As an expectant mother, the moment you discover that your baby is in a breech position can evoke a mix of emotions. It’s okay to be concerned, have questions, and feel a bit uncertain. Rest assured, you are not alone. Even with a breech position, a safe delivery is possible, even if it may go differently than planned. In this blog, you will gain a better understanding of what a breech position is, the potential causes, risks, and how to deal with it. This will help you approach childbirth with more understanding and confidence.
What is a breech position exactly?
In a breech position, the baby is positioned upside down in the uterus. Normally, the head is down, also known as the head-down position. When a baby is in a breech position, the buttocks or feet are directed downward. The chance of a baby in a breech position turning back to a head-down position is highest before the 32nd to 34th week of pregnancy when there is more room in the uterus. As the pregnancy progresses, the likelihood decreases because space becomes more limited.
Causes of a breech position
A breech position during pregnancy can have various causes, and although the exact reason is often unclear, some factors can contribute to its occurrence. Here are some possible causes of a breech position:
- Preferred Position
Sometimes, the baby chooses its own position in the uterus, which in certain cases results in a breech position. This is often related to the space in the uterus.
- Premature Birth
During premature birth, the baby may not have had enough time to move into the correct position.
- Multiple Pregnancy
In a multiple pregnancy, such as twins or triplets, the likelihood of a breech position is higher because there is less space for the babies to move and turn.
- Amount of Amniotic Fluid
The amount of amniotic fluid in the uterus affects the baby’s position. Too much amniotic fluid can keep the baby in a breech position, while too little amniotic fluid limits movement and prevents the baby from turning.
- Maternal (Uterine) Abnormalities
Abnormalities such as an abnormal uterine shape or scars from previous surgeries can affect the baby’s movement and lead to a breech position.
- Breech Position in Previous Pregnancies
If you have had a breech position in a previous pregnancy, the likelihood of it recurring in a subsequent pregnancy is higher, but it’s not guaranteed.
Risks of a breech position
A baby in a breech position is not ideal but not a disaster either. In some cases, the baby may still turn spontaneously into a head-down position before delivery. If this doesn’t happen, a cesarean section is usually the preferred option with some mothers choosing to birth in the breech position as long as it is footling breech and not transverse.
A vaginal birth with a breech position carries increased risks, which can be dangerous for both the baby and the mother. Some of the key risks associated with a breech position include:
- Prolonged Labor
Deliveries with a baby in a breech position can take longer than normal deliveries, which can be very stressful and exhausting.
- Difficult Birth
A baby in a breech position may have a harder time passing through the birth canal, leading to complications like shoulder dystocia, where the baby’s head gets stuck in the birth canal.
- Umbilical Cord Prolapse
There is a higher risk of the umbilical cord coming out of the uterus before the baby’s head during a breech position, known as umbilical cord prolapse. This can cut off the baby’s supply of nutrients and oxygen, requiring prompt intervention.
- Meconium Passage
In breech positions, there is a higher risk of the baby passing meconium (stool) into the amniotic fluid. This can lead to breathing problems for the baby after birth.
A breech position is typically detected during prenatal checks, such as ultrasounds. Since each body is different, the individual circumstances of the pregnancy and the health of both the mother and the baby are considered. Not every breech position results in complications. If the baby doesn’t turn, a planned cesarean section is usually chosen to ensure a safe delivery. Safety for both mother and baby is the top priority!
This is a highly effective chiropractic method developed by Dr. Larry Webster, which we use to help correct a breech position. A common misconception is that this technique is used to turn a baby in a breech position. That’s not the case. With the Webster Technique, we rebalance the pelvic and back muscles of pregnant women. The pelvis becomes more flexible and spacious, allowing the baby to naturally return to a head-down position.
Smooth Pregnancy with Chiropractic Care
Avant Garde Chiropractic in Haarlem specialises in pregnancy and babies. We use safe, gentle techniques tailored to a pregnant woman’s body. Have you discovered that your baby is in a breech position? Would you like to prepare your body for the smoothest possible delivery? Schedule an appointment with us now.
You are also welcome after childbirth! Chiropractic care aids in the body’s recovery, including the pelvic area and hormonal balance. We can make a significant difference for your newborn, too. Give your baby a great start in life and experience positive changes in sleep, digestion, and development.