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What Is An EVC In Pregnancy? External Cephalic Version Isn't As Scary As It Sounds

Unless you're pregnant, you probably haven't heard the letters "EVC" come up in casual conversation. And if you do have a baby on the way, and have seen that letter combination, you maybe wondering what is an EVC in pregnancy. Well, iIt sounds intimidating at first, but on further investigation, your fears may be lessened.

The acronym EVC stands for External Cephalic Version, and it's simply the fancy term for turning a breech baby so that they're head down. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, if a woman is between 36 and 38 weeks in her pregnancy and her baby hasn't turned to face head down yet, your doctor may suggest an EVC. The site noted that the procedure may increase your chances of delivering vaginally, since many breech babies are delivered via c-section. According to Parenting Weekly, EVCs are very safe, when performed by an experienced OB or midwife, and has a success rate of about 60 to 70 percent.

You will be given a medication to help your uterus relax, after your doctor performs an ultrasound to determine the size and position of your baby. After that, your OB will simply try to turn your baby around using the pressure of their hands. While the thought of this sounds scary, it won't cause your baby any pain and should only feel like a substantial amount of pressure to you.

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But the procedure isn't entirely without risk. According to Baby Center, a very rare complication may occur where your placenta separates from the uterine wall, causing your baby to need to be delivered right away via emergency C-section. It can also cause your baby's heart rate to drop (although it usually returns to normal right away), and be cause for immediate delivery as well, Baby Center also noted.

So although EVC has a good success rate and the risks are low, it's still worth discussing the pros and cons with your healthcare professional before making any decisions.