Admission for External Cephalic Version

Admission for External Cephalic Version

If your baby is not head down during the last month of your pregnancy, your provider may discuss the External Cephalic Version (ECV) procedure with you as an option. ECV is a method that may be used to turn your baby from a breech (head up) or side-lying position to a cephalic (head down) position. This position is the easiest way for the baby to move down the birth canal for a vaginal delivery. ECV may reduce your chances of needing a C-section delivery.

If you are scheduled for an ECV, you will be told the day and time of the procedure. You can eat a light, low-fat meal (such as toast or fruit) up until six hours before you are scheduled to arrive at the hospital. You can drink clear liquids (water, coffee or tea without cream/milk, sports drinks) up until two hours before you are scheduled to arrive at the hospital.

On the day of the procedure, please come to the triage area of the first floor of Prentice Women’s Hospital one hour prior to the scheduled procedure time. A registration representative will ask for your information and check you in. You will then go to the Labor and Delivery unit where a nurse will meet you and escort you to a labor room to prepare you for the procedure.  

Once in the labor room, the nurse will ask you to change into a hospital gown. The nurse will review your health history, and check your pulse and blood pressure. An ultrasound will be done to check whether the baby has already turned to the head down position on their own. The nursing team will start your IV and obtain any needed blood tests. The nurse will also place monitors over your abdomen so that the baby’s condition can be watched.

A member of the anesthesia team will come in to check on you and explain your choices for anesthesia. Medication may be given to relax your uterus. Your provider and another physician will then come in to answer any of your questions and to perform the procedure. After the procedure, the baby is monitored for at least another hour.