Expectant mothers in Washington State understandably look forward to the birth of their newborn babies with both excitement and sometimes a bit of trepidation. Concerns about the process of labor and delivery may be especially present if it is a woman’s first pregnancy or if there have been any complications. One situation that may come up is that the baby does not turn its position to the head-first exit position in time for delivery. Here a baby is said to be breech.
As explained by Baby Center, most babies in a breech position are ultimately delivered by Caesarean section but that does not mean there are no options for mothers who want to try to have a vaginal birth. One of the means of attempting to turn a baby before labor is called the external cephalic version. Medications may be given to the mother to help the muscles in the region relax. As the name implies, the work is done externally to the woman where a provider attempts to manipulate the baby’s position by applying pressure to the mother’s abdomen.
This means of turning a breech baby does come with some associated risks including a drop in fetal heart rate or the potential to separate the placenta from the uterus. In both situations, prompt delivery becomes important.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, there are multiple types of breech positioning including the most common called complete where a baby has its knees into its chest and its knees bent so the feet are near its bottom. In a footling breech, one of the knees is bent but the other is not so that foot is near the baby’s head. In a frank breech, both feet are near the head.