If your baby is in a breech position, here’s all you need to know

If your baby is in a breech position, here’s all you need to know

During pregnancy, as your baby grows, have you ever felt the kicks or wiggles due to the twists and turns of the baby? Throughout the pregnancy, babies tend to move in the uterus, resulting in the mother feeling the kicks on their stomach, the baby’s head down in the pelvis one day, and on the upside near the rib cage the other day.

In most cases, when you are expecting and visit your doctor, you might have noticed your physician checking your baby’s position from time to time, especially during the last month. The check-up is done to know exactly about the baby’s position in the womb and Complications of Pregnancy if any, as it is directly linked with your labor and delivery. In the process of twists and turns, most of the babies move into the delivery position, i.e., head first, a week before the delivery time, but in a few cases, this does not happen. Under this condition, the feet or the butt of the baby are positioned to get delivered first, and in medical terms, this position is termed as breech position or presentation.

What is a breech baby?

A breech baby, or breech birth, is when your baby’s feet or buttocks are positioned to your vagina  and come out first. The bottom of your baby is closest to your vagina, and its head is closest to your chest. The majority of newborns will migrate naturally to position their head to emerge from the vagina first when they are born. Early in pregnancy, breech newborns are frequent; by 36 weeks, most babies will turn to face up. The safest birth position is when the baby is head first, or in a posture known as vertex presentation.

How common is a breech baby?

There is a small chance that your baby will not move into a head-first position before 37 weeks. Breech babies make up approximately 3% to 4% of all full-term pregnancies.

Positions of the Breech Baby 

Depending on how the baby is in the uterus, there are mainly three positions of baby breech: complete, frank, and footling. Each position explains a different presentation of the baby in the uterus.

1. Complete breech baby

The complete breech presentation of the baby is when the butt points down, the legs are folded with the feet tucked in.

2. Frank breech baby

The frank breech presentation of the baby is when the butt points down and the legs are straight up with their feet near the face or head.

3. Footling breech baby

The footling breech presentation of the baby is when one or both of the feet point downwards with the butt being positioned towards the birth canal.

3. Transverse lie

This is a type of breech presentation in which your baby is placed horizontally across your uterus rather than vertically. As a result, their shoulders would enter the vagina first.

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What causes a breech pregnancy? 

The movement, twists, and turns of the baby in a pregnancy are considered normal as they are required to get the baby in place before delivery, but the breech position is something problematic. In a breech pregnancy, the baby does not move into the delivery position; instead it stays in a bottom-down position.

As per the reports and doctors, the exact causes of a breech pregnancy are not known, but there are several different reasons which may or may not be responsible for a baby’s position in the wrong way. The situations that follow are:

1. There are two or more babies.

2. If the baby is premature.

3. If there is an abnormal level of amniotic fluid.

4. If the mother has placenta previa.

5. If the woman has had several pregnancies.

Symptoms and Causes

How can you tell if your baby is breech?

If you've had previous pregnancies when your baby was head-first, you might be able to detect if your baby is breech. Your baby may be breech if you feel lumps and kicks in certain areas. Inform your healthcare practitioner of any movement you notice. To confirm that your baby is breech, they will feel your belly or perform an ultrasound.

What causes a baby to be breech?

It’s not always known why a baby is breech. Some factors that may contribute to this position are:

  • If You have multiples (twins or more). In this situation  it is harder for each baby to get into the right position.

  • Amniotic fluid is either too much or too little.

  • If your uterus is out of shape or has abnormal growths like fibroids. The uterus is usually shaped like an upside-down pear. If it is formed differently, a full-grown infant may not be able to migrate into position.

  • The placenta covers all or part of the cervix

  • The baby is premature. This suggests they are less than 37 weeks gestation and may not have turned to a head-first position.

  • Your Kid has a birth defect that causes them to not turn their head-down.

Diagnosis and Tests

How is a breech baby diagnosed?

Your gynaecologist will tell you in which position your baby is , by putting their hands at certain places on your abdomen.and check where the baby’s head, back and buttocks are,  and an ultrasound may be used to confirm the baby’s position.

When is a breech baby diagnosed?

Most of the time  all babies are breech at some point. your Kid will naturally move to a head-down position — probably between 32 and 36 weeks. Your Gynecologist will feel your belly and tell you where your baby is positioned. This will happen during the third trimester. After 37 weeks,a baby usually does not turn on its own. Your Gynecologist will discuss delivery options with you.

Management and Treatment

What are the options for treating a breech baby?

If your baby is in breech at 36 or 37  weeks of pregnancy, your gynaecologist may:

  • Try to turn your baby in your uterus into the head-first position.

  • Plan/Prepare for C-section birth.

  • Plan/Prepare for a vaginal breech birth.

Is it possible to turn a breech baby?

At the very first sign of this scenario of a breech baby, it is important for you to consult your doctor and accordingly plan on what to do further. To turn a baby, there are several ways with varying success rates depending on the reason for your baby's breech. As long as you are in consultation with your doctor and try a safe method, there is no harm. For people residing in the area of the UAE, you can visit the New Concept Clinic for Best Pregnancy Check Up in the UAE.

The possible ways mentioned below are the options of how you can turn the position of a breech baby into a normal one.

1. Medical methods

Under the medical techniques of turning a breech baby, there are two options to go with. The first is an external cephalic version, and the second is chiropractic care.

Through the EVC method, the doctor applies pressure or ultrasound to your stomach to turn your baby in the right position. It is performed around the 37th week of the pregnancy.

Through the chiropractic care method, the breech baby is turned naturally by decreasing the stress on a pregnant woman’s pelvic, uterus, and surrounding ligaments.

2. Natural methods

Under the natural methods of turning a breech baby, there are several options like inversion, usage of essential oils, music, acupuncture, etc. Under the inversion method, the breech baby is encouraged to tilt by standing in different positions, propping their hips, or using the stairs to make it move.

Using essential oils and music is another way of turning a baby. It includes using suitable essential oils on the stomach and using a headphone or a speaker at the bottom of the uterus to encourage them to turn.

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