When it’s time to deliver a baby, anxious parents hope that everything will go smoothly, although that’s not always the case. With a breech baby, there’s a whole extra level of stress to contend with, as the baby is upside down, which makes a vaginal delivery potentially unsafe, with many doctors preferring to schedule a c-section. It is possible to manually move the baby into the correct position so that he or she is head down for the safest delivery. This can be painful, however, and there is a minor level of risk involved.
One mother, Vanessa Fisher, took video footage of the process of turning a breech baby, called External Cephalic Version and it quickly went viral.
Birth Without Fear reports that most babies are head down at the start of labor, but in one to three percent of times, this isn’t the case. A doctor experienced in delivering breech babies can take on the task or a c-section may be ordered. In some cases, the procedure of manually turning the baby by pressing on the mother’s stomach to reposition him or her may be done.
It’s not for the faint of heart, for sure, as Doctor Joanne Stone told Health:
“It involves actually physically turning the baby by placing hands on the woman’s uterus to almost help the baby do somersaults inside the uterus.”
This repositioning is only successful about 60 percent of the time, with only less than 1 percent of a risk of complication.
Vanessa took to Facebook to explain her decision to have the manual turning of her baby, writing:
“Prior to the procedure, we attempted a number of other methods to turn the baby naturally. Ultimately, our goal is to avoid a cesarean section by any means possible.”
She and her doctor, Dr. Cummings, tried the external cephalic version at 38 weeks, which must be done in a hospital in the event that labor begins or there are any complications. WebMD explains the procedure, where the woman is given medication to reduce any uterine contractions and prevent labor from starting.
The video shows the breech baby being turned, which looks really painful. The good news: they successfully got the baby into the proper position!
Many people commented on the Facebook video, with one person noting their very painful experience, writing:
“I tried this with my first child, but it was unsuccessful and EXTREMELY painful. Happy it worked for her and looks like it didn’t hurt.”
Another mom added: “Had this done with my oldest. Hurt 10x’s worse than labor, this woman is a warrior!!,” while one commenter noted: “My doctor attempted one on me. Most painful thing ever. It didn’t work. Glad it worked for her!! And she was so calm!!”
Another mom shared: “Can’t believe it, but I’ve been there done that 4 times between 2 kids, painful but successful! I tried everything I could to get my kids to go head down. Stubborn babies!”
One commenter further explained their experience with the prodedure, noting: “Did that to me with my first but it was done in a surgical room and was given a spinal before hand. And was hooked up to sonogram while doc did this.”