How Long After ECV Did Labor Start (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Between 9 to 24 days

An ECV is also known as an external cephalic version. It is a procedure where a baby is turned upside down. Normally before the 36 weeks mark the baby prepares itself for labor and turns upside down into a position of head down and feet up pointing towards the uterus.

Through the timespan of pregnancy in a woman, the babies inside the womb repeatedly change their position. But by 36 weeks, the babies will not change their position frequently and will turn into a head-down position. This head-down position is known as the cephalic position. But in some cases, about 3 babies out of 100 babies don’t turn into the cephalic position. They remain in a breech position.

In this case, giving birth is more complicated than those babies, who are in the cephalic position. These babies in breech positions need to be manually turned upside down by a doctor, or midwife so that it is easier to give birth when labor will start. Labor is the process by which the fetus and also the placenta will exit the uterus, thereafter giving birth.

It is important here to mention that an ECV is performed mostly after 37 weeks of pregnancy.

How Long After ECV Did Labor Start?

Types of breech positionCharacteristics
Complete breechBoth legs are flexed at hips or knees.
Frank breechBoth legs are flexed at the hip and extended at the knee.
Footling breechOne or both legs are extended at the hip.

The exact answer to this question is between 9 and 24 days after ECV. Most women whose babies are in a breech position can have an ECV if their pregnancy is considered healthy and the amount of amniotic fluid is also a normal one. But there are some cases where your doctor will not recommend an ECV like:

  • For some conditions, there might be a need for a C- section. At that time your doctor will not recommend an ECV.
  • You have been continuously releasing vaginal bleeding for the past seven days.
  • Your pregnancy is a complex as well as a difficult one.
  • You are about to give birth to twins or triplets.
  • Your uterus shape is unusual and not normal.
  • You are having bleeding from the vagina
  • Your placenta is increasing its growth on your cervix for unspecified reasons.
  • You are suffering from health diseases such as high levels of diabetes or hypertension.
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Why Does It Take That Long After ECV For Labor To Start?

After ECV, an estimated time of 9 to 24 days are required for labor to begin, because, by that time, the baby which is turned upside down, in a head-down position needs some time to adjust itself in the head-down position inside the womb of the mother and to prepare itself for labor.

Labor has two stages. The first stage consists of early labor and active labor, and the second stage or the final stage is the birth of the baby. From the beginning of the labor to reach the final stage of labor, it takes time. This is because, in the first stage of your labor, birth will take place only when you will feel regular contractions. These regular contractions cause your cervix to open out also known as dilute and to soften. This process allows the baby to pass into the birth canal. All of these processes take some time. The first stage takes more time than the other stages. The process of the early stage of labor can take time from hours to days.

After the early stage of labor, comes the active stage. In the active stage, the cervix will open and the length is 6cm to 10cm, making the contractions stronger. There will be cramps in your legs. In this time, the water or the amniotic fluid will break if it hasn’t broken before. Your cervix will open at an average of 1cm per hour. The entire process will take 4 to 8 hours or more.

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The last stage of labor is that special time when you will finally deliver your baby after giving a test of your patience.

Conclusion

We have already discussed that an external cephalic version is a manual process of turning a fetus inside the womb into a cephalic position. In general, after 36 weeks a baby normally turns into a cephalic position before labor and delivery. In a breech position, it is very complicated to give birth. For this reason, doctors use this manual way of ECV.

In most cases, ECV is successful by 58%. The success rate increases if the mother has previous experience of pregnancy followed by childbirth. Though it has a success rate, there are some risks as well. During ECV, the umbilical cord gets twisted. This poses risk by reducing oxygen and the supply of blood to the fetus inside the womb. But these complications are very rare. It must be remembered that every medical procedure has some benefits as well as risks. But we must always look forward to the benefits of the procedure and not bother much about its risk.

References

  1. https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD000083.pub3/full

2. https://www.webmd.com/baby/external-cephalic-version-overview

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