In relation to pregnancy “breech” means that the fetus is in a head-down position during the 3rd trimester. The breech position usually occurs late in pregnancy and the buttocks or the legs of the fetus are expected to emerge first during childbirth.
What Does It Mean If The Baby Is Breech?
The breech position usually occurs around 8 months. At this time, the baby is already big and there isn’t so much room left in the uterus. Naturally, most babies will try to maximize the available space by settling in a head-down position. This is commonly known as the cephalic presentation. However, some babies may have their heads up and feet down i.e. the baby is breech. There are 3 main types:
- Complete breech: the baby is positioned with their legs crossed in a sitting position and the feet are very close to its bottom.
- Frank breech: the baby’s legs are placed in front of their body in a V-shape. The feet are usually close to the face.
- Footling breech: either one or both feet are below its bottom and they are expected to come out first.
The reason there are so many babies who are breech is because of lifestyle. Currently, most people lead stressful lives which are sedentary.
Causes of Breech Pregnancies
Most doctors can’t clearly state why this type of pregnancy usually occurs. However, the American Pregnancy Association states that a breech baby may occur because of:
- A pregnancy that involves twins or other multiples
- If a woman has previously had several pregnancies
- A uterus with an abnormal shape or complications like fibroids
- Too little or too much amniotic fluid in the uterus.
- If the expectant woman has previously had a premature birth
- If the mother had undergone C-Section in the past
How Does Breech Affect the Baby?
Generally, this position has no negative effect on the baby’s health. The only complication that may arise is during the birth process and this may require an alternative delivery method.
What Expectant Mothers Can Do
Some moms my turn to natural alternatives which can help to turn the baby. They include certain types of stimulant, exercises, positions, or alternative medicine. They include:
- Inversion: you’re required to make some gravity-defying moves. Inversion helps to relax the uterus and the pelvic muscles. An expectant mom with a breech baby should stay in this position for around 15 minutes.
- Acupuncture: It involves the use of Chinese medications. The needles which are placed at various pressure points help to relax the uterus and may stimulate the baby’s movement.
- Temperature Changes: the baby can respond to your body’s temperature changes. Place a cold thing where the baby’s head is and something warm near the bottom of your stomach to spark movement.
- Music: there are some sounds that may easily appeal to the baby. Although the effectiveness of this technique is still not yet known, you can place a speaker or headphones at the bottom of the uterus and the baby may turn towards the source of music.
Note: to avoid having a baby in breech position, expectant mom should engage in activities such as walking, stretching, and exercising.
A Procedure You Can Do to Turn Breech Pregnancy
It’s possible to turn a breech baby to the correct position. But the success rate heavily depends on the cause. Doctors can perform procedures such as:
External Cephalic Version (ECV)
It’s one of the most common ways which doctors use to turn babies from this position. ECV requires the doctor to apply pressure on the mom’s stomach and then externally turn the baby. It may also require the use of ultrasound. However, ECV cannot be done if you have:
- Multiple pregnancies
- Vaginal bleeding
- Low amount of amniotic fluid
- A placenta which covers or is near the uterus’ opening
Alternative Delivery Options
The best position for vaginal birth is the head-down position. It makes it safer and easier for the baby to go through the birth canal. So, what happens when the baby remains breech even after an attempt to turn its position? Well, at this point, the doctor will be forced to do a C-section.