During the last few months of pregnancy, the position of the baby in the uterus becomes important as impending birth is close and the right position is essential for a smooth vaginal birth. During the earlier months of pregnancy, a baby will often change position and often stay in the breech position before turning head down in preparation for birth. However, one of the most common positions for a baby to be in, even during the last months, is the breech position, where, the baby is buttocks down.
When a baby is in the breech presentation during the end of the third trimester (36 weeks), some doctors will try a version in which they attempt to turn the baby physical by pushing on the mother’s belly to encourage it to turn. This procedure is often done in the hospital but is also often done at the OB’s office. The risks of the version include ruptured membranes and fetal distress, both which could ultimately lead to an emergency Caesarean Section.
Another procedure, developed in China, is called Moxibustion. Herbs are burnt around the acupuncture points on the mother’s feet in order to stimulate the fetus to move into the correct position for birth.
The desired way to give birth is vaginally, but with a baby in breech presentation, this isn’t always possible. Vaginal breech births aren’t too commonplace today, but, upon meeting certain requirements, might be possible. Doctors who do attempt to delivery breech births vaginally will often do a CT to determine whether or not the pelvis is the right size. If the baby isn’t too large for the pelvis, doctors, with previous breech birth experience, might attempt a vaginal birth.
For most though, a Caesarean Section is required for those mother’s who have baby’s in the breech presentation. A Caesarean Section, while not necessarily preferred by most mothers, is quite possibly the safest way to birth a baby in breech presentation. There is a decreased risk of injury to the baby, as well as a decreased risk to the mother.
If you are faced with a breech presentation, there are several positions to try to encourage the fetus to move to the desired position. Try sleeping in a position where your buttocks are elevated by propping pillows underneath you. Some women also lie on an ironing board, with one end propped up on a couch for twenty minutes for several days. Of course, if trying that position, you will need someone to spot you in case you lose your balance.
Today, there are several options available for breech presentation. Talking over the options with the care giver is essential for any new mother facing this situation. The physician can offer options, and together, they can sit down and form a solid plan that is safe for both mother and baby!