What to do if your baby is breach?

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By the time a woman is in her eighth month of pregnancy, her body and her unborn baby are getting ready for the imminent birth. One of the ways that babies get ready for birth is by engaging themselves further into the pelvic cavity. This is more commonly known is as “dropping”. When the baby engages themselves further into the pelvis, this allows the mother to breathe easier. As the estimated due date nears, the baby will also usually turn head side down. This allows for greater ease of passage through the birth canal.

However not all babies turn head down. Some babies turn butt down, or they remain head up with one or two feet engaged in the birth canal. This type of posture/presentation in the womb is known as breech. Women who are near their due date and carrying their baby in the breech position may exhibit pain and intense pelvic pressure. The diagnoses of a breech presentation usually comes about when the midwife or the OB-GYN is performing a prenatal exam. The breech position will usually be discovered via the care provider palpitating the pregnant woman’s uterus and they are able to tell the baby’s position. It can also be discovered by the use of ultrasound. When this is discovered, the physician or midwife may attempt to manually turn the baby within the womb. Engaging in different body positions to help the baby turn on its own is sometimes prescribed to the mother. Sometimes mothers are told to be patient and that the baby may turn on its own once the water breaks. If the baby doesn’t turn, many physicians prefer to deliver the baby via cesarean section. Some midwives know how to allow the birth to progress naturally even with a breech presentation. The approaches taken can depend on many factors, including if the mother is carrying more than one baby.

While a breech positioned baby can cause concern for the mother, there are many ways that this type of presentation can be corrected with proper care.

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  • Alex Pieles
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