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What is Breech Delivery?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Dec 19, 2011
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)

What is breech delivery

Breech delivery is one in which the foetus presents its buttocks or feet first rather than the head, which is normal. Such a positioning of the foetus during delivery creates mechanical problem. It is that the feet or buttocks of the baby do not give enough thrust to the cervix to block and subsequently dilate it. It poses serious risk of umbilical cord prolapsed and that of head getting trapped during delivery.


The following presentation of the foetus leads to breech delivery:

  • Frank: In this position, the hips of the foetus are fixed while knees are extended.
  • Complete: Both the hips and knees of the foetus are flexed.
  • Incomplete: The feet or knees of the foetus are in a position that makes them the lowermost presenting part during delivery. It can be a case of both the said body parts being lowermost which is called double footling or, only one of them in such a position, called single footling.

At around 8 months of pregnancy, the babies begin to set their head in the uterus because there is not much space in there. 97 percent of set themselves in the normal head first position to be born. Your practitioner should tell you about the position of your baby by the start of the third trimester. It can be done simply by feeling for the baby’s head, back and bottom.


For women who are approaching their term, and an abdominal exam does not make it clear whether the baby is normally positioned or breech, the health care provider may offer to do so manually. But that would depend on whether it is appropriate for you or your baby. This process is known as external cephalic version (ECV). It is a way of applying pressure on your abdomen to reverse a baby in breech position to the normal head-down position.


The success rate of ECV is 58 percent in turning breech babies, and 90 percent for babies in transverse lie position, one in which the shoulder or arms are presented first. This process is more successful in women who are not having their first baby. This method is not suitable if you are carrying twins or having a complicated pregnancy with bleeding or too much of amniotic discharge. If you have decided or it is likely that you will have a C-section, there is no point in considering an ECV.

 

Read more articles on Childbirth (Delivery)

 

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