Yesterday I went to to the doctor with a hopeful but realistic attitude. If you recall, 2 weeks ago baby boy was in the breech position. I go to a group of women doctors and the doctor I met with last time was hopeful that he would turn by the time of my next appointment. I spent a lot of time in downward facing dog to give him a little extra push to turn. This kid is on Hawaiian time I swear. Fast forward to yesterday’s appointment and I am sitting in the exam room getting ready for a different doctor in our group to check the heartbeat and I casually mention that I hope he is still not breech. Her mouth drops. Apparently, Dr. Hopeful didn’t put it on my chart that little dude refuses to get his head down. She hurries out the door and comes back wheeling in the ultrasound machine. But I didn’t need to see the ultrasound to confirm what I already knew–my baby is still breech.
At this point, she claims, we need to talk options. The first option is to schedule a c-section for 39 weeks since my practice does not perform breech deliveries. I think my morning sickness came back at that point. I felt like scheduling a c-section for my first pregnancy was a little rushed and I wasn’t willing to do so until I knew it was my absolute last available option. She said that my second and final option (through their group) is to try External Cephalic Version. This is a procedure that is done at the hospital in the Labor & Delivery unit in case I go into labor. Once he is confirmed to still be in the breech position, the doctor will give me a shot to relax my uterus and try to physically turn the baby. Ouch. She told me the procedure is low risk but naturally there are some things that could potentially happen to the baby including:
- Twisting or squeezing of the umbilical cord, reducing blood flow and oxygen to the fetus.
- The beginning of labor, which can be caused by rupture of the amniotic sac around the fetus (premature rupture of the membranes, or PROM).
- Placenta abruption, rupture of the uterus, or damage to the umbilical cord. The potential exists for such complications, but they are very rare.
My doctor did say that she has never had any complications with the procedure other than the baby just refusing to flip. But combining those potential risks and a 50% success rate, I am scared. At this point, my husband and I have discussed how we want to procede, and because I really don’t want to have major surgery unless there are no other options for a healthy baby, I am going to try the ECV.
In the meantime though I am going to be trying my best to work on some natural methods of turning a baby in the breech position including:
The Webster Technique: There are a few chiropractors in my area that specialize in the Webster Technique. This procedure focuses on releasing stress on the pregnant woman’s pelvis thereby relaxing the uterus and surrounding ligaments. The relaxed uterus makes it easier for a breech baby to turn naturally. The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported in the July/August 2002 issue that 82% of doctors using the Webster Technique reported success. (Source) I plan on calling to make an appointment today for this much less invasive procedure.
Cold at the top of the uterus
Heat and music placed at the bottom of the uterus
Getting in the pool and inverting my body with handstands and somersaults (seriously people, I am desperate)
Hopefully by the time I show up for the ECV next week, he will have already flipped and I won’t even need the procedure. But I am realistic. He may never turn. I already feel pressure to schedule a c-section but my hope is that the doctor won’t push me to schedule surgery if the ECV and my other techniques are not successful. Maybe he just needs more time on his own. That way, when I go into labor on my own and he is still breech, then I will feel like I have exhausted all options and given the little guy plenty of time to get in the right position. Wish me luck!