What You Need to Know About a Breech Baby
While babies are usually supposed to present in the head-down (vertex) position nearing birth, in some cases, that might not happen. Sometimes, the baby does not position itself in a manner that would bring the head down first. In such cases, the part of the baby that presents in the birth canal first is not the head, and this is known as breech.
What Is A Breech-Presenting Baby?
If the presenting part of the baby is the feet, buttocks, or both – the baby is said to be breech. This happens in about 3-4% of total full-term pregnancies.
Understanding Breech Presentation
There are different types of breech presentations; complete, frank, and footling breech.
- Complete Breech: In this kind of presentation, the buttocks are pointing downward with the legs folded at the knees and the feet are towards the buttocks.
- Frank Breech: Here, the baby’s buttocks are pointed towards the vaginal canal and their legs are sticking up straight, towards the head.
- Footling Breech: In this kind of breech presentation, the presenting part is one of both feet.
This type of presentation usually poses no risk to the baby, they’re usually born healthy. However, it can increase the chances of medical intervention or a C-section if your baby does not orient itself to the headfirst or vertex position by the time you need to deliver.
Risk Factors For Breech Presentation
While there are no specific causes for a baby to be breech, certain factors can increase the chances. These factors include:
- This isn’t your first baby and you have been pregnant before
- Oligohydramnios or polyhydramnios (scanty or excess amniotic fluid)
- You have structural abnormalities in your uterus such as fibroids
- You have a history of delivering prematurely
- You have had a breech baby in the past
Breech Birth Options
Vaginal Breech Birth
An experienced midwife can still deliver a breech baby via vaginal birth. There are certain techniques and a hands-off approach that can help successfully deliver the baby even if it is breech.
However, it is important the pregnancy is full-term and the baby is showing no signs of distress during monitoring.
If the baby or the mother is at risk or showing signs of distress, it is better to opt for a C-section to prevent further complications during birth. A C-section is a surgical procedure which is not offered at a birth center.
If you need a c-section, you’ll be transferred to a hospital setting.
Can Birth Center Stone Oak deliver breech babies?
Our midwives are trained to deliver breech babies via vaginal birth. If the baby is healthy and has no absolute indication for surgical birth we can attempt a vaginal birth. We usually leave the choice to mothers. It is up to them if they want to attempt a vaginal birth or have a C-section.