the baby with an ultrasound machine and the doctor said the procedure had a high success rate. They put me in a corset type thing for several weeks til I had the baby to keep him in place. The doctor said that the baby could very well move and become breech again but he cooperated and i had a normal vaginal deliver. It was very scarey but I had an excellent doctor I felt very comfortable with out of Edwards Hospital. I did not want to have a c- section seeing as I had a 2 year old at home already and felt that I would be out of commission to long trying to recover. Good luck to you and if worse comes to worse and you have to have a c-section it will be worth it when you meet you little bundle of joy!good luck

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S.B.

answers from Chicago on

Hi! You still have several weeks, so there is a good chance the baby can turn. It is not uncommon at all for the baby to turn during the last couple weeks of pregnancy either. I have seen this many times with my clients. Also, there are some tricks you can try that I have tried with clients and it has worked alot of the time. You can take a flashlight and shine it up your vagina and the baby is suppose to be able to see the light and try to move down there. Also, you can teka a frozen bag of veggies and put it at the top of your stomach and then move it around and down, encouraging the baby to follow the sensation of the coldness. I know it all sounds crazy, but it can work. You midwife may also be able to try and turn the baby. Did she tell you about that. A good website to check out is spinningbabies.com. I think that is right. I have not visited it in a long time. I have not needed to. If not, do a google search and just put in spinning babies and see what comes up. Good luck!

S. Bailey CLD
Aurora
www.tendermomentsdoula.com

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A.W.

answers from Chicago on

Hi, N.. My youngest was breech at our 32 week appointment. I was advised against trying any of the manuevers that flip the baby because it can cause the cord to wrap around the neck. Claire did flip by herself by 36 weeks. I ended up having to have a c-section for an unrelated issue (toximia) and doctor wouldn't induce since I had had a c-section with my 2nd delivery.

Even if your baby doesn't flip, you'll be fine having a c-section. I don't think any of us prefer that method but it isn't the end of the world. I admit that it's been a pain in the rear end but I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl.

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L.

answers from Chicago on

I had two babies that were at one point breech in the last weeks.

After 36 weeks is when the likelihood of the baby turning around lessens. However, once they are breech at that point there is a small chance of them turning around - I think it is 5% or less.

That said I am one of the people who had that 5% experience. My first child was footling breech until 39 weeks. In fact, I went in to have the c-section and he had turned - the resident and nurse were amazed. The dr. was less surprised because it does happen that late, but it is not common! In fact, when I had him 2 weeks later the resident said that he had just been talking about me. So I went onto have him vaginally. They thought the reason he was breech for so long was a space issue.

With my second, I was told that at 34 weeks she was head down, and that it was highly unlikely that she would go breech. Well, I must hit the jackpot in unusual spinning babies. At 38 weeks she flipped into the breech position. Then she flipped back at 39 (this time I felt it and you can really feel it, I thought I might be starting labor). So the dr. decided that whatever way she was at 40 weeks, they would either induce or do a c-section. They felt she could keep moving back and forth. She stayed put and I had her vaginally too.

So it can happen, but as I mentioned previously, it is not that common, but you have a few more weeks before the baby should settle into a set position.

Either way, c-section or vaginally you should be ok. Just doing what is right for you and your body working with your dr. is what I would advise. And with my first I did everything to try and turn him - then gave up and he did it on his own!

I recommend working with a dr. because breech deliveries can be done but they are dangerous.

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M.H.

answers from Chicago on

N. - I too had a breech baby. I found out he was breech at 32 weeks also due to the fact that I started preterm labor. So when they did an ultrasound to check on the baby they found out he was breech. They told me that if he didn't turn within the next two weeks that he wasn't going to turn due to the fact that he will run out of room to make the turn. Well, needless to say, he didn't turn and I ended up having to have a c-section. My doctor did discuss ways to make my son turn before giving birth, but due to the fact that my son didn't have any room the doctors couldn't manipulate him down. So c-section it was. It wasn't that bad. A lot of women complain about how painful it is, but really it isn't that bad. Maybe it wasn't so bad for me because I had already had a laparotomy done a few years prior and it is practically the same surgery.

Good luck!!!

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J.

answers from Chicago on

No experience with trying to turn a baby, but my son, who was a smallish baby, was still breech up until about week 34 (turned on his own). Good luck!

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S.N.

answers from Chicago on

I also had a breech baby. She turned breech during the last month of pregnancy. The version failed, but I didn't think the procedure was too bad. My midwife and OB were there and they gave me a relaxant before the procedure and then I used my hypnobirthing methods during which helped (at least I got to use the hypnobirthing for something). We also tried chiropractic, crawling around the house on hands and knees, etc. My midwife suggested doing sommersaults in a swimming pool, but I didn't go there. We did a C section and that was fine too. We had a birth plan that my OB was great with. So overall I am happy with our breech birth experience. Who is your midwife? I have been looking for one since we moved to IL. Thanks

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D.P.

answers from Chicago on

N.-
My baby was breech. My doctors didn't believe me when I said I thought he was (based on where I felt most kicking) and they still didn't believe me when feeling my belly. The ultrasound (done twice with two different doctors) proved mama-to-be was right and doctors were not. I tried various things (standing on my hands in the pool, propping myself almost upside down to watch tv -- VERY uncomfortable) and nothing worked for me. I went in for the "version". It was painful I will not lie, but it was worth a try because I really, REALLY didn't want to have a c-section. The version did not work for me. My doc said it's the first version in a LONG time for her that didn't work. In looking back, it was probably because of the size of my baby at the time (at 36 weeks) in combination with three large uterin fibroids in there and also his head kept getting stuck behind my ribs. Needless to say, the amount he was moved in the version was quickly reversed after being home for a couple of hours (apparently he liked his spot and decided that was that). I've heard that even if the version works, the baby may flip back over on his/her own before labor too. I dreaded scheduling the c-section and was in denial for a few days, thinking he would still turn on his own. He didn't, I scheduled it, and then my water broke six days earlier, so the "emergency" c-section was done (before my hospital bag was packed -- more denial and procrastination). It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be and my recovery was rather quick. Good luck!!

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K.

answers from Chicago on

Oh N. work on this one NOW - do not wait until your next US!!! I say this from experience - my son was most definitely breech from 30 weeks on and he never budged. :( I tried EVERYTHING to turn him.

A few resources for you:
www.spinningbabies.com - great info on helping baby positioning
Also try knee-chest position several times per day for 5-10 minutes at a time. Try swimming. Try the breech tilt (lay with your hips above your head and try and relax. Try putting frozen peas on your babies head. Visualize your baby turning head-down. Put your ear phones low on your pelvis and play music. Talk to your baby.

I also went to Dr. Nella at Bucktown Chiropractic - she does the Webster Maneuver which has been shown to help breech babies turn. My midwife recommended her.

Most babies at this point will turn around on their own before the birth, but it never hurts to give it a little help. The longer you wait the harder it gets for the babe to turn because there's less room.

If nothing works by 37 weeks you can try an ECV (version) where they manually turn the baby. I tried this. Apparently it works about 50% of the time. Didn't work for me. It wasn't painful I didn't think.

If for some reason the baby does NOT turn you do NOT HAVE TO HAVE A C-SECTION. One month after I had my son, ACOG revised their guidelines on breech birth. They now say that it is AS safe to vaginally birth a breech baby (as long as it's frank breech) as a normal one IF you have someone who is experienced in delivering breech babies. Mostly this will be older OBs since the art of delivering a breech baby is somewhat lost on the younger generation.

Good luck! Please feel free to email me if you have any other questions. I ended up with the C/S and now I have to deal with VBACs for the rest of my life :(

**************** Update in response to a few messages I've gotten about this *************

First of all, the abstract and reference for the ACOG revised guidelines:

Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Jul;108(1):235-7.
ACOG Committee Opinion No. 340. Mode of term singleton breech delivery.
ACOG Committee on Obstetric Practice.

In light of recent studies that further clarify the long-term risks of vaginal breech delivery, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that the decision regarding mode of delivery should depend on the experience of the health care provider Cesarean delivery will be the preferred mode for most physicians because of the diminish-ing expertise in vaginal breech delivery. Planned vaginal delivery of a term singleton breech fetus may be reasonable under hospital-specific protocol guidelines for both eligibility and labor management. Before a vaginal breech delivery is planned, women should be informed that the risk of peri-natal or neonatal mortality or short-term serious neonatal morbidity may be higher than if a cesarean delivery is planned, and the patient's informed con-sent should be documented.

******************
Second, I haven't personally sought out a physician who can deliver breech babies vaginally, but a paper from the 1980s that involves nearly 400 vaginal breech deliveries was authored by Dr. Edmund Confino, currently at Northwestern (and specializing in infertility). If I had to start looking for an experienced practitioner I'd probably start by asking him.

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M.

answers from Chicago on

My first baby was breech. I tried to have her moved. Like some of the others I would NOT recommend this. I had a c-section and everything went fine. I delivered my second baby naturally. Goo Luck! I'm sure it will work out.

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M.P.

answers from Chicago on

I haven't had this happen to me but I'm only 23 weeks along. I know that certain chiropractors do something to turn the baby. My midwives will deliver breech if everything else looks good. Good luck.

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J.P.

answers from Chicago on

I found out my son was breech at 34 weeks and he was transverse, or sideways. I didn't have a choice so I had a cesarean. I did have the "version" done to try to move the baby manually.
http://www.storknet.com/cubbies/childbirth/exrg1.htm
I would NEVER recommend this to ANYONE. It was the most painful thing I have ever experienced. I was very motivated to have a vaginal delivery etc but the version did not work. The percentage of successes are very low. I felt I needed to try everything to help turn but at 34 weeks the babies are so big the chance of them moving are slim. I wish you luck but do know that a cesarean isn't terrible and I recovered perfectly.

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J.F.

answers from New York on

My son was breech. We tried to manual turn in him at 36 weeks, it is uncomfortable procedure but not unbearable. In my case the baby didnt turn. There is a pretty high success rate from what i see in researching it. I had a c-section at 39 weeks and everything was fine... I was nervous about having the section but i must say it was a great experience.

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C.

answers from Chicago on

Both my babies were breech. I was REALLY nervous about doing the manual version thing, so I was very glad when the choice was taken away by my water breaking early and needing the c-section...didn't necessarily prefer the c-section, but I was really nervous about the version procedure. Like others said, it's success rate is not that high, also they supposedly do an epidural for it because it is very painful without and with the pain, you'd tense up and the baby is then less likely to turn, there's the risk of the cord around the neck and then needing an emergency c-section and on and on went the risk factors. After explaining all that I asked "And you STILL recommend doing that?!?!?!?!" I didn't want the c-section, but that version sounded terrible and terribly unnatural moreso than surgery to take the baby out gently! Having had regular births, sounds like there's a good chance your baby will turn on it's own. With me, the doctor didn't find an obvious reason for the breech postion with both babies (he looked for a reason with the second), but there seems to be some reason since we're two for two. He said sometimes the reason is a short umbilical cord or the shape of the uturus...but doesn't seem the case with you since you've had others naturally. I did have several little quick ultrasounds at the end appointments to check the baby's positions.

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C.G.

answers from Chicago on

As someone else recommended, try the website www.spinningbabies.com. Find out if your midwife can do a vaginal breech delivery. If not, I know there are doctors at Northwestern who do. C-section is not necesarily the safest way to deliver all breech babies. Most babies turn before term- only 4% are breech at the due date so most likely your baby will turn.

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