As the pregnancy approaches its full term, most babies will move into the typical delivery position with their head down. When this does not happen, the baby will have to be delivered feet first or bottom first. This is a breech baby.
A few weeks prior to the due date, your doctor will be physically examining your abdomen by feeling the baby’s legs, head and other body parts. If they suspect a breech baby, they will confirm it using an ultrasound.
Reasons for breech
Breech babies are not very common. According to studies, approximately 3-4% of all babies might be breech1. The causes of breech presentations are not fully known. However, a breech birth is more common if:
- In subsequent pregnancies
- There is history of premature delivery
- There are twins (or more)
- The foetus is very small
- The uterus has too much or too little amniotic fluid.
- The uterus with fibroids
- Placenta previa exists
Turning the baby around
Many times the doctor can move the baby around by gently pressing the woman’s abdomen using special techniques.
The best time to try to turn a breech baby is between 32-37 weeks of pregnancy. As you get near your due date, the baby will have less room to move around and more difficult for then doctor to change his position.
Some women have found alternative treatments like homoeopathy to be successful in breech situations. Talk to your doctor, and do your research before you decide. Try to talk to couples who have undergone and benefited from these treatments. Ask around in the Parentree Groups. It is important to check these treatments and the practitioners thoroughly so you do not fall victim to false claims.
What is my baby cannot be turned around?
Most doctors recommend a c-section for breech babies, especially if they are premature.
1. "How to manage term breech deliveries", Andrew Shennan, Susan Bewley, BMJ 2001;323:244-245