An external cephalic version is a procedure used to help turn a baby in the womb before delivery. During the procedure, your healthcare provider places their hands on the outside of your belly and attempts to manually turn the baby. This procedure may be recommended if your baby is in a breech position.
What is the procedure for turning a breech baby?
Treatment Overview. External cephalic version, or version, is a procedure used to turn a fetus from a breech position or side-lying (transverse) position into a head-down (vertex) position before labor begins. When successful, version makes it possible for you to try a vaginal birth.
What are my options for delivery if my baby remains in the breech position?
The safest way to have a baby, for both mother and child, is a head-first vaginal birth. But if you don’t want to try ECV, or if you try it but it doesn’t work, then the options are a caesarean section or a vaginal birth. Women are often encouraged to have a caesarean birth if their baby is breech.
How safe is the ECV procedure?
ECV is generally safe, however, like any medical procedure, rare complications can occur. A small number of women may experience bleeding behind the placenta and/or damage to the womb.
How is an ECV performed?
The health care professional performs ECV by placing his or her hands on your abdomen. Firm pressure is applied to the abdomen so that the fetus rolls into a head-down position. Two people may be needed to perform ECV. Ultrasound also may be used to help guide the turning.
Can walking help a breech baby turn?
If your baby was breech and is now head down, you can stop the inversions for a few days. Walk briskly for a mile or more every day for three days to get the baby’s head into the pelvis.
What problems do breech babies have?
As the baby’s buttocks and legs move down into the birth canal, the cord can get squeezed, slowing the baby’s supply of oxygen and blood. This is a risk for patients with a baby in the breech position and a dilated cervix, who go into labor or break their membranes.
What are the signs of a breech baby?
How can you tell if your baby is in a breech position? As your due date nears, your doctor or midwife will determine your baby’s position by feeling the outside of your abdomen and uterus. If your baby is breech, her firm, round head will be toward the top of your uterus and her softer, less round bottom will be lower.
How late can a breech baby turn?
The ideal position for birth is head-first. Most babies that are breech will naturally turn by about 36 to 37 weeks so that their head is facing downwards in preparation for birth, but sometimes this does not happen. Around three to four babies in every 100 remain breech.
What causes a baby to be in breech position?
What causes breech position? Most of the time, there is no clear reason why the baby did not turn head-down. In some cases, breech position may be linked to early labor, twins or more, problems with the uterus, or problems with the baby.
Is the ECV procedure painful?
There will be mild to moderate pain while doing an external cephalic version (ECV). Throughout the procedure, the doctor will keep asking you whether you can bear the pain. However, if the pain becomes excruciating, the doctor will right away stop ECV.
How long does an ECV take?
During an external cephalic version, your doctor will place their hand on your belly to physically push the baby into the optimal position. The procedure usually takes around 5 minutes and your baby’s heart rate will be monitored before, during, and after the procedure.
Are breech babies more painful to carry?
Giving birth to a breech baby vaginally is not usually any more painful than a head-down position, as you’ll have the same pain relief options available to you, although it does carry a higher risk of perinatal morbidity (2:1000 compared to 1:1000 with a cephalic baby).
How do I prepare for ECV?
Eat a normal breakfast before 8am. You can drink water between the initial scan and your ECV in the afternoon. Please bring lunch to eat once the ECV procedure is complete and we have monitored your baby. This is a precaution in case you need an emergency caesarean section.
How successful is an ECV at 39 weeks?
Results. 40 attempts of ECV were performed (always after 38 weeks of gestational age), succeeding in 26 cases (65%). Vaginal delivery occurred in 20 out of the 26 successful ECV (76.9%).
Can ECV be done at 38 weeks?
This procedure is called an external cephalic version (ECV). An ECV may be done if you are between 36 to 38 weeks (near term) in your pregnancy, unless there are reasons not to do it.