If you are contemplating on a natural and normal delivery, a breech baby is the last thing you need. A baby is said to be “breech” if it’s positioned in the womb to exit feet or butt first, rather than head first. And this can present serious complications during childbirth.
But the good news is you have very few reasons to worry about having a breech baby because there’s only a 3 percent chance of a breech delivery. As they say, most babies “prefer” coming out head first, though babies cannot intently plan for this, of course. However, partially they have something to do with it. This brings us to the question, why do some babies end up being breech?
Why Some Babies Become Breech
Well, in a way, a baby sometimes “decides” whether it is breech some weeks, days or moments just before delivery. Babies in wombs freely move or “swim” every now and then while they’re still small. But when the ninth month nears and a baby has grown a bit too big for the womb to contain it, its movements considerably decrease because of the lack of room or space to move about. Often, the position it feels more fitted or comfortable in the womb is its last position just prior to delivery.
And most times, the last position is head first against the cervix. But sometimes, too, the baby ends up with feet, butt or knees first, and this is what pregnant mothers and their OB-gyne doctors don’t want–a breech baby. This sometimes leads to Cesarean delivery, if worse comes to worst. [INPOSTLB]
Other causes of breech babies are the following:
- Multiple pregnancy or giving birth to several babies at the same time
- Subsequent pregnancies after the first one
- Premature deliveries in the past
- Cesarean deliveries in the past
- Either too much or too little amniotic fluid in the uterus
So, is there a way to tell beforehand that a baby is breech?
How to Tell if It’s Breech
Fortunately, there are ways to diagnose a coming delivery.
- Breech babies can be detected through ultrasound. This is the most accurate.
- If mom doesn’t like the idea of using ultrasound, she may opt for palpating. A midwife or doctor may apply palpating techniques when the pregnancy is about 30 to 34 weeks to ascertain the baby’s position in the womb. It’s a process of gently pressing certain areas of the stomach with the hand to feel where the baby’s head, back and butt are. Some practitioners may use a photoshop for this or a Doppler to listen to the baby’s heartbeat.
- In some cases, pregnant moms get a hunch about how their babies are positioned in their wombs. They may feel the head pressing against their pelvis or rib cage. Or, they may feel the kicks on their cervix, and that means the baby may be coming out feet first.
- Baby mapping is another option, though not preferred by most OB-gyne doctors or even midwives. It’s the simple way moms themselves estimate their babies’ positions by often feeling and monitoring their movements in the womb, especially during the third trimester of pregnancy.
If you’re expecting, the best thing that you can do to avoid a breech delivery or to find ways to prepare for one is to consult your OB-Gyne regularly.