Breech Baby

A breech pregnancy occurs when the baby (or babies!) is positioned head-up in the woman’s uterus, so the feet are pointed toward the birth canal. About 3-4 pregnancies result in the baby being breech. In a “normal” pregnancy, the baby will automatically turn inside the womb into a head-down position to get ready for birth, so a breech pregnancy presents a few different challenges for both mother and baby.

There are three different types of breech pregnancies: frank, complete, and footling breech, depending on how the baby is positioned in the uterus. With all types of breech pregnancies, the baby is positioned with its bottom toward the birth canal instead of the head.

Reasons for breech baby

  • if a woman has had several pregnancies
  • in pregnancies with multiples
  • if a woman has had a premature birth in the past
  • if the uterus has too much or too little amniotic fluid, meaning the baby has extra room to move around in or not enough fluid to move around in
  • if the woman has an abnormally shaped uterus or has other complications, such as fibroids in the uterus
  • if a woman has placenta previa

 baby is not considered breech until around 35 or 36 weeks. In normal pregnancies, a baby usually turns head-down to get into position in preparation for birth. It’s normal for babies to be head-down or even sideways before 35 weeks. After that, though, as the baby gets bigger and runs out of room, it becomes harder for the baby to turn and get into the correct position. Your doctor will be able to tell if your baby is breech by feeling your baby’s position through your stomach. They will also most likely confirm that the baby is breech using an ultrasound in the office and in the hospital before you deliver.

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