Breech Childbirth

What is breech childbirth?

Normally, most babies will be on a head down position in the womb during childbirth period. This position allows for the baby to come out of the birth canal/vagina with their head first. However, in quite a number of cases, the baby may be positioned in such a way that the feet, or the buttocks come out first during the childbirth process. This is called breech childbirth, or breech presentation.


Why Do Some Babies Breech?

There is no actual reason why babies breech. However, it is speculated that this may be the position that the baby in question feels most comfortable. Some other factors may also come in to play to influence this positioning of the baby during childbirth. These include:

  • Early labor that comes earlier than 37 weeks
  • Too little, or too much little amniotic fluid in the womb around the baby
  • More than one baby (foetus) in the womb
  • The size of the uterus
  • The length of the umbilical cord
  • Certain abnormalities (physical) in the baby
  • An irregularly shaped uterus (or uterine fibroids)

Note that a breech birth does not normally affect your baby’s long term health. Also note that you can have this baby through normal/traditional vaginal childbirth process without any complications, or through caesarian section (CS).

What Happens During Vaginal Breech Childbirth

During a normal vaginal birth process, the head, which is the widest part of the body, comes out first. However, on a breech vaginal birth, the head comes out last.

During this breech childbirth, your health care expert (midwife, obstetrician) will ask that you push your baby out until the legs and the belly are delivered. Then, they will support your baby’s body and an assistant nurse/midwife will press your lower abdomen to help push the head of the baby through the pelvis.

Sometimes, the health care expert may employ some moves and maneuvers to help deliver the head of the baby. A pair of forceps may also be used during this process to help with the same.

Note though that even if your doctor decides to go ahead with a vaginal childbirth process, this should be done only in a hospital where C-section procedures can be carried out if labour does not progress on properly.


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