Breech Baby: Causes, Complications, Turning & Delivery

Management and Treatment

What are the options for treating a breech baby?

If your baby is breech at 37 weeks of pregnancy, your healthcare provider may:

  • Try turning your baby in your uterus into the head-first position.
  • Plan a C-section birth.
  • Plan a vaginal breech birth.

What are some complications of having a breech baby?

The complications of having a breech baby usually do not occur until it’s time to deliver. Some breech babies can be safely delivered through the vagina.

The risks of attempting a vaginal breech birth are:

  • Injuries to your baby’s legs or arms such as dislocated or broken bones.
  • Umbilical cord problems. The umbilical cord can be flattened or twisted during delivery. This can cause nerve or brain damage due to a lack of oxygen.

Will my doctor try to flip my baby if it’s breech?

If your baby is breech, your healthcare provider may consider turning your baby so that you can have a vaginal delivery. In some cases, trying to turn your baby may not be safe or the risks outweigh the benefits.

Flipping your baby may not be safe if you have any of the following:

  • Bleeding from your vagina.
  • Placenta previa. This is when your placenta covers all or part of your cervix.
  • A nonreactive nonstress test.
  • An abnormally small baby.
  • Low level of amniotic fluid.
  • Low or high fetal heart rate.
  • Premature rupture of the membranes.
  • Twins or multiples.

The most common method used to turn a breech baby is called external cephalic version (ECV). It’s performed by your healthcare provider around 37 weeks of pregnancy. This procedure is performed in the hospital just in case an emergency occurs. It involves placing hands on your abdomen and applying firm pressure to turn your baby to a head-down position while your baby is still in your uterus. It is about 65% effective and carries some risks.

What are the risks of turning my breech baby?

The risks of ECV include the following:

  • Premature labor.
  • Premature rupture of the amniotic sac.
  • Blood loss for either you or your baby.
  • Emergency C-section.
  • Your baby might turn back to the breech position.

Although the risk of having these complications is small, some healthcare providers prefer not to try to flip a breech baby.

Will my breech baby flip on their own?

Most babies will flip to a head-down position before they reach full term (37 weeks). If your baby is still in a breech position at this time, your healthcare provider will determine if you can deliver vaginally or if you will need a C-section.

How can I flip my baby if it’s breech?

Some women will try at-home methods to flip their baby to a head-first position. They may help, but there is no scientific evidence that they work.

  • Bridge position: Lie on the floor with your legs bent and your feet flat on the ground. Raise your hips and pelvis into a bridge position. Hold this position for 10 or 15 minutes several times a day.
  • Child’s pose: Rest in the child’s pose for 10 to 15 minutes. It can help relax your pelvic muscles and uterus. You can also rock back and forth on your hands and knees or make circles with your pelvis to promote activity.
  • Music: Place headphones or a speaker at the bottom of your uterus to encourage your baby to turn.
  • Temperature: Try placing something cold at the top of your stomach where your baby’s head is. Then, place something warm at the bottom of your stomach.

A chiropractic technique, called the Webster technique, can also help your uterus relax. Some providers even recommend acupuncture. Both of these techniques need to be done by a professional that your healthcare provider has recommended.

Content Creator Zaid Butt joined Silsala-e-Azeemia in 2004 as student of spirituality. Mr. Zahid Butt is an IT professional, his expertise include “Web/Graphic Designer, GUI, Visualizer and Web Developer” PH: +92-3217244554

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