Answer: Your doctor will feel your abdomen whenever you have your pregnancy check-ups in second and third trimesters – this is called an ‘abdominal palpation’. When they feel your abdomen at 35-36 weeks, they will assess whether the baby has settled into a head-down position preparation for birth. If they suspect your baby
There are 3 main types of breech position. All of them involve the baby being in a bottom-down, head up, position. The variations of breech include:
frank breech – the baby’s legs are straight up in front of its body in a V shape, so its feet are up near its face.
complete breech – the baby is in a sitting position with its legs crossed in front of its body and its feet near its bottom.
footling breech – one or both of the baby’s feet are hanging below its bottom, so the foot or feet are coming first.
While your baby is still in the womb, it is just as safe for them to be in a breech position as it is for them to be head-down. There are no long-term effects upon children who were in a breech position during pregnancy. The birth process, however, is often more challenging when babies are still breech at the start of labour.
Often it is unclear why a baby remains in a breech position, however, some of the common reasons include:
too much or too little amniotic fluid around the baby
the length of the umbilica
If your baby is in a breech position at 36 weeks, your doctor or midwife might suggest you think about an ECV, or external cephalic version, after 37 weeks. This will increase your chances of your baby turning to a head-down position.
There is some evidence to suggest that moxibustion (a Chinese herbal treatment) and other acupuncture point stimulation methods, in combination with holding certain body positions, might be helpful for some women, but further research is needed.
Some people think that you might be able to encourage your baby to turn by holding yourself in certain positions, such as kneeling with your bottom in the air and your head and shoulders flat to the ground. There is no good evidence that this works.
Talk to your doctor before trying any techniques to be sure they do not harm you or your baby.
The safest way to have a baby, for both mother and child, is a head-first vaginal birth.
But if you don’t want to try ECV, or if you try it but it doesn’t work, then the options are a caesarean .