My External Cephalic Version (ECV)

Last Monday I went for my normal weekly OBGYN appointment not expecting much when my doctor started feeling around my belly and realized that my little girl had not turned head down and was Breech at 37 weeks. It’s funny because I know that “every” pregnancy is different but deep down I just kind of assumed it would be the same as my son.

I am a firm believer that if a c-section is needed for my babies health then there is no question I would get it, but I must say I was a little disappointed. I was disappointed because this time around I am only taking 8 weeks off from work and was worried about the recovery.

This is where my doctor and I discussed trying an External Cephalic Version which is where a medical professional tries to turn the baby from breech to the down ward position by pushing the baby from the outside. I decided to go for so I booked an appointment for the following morning at my hospital. They prefer to do the version in the hospital god forbid anything happens they like to monitor.


So I went home and in my normal science anal retentive ways started to search ECV and research the success rates, and any complications that may arise. What I found was basically I was a perfect candidate.  When it is a first time mother the probability of having a successful version is about 50/50 but this goes up substantially if you are a second time mother since we are “broken” in, LOL. I was also in the prime week of 37 weeks pregnant which has shown the best rates when it comes to versions.

I did read a lot of blogs, and posts about it and it was all over the place. Some mothers said it was the most painful thing they have ever experienced while others said it wasn’t that bad. So I basically figured I would find out for myself and soon.

The next morning my husband brought me in to Labor and delivery and got strapped in to monitor the baby for about a half and hour. The baby was great and I was contracting slightly so they gave me a shot of terbutaline to help ease the contractions and loosen my uterus. The terbutaline did make me feel a little tweaked  like I drank 4 cups of espresso but nothing crazy.  After a few minutes and the medicine kick in my OBGYN and midwife went to town and started to turn my baby from the outside. They talked to her and helped her along. It was slightly uncomfortable but not super painful. I was lucky that my daughter decided it was OK to turn but all in all it only took less than 5 minutes to make a full turn.

I was then monitored for 2 hours to make sure no complications arose (which when you look through all the studies there are very small percentage of such but better safe than sorry) and went on my merry way. I hope that my little one stays in the correct position as something like 7% can turn back to breech. I will know next week and will follow up here on the blog for you to see if my ECV was a complete success.

I wanted to write this for other mothers out their who are maybe hesitate to try. I had a great experience with my ECV and would do it again in a minute. I would do some research yourself and always be your own advocate, but all in all I had a great experience with my ECV.

So other mothers have you have a successful ECV or not? I would love to hear your stories.

5 thoughts on “My External Cephalic Version (ECV)

  1. I had an ECV at 36.5 weeks after discovering my baby was breech. It was my first baby and I did not want to have a c section if I could avoid it. I agree with everything you have to say about the procedure. I felt like I had done a really intense ab workout for about a week after, but it was worth it since the procedure worked! Here’s hoping your little one stays head down!


  2. You are brave! I think I might have chickened out. SO glad it worked!

    I was on a terbutaline pump 24/7 (I can’t remember what interval it used to auto-inject) due to early contractions around 24 (?) weeks. I felt like I was constantly drinking coffee all day long!!!!


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