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Island_Mama's Avatar Island_Mama 02:16 PM 02-23-2007
I have been reading up on them, but I was wondering if anyome here had it done... if you could share your personal experience, why you decided to do it, when, how did it go etc.

InstinctiveMama's Avatar InstinctiveMama 06:09 PM 02-23-2007
I have had an external version with both of my babies. The first was performed by an OB. It was terrible. I had to go to the hospital and get a heplock (because any pregnant woman that walks through the door could need a c-section at any moment: ). The OB got my belly all goopy with ultrasound lubricant. Then he just found my baby's head and butt and started to push them. The whole procedure was monitored on ultrasound by a nurse. The pain was intense. The OB made a few attempts and the whole thing lasted maybe 10 minutes but I felt like I had been beaten by the time I left. The version was not successful and I was scheduled for a c-section as I sobbed on the bed. The other cheery part was the OB resident who was so freakin' excited because maybe the failed version meant I had a bicornuate uterus. I guess she really wanted to see one of those.

Fast forward to baby #2 who was also breech. I am not seeing OBs but a homebirth midwife. She called in another midwife who has a good technique for turning breech babies, as well as a good track record for getting them to turn. I went to my midwife's house for the procedure. I was laid comfortably on a massage table. The midwife got my belly goopy with doppler lotion. She made several fast spinning movements with her hands and got a feel for the baby. She grabbed the baby's head and butt and started to turn. It felt amazingly different than my first version. The midwife's hands were unbelievably more gentle than the OB (and he was a pretty nice guy). She turned the baby while my midwife monitored the baby's heartbeat with a doppler. The whole thing took just a 1-2 minutes. When the baby was head down, the midwife held on to the baby for several minutes to encourage it to stay in place. Then I got up and sat on the toilet for a few minutes and squatted for a while after that. And that was it. No pain, no discomfort at all.

I think external versions are worth trying as long as the person doing them KNOWS what they are doing. Both the OB and midwife who did my versions have lots of experience turning breech babies.

ETA: Baby #1's version was attempted at 36 weeks and Baby #2 at 34-35 weeks. Baby #1 could not get into a vertex position because his cord was wrapped around his torso. Baby #2 has stayed vertex and is expected any day!
mimiharshe's Avatar mimiharshe 08:13 PM 02-23-2007
I think InstinctiveMama's insight is great. I didn't know a version could be so good.

My dd was breech (found out after an u/s and 4 midwives told me she was head down : at about 37 weeks) and I went into the hospital for a version. There was a dr and an intern. They gave me some drug...I didn't want it, but they said I needed it. It made my heart race. The dr. grabbed her head and pulled and the intern at her butt and pushed. My dh said the dr's hands were turning purple he was pulling so hard. He tried twice. Then said he'd only try one more time b/c he didn't want to hurt the baby and they were going to try to turn her the other way. Well, when they did that I started screaming and jumping off the table. I was in tears it hurt soooooo bad. She was not meant to move. I had been doing Webster, along w/everything else before this which is why I decided to try the version b/c I thought that would be better than a c/s. I had a c/s a week or 2 later and they had a hard time getting her out b/c her head was stuck by my ribs. The dr. that did the section was WONDERFUL. He followed my birth and baby plans to a T!

I think if you can find a situation like the pp mentioned w/the midwife, then I'd go for it, but I'd stay away from the hospital version!
doudat's Avatar doudat 08:34 PM 02-23-2007
Eeesh, this is scaring me!!!
baby is still breech here at 33 weeks... I'm seeing the chiro for Webster and hoping for the best. If it doesn't work, my OB will do a version at 37 weeks. It won't be in a hospital setting, at least not that I think, as he has the U/S in his office. But he did tell me it would hurt.

Ok, I'm gonna hope and pray I can turn this one around with Webster!!
gratefulmum's Avatar gratefulmum 08:43 PM 02-23-2007
I tried a hospital version with my breech babe at 37 weeks. I didn't find it uncomfotable or painful like pp's did. That being said, it also felt like it had no chance of working and I would refuse another one (hospital) in the future.
They gave me the shot, what they referred to as a muscle relaxer to aid in the procedure. I had the baby monitored on an ultrasound machine the whole time as well. The entire time it felt contrary to the baby's desire.
The doctor actually said that my dd was pushing back and resisting the doctors motions. I also tried moxibustion, webster technique, ironing boards tilts, pool handstands, hot and cold therapy, visualization. I mean really, this child just was not going to turn. I ended up with a c/s 10 days past EDD. I am headstrong and was going to deliver the thing "backwards" anyway, but other factors arose.
The CNM who was present for the c/s said she could see no reason why dd was head-up. No cord wrap issues, nothing.
She is still stubborn, so it must have been a personal preference

So, I agree that looking for an accomplished breech turning mw would be the best case scenario. I even heard of one midwife who turned a baby in the pool. The mom went underwater in a handstand, and mw manipulated, and pop!
lrlittle's Avatar lrlittle 08:53 PM 02-23-2007
I had a hospital version experience similar to the first responses...painful, didn't work, discouraging.

I like the idea of a midwife doing versions, but personally I would not do it outside of a hospital. FORCING a baby into a different position is risky no matter how gentle. I'd want to be in a hospital in case anything went wrong.

Depending on several factors, I think I'd probably have another vaginal breech birth before I'd try a version again.
Island_Mama's Avatar Island_Mama 04:32 AM 02-24-2007
Thanks so much for all the information shared!
Instinctivemama, that was very detailed and through explanation of your experiences. thanks

I'm scheduled for an ultrasound tomorrow, two midwives checkd and they just wheren't a hundred percent sure, and they also scheduled me for a version after the ultrasound just in case.
I'm going to try the version because they won't let me deliver if baby is breech, midwife OR OB. I want to avoid c-section if I can. The midwives won't do the version, the doctor will, but I made sure to express how I am not comfortable with a resident, I want a DOCTOR with experience. The one ultrasound we did do was horrible because they didn't even know what they where looking at.

It is weird because baby HAS been head down, and when she has hiccups they are down bellow my belly button. I thought it was very uncommon for babies to turn once head down...
My body is so tight I guess they had a hard time telling the position. Even vaginal exam they tried and said cervix closed and couldn't tell.
Hopefully the ultrasound shows baby head down and everything will be fine.

Thanks again for the info!
doudat's Avatar doudat 11:53 AM 02-24-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Island_Mama View Post

It is weird because baby HAS been head down, and when she has hiccups they are down bellow my belly button. I thought it was very uncommon for babies to turn once head down...
For what it's worth my baby is definitely breech and I still feel hiccups below my belly button!!! I think we expect to feel it in the head area, but it's actually the chest moving...

Good luck with the version, let us know how it went. I can't do a breech birth either, it'll have to be a c-section, so I'm gonna go for version too if I have too. Not that I want too
Island_Mama's Avatar Island_Mama 08:11 PM 02-24-2007
Whew!

Ok went for ultrasound, baby head down Yee!

and she was finally off my back, she to the left know. I'm so glad!

DouDat, good luck with the version if you go for it, I hope it works! it is good to have that option open than not having an option BUT to c/s. I was told it makes it way easier if you drink lotsa water.
mimiharshe's Avatar mimiharshe 08:20 PM 02-24-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Island_Mama View Post
Whew!

Ok went for ultrasound, baby head down Yee!

and she was finally off my back, she to the left know. I'm so glad!

DouDat, good luck with the version if you go for it, I hope it works! it is good to have that option open than not having an option BUT to c/s. I was told it makes it way easier if you drink lotsa water.
That's Great News!!!
Novella's Avatar Novella 06:51 AM 02-25-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Island_Mama View Post
I have been reading up on them, but I was wondering if anyome here had it done... if you could share your personal experience, why you decided to do it, when, how did it go etc.
Not exactly what you asked for, but here's why my husband and I decided NOT to have it done for our most-recent pregnancy (twins, Twin B breech since at least 28 weeks and was delivered vaginally as a footling breech).

1. In our minds, seems intuitively to be wrong to push a baby into a different presentation. We sometimes could see the opposing argument that perhaps Twin B "wanted" to be vertex but didn't have room to turn. But we felt that if lack of room really was the reason for the breech position, our Twin B would be one of the 10% that turns from a less-favourable positon to a vertex position after the birth of Twin A.

2. We were very interested to read about studies that indicate that even when the external version is successful, in a high number of cases (I think it was 40% the versioned baby still "can't" (?) be birthed and a c-section is done. We wondered if the intrusion of the version CREATED a problem and whether birthing breech would be a better way to avoid a c-section. The study was interesting because everyone seems to assume that if the VERSION is successful, the vertex birth will be, too. Apparently that's not the case.
doudat's Avatar doudat 10:43 AM 02-25-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by ManitobaMom View Post
2. We were very interested to read about studies that indicate that even when the external version is successful, in a high number of cases (I think it was 40% the versioned baby still "can't" (?) be birthed and a c-section is done. We wondered if the intrusion of the version CREATED a problem and whether birthing breech would be a better way to avoid a c-section. The study was interesting because everyone seems to assume that if the VERSION is successful, the vertex birth will be, too. Apparently that's not the case.
But in cases where breech births are not an option (and most dr's in Quebec will refuse breech births), I'll take the 60% chance of having a vaginal birth any day over a c-section!!!
mimiharshe's Avatar mimiharshe 02:17 PM 02-25-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by ManitobaMom View Post
Not exactly what you asked for, but here's why my husband and I decided NOT to have it done for our most-recent pregnancy (twins, Twin B breech since at least 28 weeks and was delivered vaginally as a footling breech).

1. In our minds, seems intuitively to be wrong to push a baby into a different presentation. We sometimes could see the opposing argument that perhaps Twin B "wanted" to be vertex but didn't have room to turn. But we felt that if lack of room really was the reason for the breech position, our Twin B would be one of the 10% that turns from a less-favourable positon to a vertex position after the birth of Twin A.

2. We were very interested to read about studies that indicate that even when the external version is successful, in a high number of cases (I think it was 40% the versioned baby still "can't" (?) be birthed and a c-section is done. We wondered if the intrusion of the version CREATED a problem and whether birthing breech would be a better way to avoid a c-section. The study was interesting because everyone seems to assume that if the VERSION is successful, the vertex birth will be, too. Apparently that's not the case.
I agree with you and after trying the version w/dd, I would not do it again!
amandacj08's Avatar amandacj08 09:17 PM 02-25-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by doudat View Post
Eeesh, this is scaring me!!!
baby is still breech here at 33 weeks... I'm seeing the chiro for Webster and hoping for the best. If it doesn't work, my OB will do a version at 37 weeks. It won't be in a hospital setting, at least not that I think, as he has the U/S in his office. But he did tell me it would hurt.

Ok, I'm gonna hope and pray I can turn this one around with Webster!!
Doudat are you still sitting on your couch? My baby was transverse for a really long time even though I was having webster done. What I found helpful was to completely abandon the couch all together. I was undoing any progress the chiro was making by laying on the couch. Now I only sit on the birthing ball, lean on the birthing ball on my knees or lay in the bed on my side. Baby is now head down and I've had a lot less pubic/lower back pain. I hope your baby turns soon.
Island_Mama's Avatar Island_Mama 11:35 PM 02-25-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by doudat View Post
But in cases where breech births are not an option (and most dr's in Quebec will refuse breech births), I'll take the 60% chance of having a vaginal birth any day over a c-section!!!
Yeah, here too, even though I got lucky (whew) if baby had been breech I would have tried the version because they wouldn't let me birth if baby is breech, it would have been automatic C/S.


I do agree with you ManitobaMom, it just doesn't seem natural to move a baby like that, but C/S seems even more unatural to me, and we don't have the option they gave you to deliver vaginally when baby was breech. I think that is great they allowed you that btw.
doudat's Avatar doudat 01:06 AM 02-26-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by amandacj08 View Post
Doudat are you still sitting on your couch? My baby was transverse for a really long time even though I was having webster done. What I found helpful was to completely abandon the couch all together. I was undoing any progress the chiro was making by laying on the couch. Now I only sit on the birthing ball, lean on the birthing ball on my knees or lay in the bed on my side. Baby is now head down and I've had a lot less pubic/lower back pain. I hope your baby turns soon.
Yes I'm on the couch
Ok, ok, I'm getting off!!! Dh is looking for his bicycle pump as we speak so he can properly inflate my birthing ball.

Thanks for the good thoughts!!! I'll keep my fingers crossed for no c-section!!!
Ks Mama's Avatar Ks Mama 01:33 AM 02-26-2007
I had one with my first. Two attempts, both unsuccessful.

I wouldn't have one again.

I opted for no pain meds, and no muscle relaxant (that was a hassle to refuse, but you CAN refuse it), though I still had a heplock hookup and constant monitoring & ultrasound. NOT RELAXING.

It was uncomfortable - almost painful. I was supremely worried for my baby, and worried for myself. The pressure that my doctor & midwife had to apply to turn my baby was far beyond what I had prepared for - it was frightening. :

Instead of a version, I highly recommend seeing a chiropractor who is certified in the Webster Technique. I saw one at 39 weeks, and my "permanently" frank breech baby turned that night, and my scheduled C-section was cancelled.

Try chiro first.
Chancita's Avatar Chancita 04:22 PM 02-26-2007
Hi,
In terms of efficacy, external versions have a less than 50% efficacy rate of getting the baby to turn. Additionally, I have read that half of external version babies turn back around

Hypnobirthing claims that in a study with 200 mothers whose babies were still breech at 33 weeks, 81 of 100 babies turned with less than four hours of deep relaxation/hypnobirth instruction. Of the other control group, only 20 some turned spontaneously with another 20 turned by external version.

I am a yoga teacher and I have really good results with the women in my class using pelvic rocks on the hands and knees to relax and create more room in the pelvic area for the baby to turn. Unfortunately, I don't know of any scientific controlled studies to support this. Of the approximately 30+ women I have taught in the last year, only one of them went to term breech.

There are also acupunture (not acupressure) points on the leg that can be stimulated using moxa (a burning herb) therapy that I have heard to be very effective in helping encourage the baby to turn.

I'm just adding this info for others who come back to read this later

Chance
isaoma's Avatar isaoma 02:03 AM 03-01-2007
I found out just a few days short of 37 weeks that dd was breech. Part of me always knew she wasn't in the right position, but I was still shocked. My OB suggested the EV right away. I never felt right about doing the version, but logically it seemed like something to try.

Mine was done in a hospital setting and although it wasn't terribly painful, they are exerting a lot of pressure on you and your babe. My EV was not successful, like a pp, my dh just kept pushing back. I would not do this procedure again, at least in that type of setting - not because it wasn't successful, but because it felt so violent.

That being said, my midwife (who I didn't have at the time of the EV) has great track record with EV. She isn't at all as aggressive and is much more intuitive about trying to coax the baby into position.

I would only recommend an EV with someone who not only has a great track record (it makes a difference) but is also gentle and intuitive (and sadly I think it is hard to find an MD that fits that bill).
Novella's Avatar Novella 04:12 AM 04-19-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Island_Mama View Post
I do agree with you ManitobaMom, it just doesn't seem natural to move a baby like that, but C/S seems even more unatural to me,
Yes, I agree: c-section is pretty-much the ultimate "unnatural" and I was resolutely against it unless there was absolutely compelling evidence (eg. placenta previa) that would indicate its need coupled with a very strong indication that it would be reasonable to think the baby would be fine once consenting to c-section. (ie. Personally, I'd be hard-pressed to agree to a c-section to "save the baby" if baby seemed to be in severe distress and stuck in birth canal as I would be too leary of ending of with major surgery and poor dead babe.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Island_Mama View Post
and we don't have the option they gave you to deliver vaginally when baby was breech.
I didn't exactly have the option to have a breech delivery given to me, I had to "take it":
- if I exclude the three closest birthing hospitals (within 1.5-hour drives in various directions) and move to the next-bigger city, they won't do breech deliveries at all. Three OBs and it doesn't matter if it's a proven pelvis, singleton or second twin, what kind of breech presentation, etc. I thought this was pathetic.
- I thus decided it was worth the inconvenience and effort of arranging pre-natal care and delivery plans in a city 3.5 hours drive from my home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Island_Mama View Post
I think that is great they allowed you that btw.
In the end, they didn't "allow me". It was that I wouldn't allow a c-section. We ended up birthing in one of the three smaller community hospitals as labour went so very quickly and smoothly that we did not make it to the city. Doc on-call said, "We are taking you to the operating room and doing a c-section" and I said, "No, we're not". Other terse discussions ensued. Yes, lots of brow-beating about "you're making poor choices for your baby" and other inappropriate value judgements (as we tried to explain we had been researching the whole matter to the nubbins for months!)
HarperRose's Avatar HarperRose 06:20 PM 04-19-2007
My friend had a u/s and saw that her dd was transverse. The doctor was talking c/s and my friend was freaking out. (35-ish wks, I think.) I went over to her house and massaged her belly in a turning motion to encourage her dd to go head down. (Since we knew where her head was based on u/s, we felt comfortable doing that.) She kept at it for a few days, her dd turned, and she was born head-first, vaginally.

I wouldn't recommend that w/o a u/s first.

My mom had an external version w/ my youngest brother (1989) who was frank breech (same as the first brother, who was born frank breech vaginally in 1979) and she said it hurt alot. It was successful, but it hurt.
stacey0402's Avatar stacey0402 12:39 AM 04-20-2007
I had a successful ECV at a hospital with dd1. There was a lot of pressure and I was certainly not comfortable, but I wouldn't describe it as painful. I did not have an IV or any medications. I really thought this baby was breech, and I had made up my mind that I would try a version if it meant the possibility of not having a c-section. I am scared to death of a c-section. My OB said he would not perform a version, but his office partner has done them and might do one for me. Thank goodness this little guy is head down and I don't have to worry about it anymore!
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