Breech is probably a word no pregnant woman nearing her due date wants to hear. When a baby is in breech position--or what we Filipinos call "suhi" with the baby's feet poised to come out first--the news comes with a bit of worry. If the baby doesn't turn on his own near term, the higher the chances are the baby will be delivered via C-section for safety reasons.
For some preggos, they try efforts to help the baby move on his own. Kim Kardashian West's son Saint was in a breech position, and she wrote on her blog that she stayed “practically upside down” for 15 minutes, played music, and placed ice on certain areas in her belly. Kim even started doing acupuncture and attempted hypnosis just to turn her baby around.
Nothing worked until her doctor performed an external cephalic version or ECV, where a doctor places firm but gentle pressure on the abdomen of pregnant women at 36 to 38 weeks to encourage the baby to turn.
Kim described her ECV as “probably more painful than childbirth" but this viral video shows a woman having an ECV with discomfort, but not intense pain. According to Liam Muckleston, who uploaded the video on YouTube, it was taken at the Royal Sussex Hospital in Brighton, England and the expecting mom is 36 weeks into the pregnancy.
In the video, a doctor via an ultrasound machine showed the pregnant woman that her baby was in breech position. Before performing the procedure, you could hear him warn her beforehand, "It's going to be uncomfortable... If you couldn't tolerate it, just say so. But it shouldn't be very painful."
Then, the doctor went on to do ECV with his hands. The mom-to-be didn't seem to be in pain, but she did react several times as she felt her baby move and said, "It felt funny." In just under two minutes, the ECV was done and another look at the ultrasound showed that the baby was already in a cephalic position (head first).
The video has been viewed more than three million times. Comments from the YouTube video vary from praise for the doctor who performed ECV to fear about the procedure to caution about safety.
Jamie Howard wrote, "I'm almost 36 weeks pregnant and have been fearing this. I cried after watching this video. It's really intense stuff.”
Setareh Fanaei wrote, "It's amazing, but I'd be scared to let someone do it to myself. It actually looks scary to me."
"Only let a confident, experience doctor do this. I had such awful experience with a doc that had no idea what she was doing. [She] tried this twice and it was excruciating! And I ended up with a C-section anyway," commented a YouTube user.
According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, there should be an operating roon nearby in case complication arise when ECV is performed. These could be anywhere from bleeding and rupture of the placenta to preterm labor and significantly reduced fetal movements. You're a candidate for ECV if:
You're more than 36 weeks into the pregnancy.
There is a big chance your baby could still change positions if done earlier than 36 weeks.
This is not your first baby. Your abdomen wall is more flexible if you've already given birth.
You're not having twins.
Your baby's heart rate is normal.
You have plenty of fluid around your baby.
Your baby's neck is bending forward with his chin tucked into his chest.
Your baby is still high in your womb or has not engaged. The baby has not started descending down into your pelvic area.
Your water bag is intact (i.e., it has not been broken yet)
You've not had vaginal bleeding.
You don't have pregnancy complications such as having an abnormal shaped uterus, placenta previa, or heat issues, or your baby is not suspected to have a birth defect.
Remember, discuss options with your doctor--and only your doctor.