Breech presentation occurs in approximately 3 to 4% of unborn babies at the end of pregnancy (36 weeks). A breech presentation means that your baby is lying down with his or her buttocks instead of the head. Originally it is the intention that your baby is in a head position, this brings the least complications. If your baby is upstairs, the obstetrician or gynecologist can help you in some cases baby turning at breech presentation. Read more about this in this blog.
Cause breech baby
In 85% of cases there is no clear cause for the breech presentation. By the end of your pregnancy, your baby will adopt an attitude in which he or she is most comfortable. Usually this is in the main position because the head of your child fits nicely between your pelvis. But some babies find their bottom down nicer.
In some cases there are clearly causes of a breech presentation:
- Your uterus or pelvis have a different shape;
- You are pregnant with a multiple birth;
- The placenta blocks the exit of the uterus.
How can you tell if your baby is lying in the boot?
Some women may feel that their baby is not well. For example, they feel some trampling in the pelvis. You can also feel a pressure against your ribs and stomach. By means of a location echo you can find out how your baby is lying. It also looks at how much amniotic fluid is still present, where your placenta is and if certain disorders are present. On the basis of this information it will be checked whether they can still turn your baby.
Types of breech presentation
With a breech presentation your baby lies down with the buttocks. But there are several types of breech presentation:
Incomplete breech presentation:
The baby's legs are lying high beside the body.
Perfect breech presentation:
Your baby is sitting cross-legged with bent legs and the feet at the buttocks.
Your baby is straight down with one or two feet. The feet are lower than the buttocks.
Breech baby after 36 weeks
If your baby is in a breech presentation earlier in your pregnancy than 36 weeks, nothing is wrong. Approximately 25% of all babies are in a breech presentation around 30 weeks of gestation. In the following weeks your baby will turn and still lie in the main position. And he does that himself.
But the closer you get to your due date, the smaller that chance is. That is because you have less and less amniotic fluid in your uterus. As a result, your breech baby has less room to run properly.
Turning baby at breech presentation
If your gynecologist or obstetrician deems it possible, they will turn the baby at breech presentation, or at least try and only if you want to. Because you can also opt for a Caesarean section and then the baby does not have to be turned at all. But there are also disadvantages to Caesarean sections. Anyway you will have to make a choice, no matter how difficult it is.
Turning your baby on breech is called the external version. It also happens externally (not in your body). The midwife or gynecologist will then run the breech presentation by helping your child to make a head roll. Sometimes this works fairly quickly, but it can also take just 10 minutes.
Is a breech turning painful?
Turning a breech presentation is not pleasant for you as a pregnant woman. Some women experience it as sensitive and others find it more painful. What you feel while running depends on the amount of amniotic fluid, the amount of pregnancy and how far your child has already descended. But perhaps most importantly how good can you relax yourself. In 50% of the cases, the baby is successful in breech presentation.
The advantage of a successful rotation is that no Caesarean section is needed and you can recover faster after delivery. Because with a caesarean, a woman has a scar in her womb. This also has consequences for the future. From now on, a birth will always have to take place at a gynecologist (so no midwife) and multiple birthing (ie a large family) is not recommended due to the scar after caesarean section.
Rotate video of a breech presentation
Is your baby in a bounce and do you want to know how the turning baby works? Watch this video.
Breech delivery or Caesarean section
If the breech presentation does not work, then a choice is made between breech delivery or cesarean section. In both cases you will have to give birth in the hospital. Your midwife will advise you whether a breech birth is possible for you or whether you should opt for a Caesarean section.