Baby Hints & Tips

ECV experiences

doctor palpates the abdomen of pregnant woman before childbirthMy baby has been persistently breech throughout my entire pregnancy. I am now in my last 6 weeks and the obstetrician is recommending an ECV. What are others experiences of having their babies manually turned?

ECV – external cephalic version. This is done to turn baby from breech position (lying bottom or feet first) by the doctor at about 37 weeks. Most babies will turn without help before 37 weeks. Read more about turning breech babies here

  • I recommend joining the Facebook group Breech Birth Australia and New Zealand. There are loads of midwives, other breech mums and some obstetricians as well who can give loads of advice and support. My attempted ecv didn’t work (first bub was a breechling) and I found it painful. It’s important to know that breech doesn’t have to mean caesar though. Mine was still born naturally Laura
  • I had an ECV and yes, while it was a little uncomfortable, I didn’t experience any pain. It took less than 5 min to do and was a success. Every person’s experience may be different and it really is a decision only you can make. Talk to your ob about your fears and concerns if you have any and what the alternatives might be. Best of luck and enjoy the final stages of your pregnancy before your beautiful baby arrives. Tracey
  • I was told to scrub the floors. Being on your hands and knees helps turn the baby. Hope that helps Kirby
  • I had a successful ECV but bubs feet were down in my pelvis and his bottom was up above my right hip and head was wedged high up under and behinds left side ribs so they were able to grab hold of him easier than if his bottom was down in pelvis. They gave me a 40% chance of it being successful as he was my first born. It was a lot more uncomfortable than I was expecting but over pretty quickly. Glad they did it in the end as I did not want c section if possible to avoid. I figured it couldn’t hurt to try. My doc was an older doc and apparently much more experienced at performing them, my midwife said it is a shame he was soon to retire as a lot of the younger doctors seemed less inclined to do it due to the low percentage of people it works for and as a result their percentage of succes was lower again because they hadn’t mastered it like he had. It was such a relief when he was turn. I had a pinched nerve up where his head was from the pressure. He had been wedged there for over a month. I suddenly felt like I had a looser freer tummyi looked less pregnant than I had before it as he deeper inside me and down lower. Instantly engaged I breathe freer than I had for weeks, that night was my best nights sleep than I had had for my entire third trimester Tracey
  • Try acupuncture! I did at 34 weeks & bub turned within a week (without me even realising!) Jaye
  • ast 6 weeks really?? Mine turned at 34 weeks on his own and they said they wouldn’t do anything til 37 weeks and either do and ECV or i could opt for caesarian. I would think they’d wait a while and see cause there is still time to turn. I did exercises I found on you tube and was contemplating Webster technique via chiro if need be to avoid one. Megan
  • I had ECV and didn’t want to either. I’m now so glad I did and would do it again if I needed to this pregnancy. I had tried moxibultion for 11 days prior to it though. He reacted to it but didn’t turn. I think that helped ‘loosen’ him up. Then he turned within 30secs on the ECV. Good luck! Terri
  • My bub was breech the whole time too and I was booked in for an ECV too but didn’t go through with it. Apparently they’re very uncomfortable and there’s every chance they can turn back. My thoughts and it’s only my opinion is they’re breech for a reason and if you try and turn him/her you’re going against nature. Good luck Nerissa
  • Have u tried all the excercise? I’m 35.5 weeks and my baby turned last week. Pop your bum on the lounge and lay backwards with your head on the floor…. Worked for me:-) Cyrene
  • try the Webster technique at your chiropractor, it worked for me at 34 weeks, though like the ECV they can turn back. Also, 15mins a day on all fours. I guess these option are less aggressive than a ECV so might be worth trying first. Christina
  • My baby was manually turned twice and went back to her preferred position until she was ready and turned herself. Everyone is different tho. It was quite uncomfortable having it done ( this was back in the 70s) so they may have a new way of doing it now. Good luck Kerry
  • Make sure you look into the risks before getting an ECV. My OB advised he wouldn’t attempt to do it for my first baby as it is quite risky. The thought and the complications made me quite nervous. My bub was breech from 29 weeks and as it turned out she was “frank breech” (feet up near her head) so as she got bigger there was no chance of her turning anyway. We were booked in for a planned cesarian but bubs had her own agenda and came early. I was surprised at how quick the recovery was after surgery, however hoping for a VBAC for #2 Good Luck and do what you feel is best for you and your bubs. Lauren
  • Not sure if it will happen for you but just as they mentioned having to turn my DS he went to transverse and then head down within 3 days lol ! I think he got scared I still had to have an emergency c-sec tho But just to give you some positive news they can still turn Natasha
  • I just had an ecv a few weeks ago! At 36 weeks and all this prep and monitoring and the drug they give you, it came down to 5 minutes of two doctors digging there hands into my pelvic region and a stern “nup!” That was it!! Babies bum is deeply planted in my pelvis! She’s not budging they said! For the next 3 hours I was shaky and having heart pumpultations and panic attacks, and feeling very very disappointed They wanted to try it again the following week but I opted out! Instead I had my baby girl last week via Caesarian! But they say that ecv’s work 50% of the time! So it’s weather you feel it’s worth a shot or not! Hope that helps! Good luck! Cassie
  • My son was breech my entire pregnancy. Had a ecv at 37 weeks which failed after two docs attempted it. Horrible experience with the drugs. Ended up having an emergency c section and wished I didn’t try the ecv. There must have been a reason he was head up and shouldn’t have tried to fix it. Alison
  • my second baby didn’t turn until 35 weeks. I did some of the activities recommended on the spinning babies website, not sure if they worked or bub would have turned of their own accord. ECV shouldn’t be done until 37 weeks, so you still have time! No experience on actually having it done though, as we managed to avoid it. Good luck xx Megan
  • I had one with baby number 5 it was uncomfy but not painful and successful Giselle
  • I was just in the same situation and I have successfully turned baby. Go to spinningbabies.com they will explain how to do inversions… After inversions as many times a day as you can stand, put an ice pack on top of your belly and a hot pack (careful not too hot to burn you) on the bottom by your pubic bone… During one of these sessions my baby turned at 34 weeks! Good luck! Reo
  • women are highly capable of having breached babies I’ve watched many YouTube clips and read many birth stories of it. Courtney
  • my 2nd was breech all along, was turned at 39 weeks by herself Melissa
  • i had my first baby earlier this year. He was breech for months .. I could tell by where the hiccups were. By 37 weeks the choices offered were attempt natural birth with risk of emergency C, schedule C section or try ECV. I didn’t really want to, but I did the ECV. I was afraid to do it actually. However, I wanted to do everything possible to have a natural birth. Anyway the ECV involved a very tiny almost painless needle and then a bit of twisting on my tummy.. I took my Walkman and listened to relaxing music.. It was over so fast I’d do it again easily if I was in the same situation. I forgot to say I tried everything beforehand to avoid it though.. Moxi sticks, swimming everyday, chiropractor – can’t remember but the method that is meant to turn baby, exercises etc etc I tried so many things. In the end the baby stayed head down and I had the birthing experience I had hoped for. Good luck Priscilla
  • My OB refused to try an ECV, said that if bub has been breech most of the pregnancy there is normally a reason (umbilical cord to short or odd shaped uterus) and it can be traumatic for the baby. Keryn
  • Google spinning babies. My bubs turned at 36 weeks. Bethany
  • they did this to me while in labour it’s not painfull at all I was back to back only got her to the side though but wAs fine consign out Nicole
  • You still have time for baby to turn naturally… my princess decided at 36 weeks she would turn by herself. my obs said he wouldn’t attempt turning as there are often reasons why the baby is this way. Alithea
  • I was unfortunate enough that 37 weeks I got gastro by my 38 week appt I was fine but my bub flipped breech from the constant vomiting. The hospital tried convincing me for a C-section straight away and i asked for an ECV because i was so far along they weren’t going to allow but i was quite small they let it go. I was lucky mine was successful. First one they had seen successful in a while. I tried reading about it and it just made me more anxious so I just left it for the day taking one day at a time Ashley
  • My bub turned at 36 weeks but didn’t turn fully and was stuck against my hip and ended in 2 weeks over due and 2.5 days of labour before csar so make sure if bub dose turn they r engaged Tarani
  • I had a successful ECV at 37 weeks. Didn’t take long, it wasn’t painful just slightly uncomfortable for a minute. Highly recommend it over the risks of attempting to have a breached natural birth which btw there isn’t many OB that will deliver naturally they will recommend a c section. Natalee
  • Booked in to have our lo turned and he managed to turn himself a few days beforehand. hopefully yours will do the same Cassandra
  • I had two ECV’s in my first pregnancy. One done at the local hospital and the other by the top specialist in Sydney women’s hospital. They were uncomfortable and a bit painful. In the end both were unsuccessful and I ended up having a csection. After a week of being upset I finally realized that this was the way ds wanted to arrive. Local hospital used no muscle relaxants at all so it was more uncomfortable then the one I had done by the specialist as they did muscle relaxants. It’s a bit of an odd feeling having someone pushing and pulling on your tummy. Do what is best for you. Lisa
  • my mum went on a bumpy car ride and that turned my sister lol She hadn’t planned it, it was 25 years ago so might not be advised these days but it worked Fiona
  • Read up on the risks of turning like placental disruption and early labor. Our lil girl was persistently breech, doctor would not deliver as she was completely bum down and did end in a c-section at 38+6. We were both healthy, it was scary but at the end of the day, I didn’t think turning her had a high enough success rate to risk hurting her or myself. Talk to your obstetrician as they have all the facts. Good luck! Teresa
  • I was sceptical as it can result in an emergency c sec. My dd was transverse. After much thought we decided to do it after a long talk with my OBGYN on a Friday so booked in for the tues to have bub turned then went into labour the next day which resulted in an emergency c sec at 36 weeks. I think now if bub is breech maybe it’s for a reason and bub may turn on her own during labour and if not then the drs will do a c sec. Louise
  • My 2nd did flips throughout my pregnancy. I used spinning babies and yoga to get him into position but he kept spinning back. I had a successful ECV at 38 weeks and delivered naturally 2wks later. Amanda
  • My baby was breech most of pregnancy, then turned prosterior, then for the last 4 weeks of my pregnancy turned transverse which apparently is very dangerous if you go into labour like that, on my last checkup, few days before I had him he turned to normal Shiloh
  • Tried ecv but didn’t work for us! Kelly
  • My baby turned at 36 weeks, doctors said they would of turned her at 36-37 if she hasn’t. Kellie
  • My little man was breech througout my pregnancy and my midwife made me get a ECV at 37 weeks, as they did not want me to have a cesarean, it worked for me but was VERY painful. Didnt help that my hospital decided to get aintern to do it and she had NO IDEA what she was doing. Good luck. Felicia
  • I had a ecv with my first son he was breech whole time , id say it was a little sore and uncomfortable but he didnt end up moving much they got him to laying sideways and that was it they stopped because they realised his cord was around his neck and couldn’t go any further . One thing I remember very clearly is walking out of the hospital after the procedure and hardly being able to breathe and being so uncomfortable because I felt bruised and tight because of where they had moved him to , obviously he wasnt in that position for a reason … Carly
  • My baby was breech until quite late on in my pregnancy too. Your doctor probably mentioned this to you but just incase he/she didn’t, there are some exercises you can do to help bub turn. I forget most of them now as my daughter is 2.5 now but you can google it. One that I do remember is getting on to all fours and staying in that position for a good 10-15 minutes a few times a day. That one is also great for back pain relief! Wether it was thanks to the exercises or not, thankfully my bub turned in time! Zoe
  • Strange that this early they are thinking of an ECV as the more room bubs has then the more likely they will turn back. My last bub was breech all the way through and turned on his own at 37 weeks. But check out spinning babies. I did some of the techniques they recommend and seemed to work for me Riss
  • I had the hospital try to manually turn my baby at 37 weeks it was one of the most horrifying experiences of my life. My blood pressure dropped so low I almost had to have an emergency c section on the day and to top it off my daughter was still breech. I will never allow that to be done to me again. I still had to have a c section anyway. Corryn
  • I had this done at 38.5 weeks. Bubs was head down the whole pregnancy and then decided at 38 weeks to turn transverse! It was painful for me as her head was stuck up under my ribcage so the Doc had to push hard under my ribs. The pressure even hurt the Doc….but it worked…healthy baby born naturally. Good luck! Lisa
  • My first baby was breech from 30 weeks and they suggested to turn him but told me it was up to me. I spoke to a few ppl and they said sometimes it doesn’t work first go. And if it does they also have chance of going back breech. I suggest to really looking into. I didn’t end up getting it done and ended up having a c-section and everything went perfect. Good luck. Kayla
  • My little one was breech at 34wks, but he turned on his own, and he’s head down now at 37wks. When we discussed ECV my midwife said they wouldn’t do it before 38wks, as there is too much chance that bubs will just turn back to breech if there is still enough room. Phae
  • I had a very successful ECV done at 37.5 weeks. My midwife did lots of monitoring prior / during / after the procedure so it felt very safe. The procedure itself took maybe 5 mins and was uncomfortable but I wouldn’t say painful. Apparently, if you’ve got lots of amniotic fluid, it helps. The consultant who did mine has a 50% success rate. Prior to this, I tried everything to get the baby to turn but nothing worked – I tried acupuncture, moxabustion, chiro (Webster technique), even tried shining lights & playing music to the bottom of my tummy! It’s a very personal choice but c-sec was a last option for me. Good luck, you’ve still got time. Hazel
  • I had a successful ecv but due to over monitoring and failed induction I ended up in an emergence c section, the ecv didn’t hurt just uncomfy, but I personally wouldn’t do it again depending on circumstances Amy
  • Had it done with my first, it hurt, a weird kind of hurt, but took maybe 10-15 minutes and that was it. It went well and I had a great natural birth. Do have your bags with you because it is possible that it may break your waters which could mean an emergency cesarean but that risk is quite low Kylie
  • 6 weeks is plenty of time for bubs to turn. Try acupuncture and spinning babies website. Good luck! Simone
  • I had a evc at 9 days overdue it didn’t work as her bum was too far engaged in my pelvis It was absolutely excruciating! Got admitted to hospital and had a c sect the next afternoon bub was over 9lb Jenna
  • I found out at 37 weeks that my bubs was breech. Had the ECV the next day, two doctors trying to turn her they tried twice and it didn’t work, was rather painful (a lot more painful than the c section recovery) Bubs was feet right down so in the end had c section and so glad I did in the end as it was discovered when she was born that the cord was around her neck twice. Kirri
  • My Dr attempted to turn my daughter at 37 weeks who had also been persistently breech. It was unsuccessful and uncomfortable BUT I am still glad we did it as we were then happy that we had tried everything and at peace with needing a c/s.. Dayna
  • I had my now three year old manually turned and it was fine. I was actually amazed how quick easy and painless it was. Dr who done it was great and done an ultra sound in him room straight away to make sure she was ok. Definitely beat the other option of caesar!! Bodeen
  • It didn’t hurt but it also wasn’t successful do what you feel is right Melanie
  • My mum had my sister breech naturally and she was over 9 pound. So its possible to deliver naturally. Kylie
  • I had a Ecv with our first we tried everything to turn Our bubba it’s uncomfortable but u think I’m bit look What u get out of it think positively yep Our bubba didn’t turn but that’s not to say ur won’t good luck Rebecca
  • I had an ecv at 38 weeks it was successful it was my first baby and he was really big. It didnt hurt at all and the baby was fine Zoe
  • I had a successful ECV at 38 weeks. It was uncomfortable, but not painful. I would definitely do it again if necessary. Alicia
  • I found it extremely painful, and it didn’t work for me, I personally thought the pain from the ECV worse than any pain I felt recovering from the c section. I’m pregnant with my second at the moment and she is currently breech also and if it comes down to it I won’t try ECV again I’ll just have another c. Allana
  • try acupuncture. Helped my sister at 37 weeks. She had two Sessions in three days Bec
  • It hurts! Like you’ve been bruised, no painkillers necessary. My baby didn’t turn at the ECV, she turned during the week before my next ob appoint Kate
  • It didn’t work for me, it was painful, involved needles, but I am always glad I tried, I knew I did everything I could before signing the forms for a c-section. Cat
  • I refused to have an ECV.. As I was concerned about side effects and cord around her neck etc.. And was almost resigned to having a ceaser but she turned in the last 4 weeks on her own even after they said no way would she turn now!! Good luck!! Karen

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  1. Laura Hickey says:

    I just had an ECV yesterday, I’m 38 weeks tomorrow. The procedure was uncomfortable and a bit painful and I had the same thoughts, this is really going against the baby’s instincts, maybe she ‘s breech for a reason? The potential complications are 1% so 99% no complications are pretty good odds. However, I really didn’t want a C-section and although I had set everything up for a vaginal breech the hospital will not guarantee it here in Perth, as it all depends on who is on and what their experience is. I even changed hospitals as the one I was with had a no vaginal breech policy. But now that she has been turned I can go back to having a home birth and a much less complicated head first labour. Fingers crossed baby will stay head down. I would definitely recommend giving the ECV a go.

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