An External Cephalic Version (ECV) is a procedure administered by a physician specially-trained in the field of obstetric medicine. It is used in cases where baby is presenting as breech (bum down), or transverse (side-lying), to turn baby into an ideal position of head-down or head-first. Not every patient is a candidate for an ECV so it is worth speaking with your entire birth support team to know what your options are and the risks and benefits of each intervention.
Reflexology can be given in the days leading up to a scheduled ECV and can also be administered immediately prior to the ECV. Clinical research indicates Reflexology is very effective at promoting a sense of relaxation, altering perceptions of pain and discomfort, and promoting improved circulation to body systems. In my conversations with Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs), and OB-GYN doctors promoting the mother’s sense of calm, safety and relaxation can go a long way to support a mother prior to and during an ECV. Reducing the perception of pain or stress can help the mother to cope physically and emotionally with a potentially stressful time in pregnancy – especially if the mother had been hoping for a natural, vaginal delivery and is feeling stressed about a cesarean surgery if the ECV does not work.
There are some wonderful resources in website and book form to promote a head-down position during pregnancy, one is Spinning Babies. If you are considering Reflexology for a breech or transverse presentation and are past 36 weeks of pregnancy feel free to drop me an email or call the office at 512-666-9374. I take appointments at my office in Northwest Austin (at 183 and Duval), and am also available for the occasional hospital/clinic outcall – the nearest hospitals to me are Seton’s Northwest Hospital on Research Boulevard and St David’s North campus off Mopac near The Domain. I may be available for Central Austin hospital outcalls depending on my schedule at the clinic so let’s talk!