Baby Breech Position

During pregnancy stages, babies developed in the uterus and grew in weight and length making their surrounding tighter. Usually around week 37, babies turn their head down preparing themselves for birth. We call this position “cephalic presentation”. 3 to 4 % of babies do not turn and position their bottom down to be delivered first. We call this position “Breech presentation”.

How many types of breech position we have?

We have 3 main types of this presentation:

-          Frank breech: Legs are totally straight facing the baby’s head. The bottom is the only showing part in the birth canal.

-          Complete breech: The baby is sitting folding his knees. His legs are next to his bottom showing in the birth canal.

-          Footling breech: One or both of the baby’s legs are below his bottom and will show first during delivery.

What causes breech position?

There are no specific reasons to have a baby in breech position but some conditions are in favor of creating breech presentation as:

-          You have excessive amount of amniotic fluid (Polyhydramnios) causing the baby to turn a lot.

-          Your placenta is low lying or you have placenta praevia.

-          If you are carrying a big baby.

-          If you had multiple pregnancies.

What should I do if my baby is in breech position?

Do not panic if you have a breech baby. Your pregnancy is normal and continues till term. Your doctor will be able to tell you the position of your baby during the third trimester by examining your abdomen and locating the head of your baby. He can also perform an ultrasound which shows exactly the position of your baby.

Usually babies who stay in breech position near term are unlikely to turn on their own. Mostly, your doctor would offer an external cephalic version (ECV).

What is an External Cephalic Version?

An ECV is an external procedure done manually by applying pressure on your abdomen and making the baby turn head down.

Before performing this procedure, your doctor should examine you and make sure that you are a candidate for ECV. This technique is done at the hospital. They will administer a medication to relax the uterus and you will be monitored as well as your baby throughout the procedure. Your doctor will explain the risks that might happen as placenta separation and decrease of baby’s heart beats. This technique has a high success rate if done between week 32 and 36.

How should I deliver if my baby is in breech position?

Doctors prefer to perform a c-section since it is the safest method if you are carrying a baby in breech position. Some practitioner would give the woman a chance in case:

-          The baby is in frank breech position.

-          The baby does not show any sign of distress.

-          No placenta praevia.

-          The cervix is enlarging and the labor is going smoothly.

-          The mother’s pelvis is wide enough to make the baby’s head pass through without any problem.

-          The baby weight is normal and not too big.

Breech position is not an abnormality. Your baby is healthy and your pregnancy is normal. Don’t worry. Your doctor will most likely recommend a c-section which will be planned ahead of time to minimize all risks.