Our Grapevine, Fort Worth ObGyns explain what happens when you carry a breech baby
You’re ready to give birth, and you feel like you’re prepared — until your ObGyn tells you that you have a breech baby. For a vaginal birth, the baby is ideally positioned head down, but 3 to 4% of pregnancies involve a breech baby. During the last weeks of pregnancy, if the baby is positioned buttocks, feet, or both first instead of head down, we call it a breech presentation.
Your breech baby may be in one of three breech positions
Every breech baby does not present in the same position. Our Grapevine and Fort Worth ObGyns may refer to your breech baby in one of three ways.
- When the baby presents bottom down first and has bent knees, this is a complete breech.
- If the baby stretches his or her legs out toward the head, we call it a frank breech.
- When the baby is positioned with one leg hanging down, we call it a footling or incomplete breech.
Our Grapevine and Fort Worth ObGyns may discover your breech presentation during a pelvic examination or when they are feeling your belly. If so, they will order an ultrasound to confirm their suspicions.
We may be able to turn the baby using external cephalic version
If you still have a breech position after week 36, we may try to turn the baby. This procedure should be done where a delivery room is easily accessible in the rare case that any problems occur.
During the procedure, your ObGyn will use her hands to apply firm pressure to the abdomen to get the baby to turn head down. During this process, we use an ultrasound to guide us, and we monitor the baby’s heart.
Not every mother with a breech baby will qualify to have external cephalic version. We do not attempt this with a mother carrying multiples.
What happens when it’s time for delivery?
If the baby has not turned head down, you will probably need a C-section. This is usually the safest way to deliver a breech baby for the sake of both mother and baby. Talk to our Grapevine and Fort Worth ObGyns if you have concerns about a C-section. We are highly experienced in performing the procedure.
For more information about pregnancy and birth, contact us for an appointment.Tweet