Breech Baby: Know The Causes And Treatment

Some pregnancies can result in the baby being breech. Check out the causes and treatment for this position.

Navya Kharbanda
Written by: Navya KharbandaUpdated at: Sep 09, 2021 14:31 IST
Breech Baby: Know The Causes And Treatment

Have you ever heard about a breech baby or breech pregnancy? It is the term used when the baby's positioning is opposite to what it is supposed to be during pregnancy. In such cases, the baby is positioned head-up in the woman’s uterus, so the feet are downwards on the side of the birth canal. Around 3-4 percent of all pregnnacies can result in the baby being breech. Whilst, in a normal pregnancy, the baby on its own turns inside the womb with its head down to get ready for the delivery. Hence, a breech pregnancy can be quite challenging for both mother and the baby.

There are three different kinds of breech babies, namely, frank, complete, and footling breech. They differ on the basis of how the baby is positioned in the uterus. In all the breech pregnancies, the baby is positioned with its feet downwards towards the birth canal instead of the head. There are various reasons as to why the baby might position this way. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Yashica Gudesar, HOD And Consultant - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, HCMCT Manipal Hospitals, Dwarka New Delhi, about the causes and treatment for breech baby.

Breech baby causes

breech baby

Image source: Pregnancy.lovetoknow

A baby is not considered in a breech position until it is the 35th or 36th week of pregnancy. And, it is completely normal for babies to be positioned head-down before 35 weeks. However, post that, as the baby gets bigger in size and requires more space, it becomes tougher for the baby to turn and get into the ideal position. So, here are some possible causes of a breech baby:

1. Amniotic fluid

There are chances of breech baby if the amount of amniotic in the uterus is either too less or too much. Extra fluid in uterus provides a lot of room to the baby for moving freely. On the other hand, if amniotic is too less the movement of the baby is restricted and increases the possibility of breech baby.

Also read: 35th Week Of Pregnancy: Why Is It Important? Know Every Aspect Related To It

2. Fibroids

Presence of fibroids in the uterus also compromises the space for the growth of your child. It can also increase the chances of other complications. It can have adverse the effects on both mother and the child. It can result in heavy bleeding during delivery.

3. Multiple pregnancies

Conceiving more than one baby at a time can lead to various complications during pregnancy. It can also make the place conjusted and restricted for his movement. Sometimes, movement of one baby can also influence the place of the other baby.

4. Premature birth

premature birth

Image source: Economictimes

Premature babies are at a higher risk of being born breech. In the initial stages of  pregnancy, the shape of the uterus and the shape of the baby's head and body are more inclined towards breeching position. So, premature birth is also one of the causes of a breech pregnancy. 

5. Placental previa

Low lying placenta can cause various complications. Most of the babies with low lying placenta tend to be breached. In cases where the placenta is formed correctly, the opposite position is most spacious and comfortable.

Also read: How To Get Rid Of Swollen Abdominal Muscles After C-Section?

Breech baby treatment

There are higher chances that you will have to talk to your doctor about having a cesarean procedure in advance, but there are some other ways that you can try to turn your baby and change his positioning. Successfully treating a breech pregnancy depends on the cause of your baby being breech, so you can try certain safe methods. Besides C section, here are 2 methods that you can try for breech baby:

1. External version

An external version or EV is a medical procedure that involves manually trying to turn your baby into the right position by handling the baby with their hands by feeling through your stomach. This method has proved to be succesful in many cases.

spinning exercises

2. Spinning exercises

Before resorting to a C section, there are some experts that suggest inversion or spinning exercises. Forward-leaning inversion atleast 5-7 times in a day for 30 seconds each and around 15-120 minutes apart might help in changing the positioning of the baby.

In breech pregnancies, there is a risk that the baby can get stuck in the birth canal and the oxygen supply through the umbilical cord might get blocked. The doctor will check by feeling your stomach if the baby is breech or not. For more confirmation about the breeching position of the baby, the expert will do an ultrasound before delivery.

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