Breech Presentation: What you need to know


Are you expecting a baby soon and are worried about the possibility of breech presentation? You’re not alone. About 10-20% of all babies present in a breech position at some point during their pregnancy. It’s important to be informed about the risks and know what steps you can take to avoid having a breech delivery. In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about breech presentation, from how it’s diagnosed to the different types of breeches and more. We’ll also discuss ways you can help encourage your baby to turn into a head-down position before your due date, so that you can avoid an unexpected cesarean section. Read on for more information!

What is breech presentation?

Breech presentation is when the baby is positioned bottom-down in the womb instead of head-down. About 3-4% of babies are in the breech position at term. While a breech presentation is not necessarily harmful, it can complicate delivery and may increase the risk of complications for both mother and baby.

There are several types of breech presentations, which are classified based on the positioning of the baby’s bottom and legs. The most common type is frank breech, in which the baby’s bottom is pointing down and their legs are extended straight up. Incomplete breech presentation is when the baby’s bottom is pointing down but their knees are bent, while complete breech presentation is when the baby’s bottom and knees are both pointing down. Footling breech occurs when one or both feet point down instead of the knees.

Breech presentation may make vaginal delivery more difficult or even impossible, as the head may become stuck during labour. For this reason, many women who have a breech presentation will opt for caesarean delivery instead. However, there are some situations where vaginal delivery may still be possible, such as if the baby is small or if there is enough space between the pubic bone and fundus (top part of uterus).

If you’re pregnant and have been told that your baby is in a breech position, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider about your options for delivery. They will be able

Causes of breech presentation

Breech presentation occurs when the baby is positioned in the womb with its bottom or feet down, rather than the head. This is not an ideal position for birth, as it can increase the risk of complications.

There are several possible causes of breech presentation. One is if the mother has a low-lying placenta (placenta praevia). This condition can cause bleeding during pregnancy and delivery, and so it is important to be aware of this risk. Another possible cause is if the uterus is abnormally shaped, which can make it more difficult for the baby to turn into the head-down position.

Sometimes, breech presentation is simply due to the baby’s size or position in the womb. If there is not enough space for the baby to turn around, or if the baby is lying sideways, then breech presentation can occur. In these cases, there may be no underlying cause that can be treated.

If you are pregnant and have been told that your baby is in a breech position, do not worry. Many babies turn into the head-down position before birth without any intervention. However, if you are close to your due date and your baby remains in a breech position, your doctor may recommend a procedure called external cephalic version (ECV) to attempt to turn the baby manually into a head-down position. ECV carries a small risk of complications, but it may be worth considering if you

Types of breech presentation

There are three types of breech presentation: complete breech, frank breech, and footling breech.

In a complete breech, the baby’s bottom is the part that will come out first during delivery. The legs are extended straight up, and the arms are crossed over the chest.

A frank breech is similar to a complete breech, but in this case, the baby’s legs are bent at the knees with the feet near the buttocks. The arms are also crossed over the chest.

A footling breech happens when one or both of the baby’s feet point down towards the birth canal instead of being tucked up under the bottom like in a complete or frank breech. The rest of the body is positioned like it would be in a complete breech presentation.

How can I tell if my baby is breech?

A baby is not termed breech until he or she is 35 or 36 weeks old. In most normal pregnancies, the baby rotates head-down to come into position for delivery. Before 35 weeks, it is typical for newborns to be head-down or even sideways. However, when the baby grows and runs out of room, it becomes more difficult for the infant to spin and get into the optimal position.

By touching your baby’s position through your tummy, your doctor will be able to identify if your baby is breech. They will also most likely use an ultrasound in the clinic and at the hospital before you deliver to confirm that the baby is breech.

Can a breech pregnancy be turned?

So, what should you do if your pregnancy is breech? While you will almost certainly need to consult with your doctor about arranging a cesarean, there are other methods you may attempt to flip your baby. The success rate for flipping a breech pregnancy depends on the reason your baby is breech, but there is no danger in using a safe procedure.

Version 2 (External) (EV)

An EV is a technique in which your doctor attempts to physically move your baby into the right position by moving the baby through your tummy with their hands.

Most doctors would recommend an EV between 36 and 38 weeks of pregnancy, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The operation is normally carried out in a hospital. It takes two persons to conduct, and the baby will be watched the entire time for any difficulties that may need delivery. According to the ACOG, EVs are only successful around half of the time.

Complications associated with breech presentation

There are several potential complications associated with breech presentation. One is umbilical cord prolapse, which occurs when the umbilical cord falls into the birth canal ahead of the baby. This can be life-threatening for both mother and child, and requires immediate medical intervention.

Another complication is placental abruption, which occurs when the placenta detaches from the uterine wall prematurely. This can also be life-threatening, and requires emergency medical care.

Stillbirth is another possible complication of breech presentation. While this is not always caused by breech presentation, it is a risk factor. If a baby dies in utero after 20 weeks gestation, it is considered a stillbirth.

Finally, neonatal death can occur after birth if a baby does not receive adequate oxygen during delivery. This can happen with any type of delivery, but is more likely with breech presentation due to the positioning of the baby.

Management of breech presentation

There are several options for managing breech presentation. The first is to attempt to manually turn the baby. This is done by a healthcare provider inserting their hands into the mother’s uterus and trying to physically rotate the baby. This can be uncomfortable for the mother, and there is no guarantee that it will be successful.

The second option is to have a cesarean section (C-section). This is a surgical procedure in which the baby is delivered through an incision in the mother’s abdomen. A C-section is generally considered to be safe, but there are some risks associated with any surgery.

The third option is to allow the baby to remain in the breech position and deliver vaginally. This carries some risks, but may be the best option for some mothers. Your healthcare provider will discuss all of your options with you and help you make the best decision for you and your baby.

Prevention of breech presentation

There are a few things that can be done to prevent breech presentation. One is to make sure that the baby is positioned well in the uterus. This can be done by ensuring that the mother has good nutrition and adequate hydration. Another is to avoid any activities that could cause the baby to become malpositioned, such as excessive standing, sitting or lying on your back. If you think you may be at risk of breech presentation, it’s important to talk to your doctor or midwife so they can help you take steps to prevent it.

When to Consult Your Doctor

If your baby is breech, your doctor will most likely notify you. You should discuss your worries about your baby’s breech delivery with them, including the risks and advantages of having a cesarean, what to anticipate from surgery, and how to prepare.


Breech presentation is a common occurrence during delivery, but it can be managed with the right medical intervention. We hope this article has given you an idea of what to expect and how to prepare for a breech birth if your baby presents in this way. Being informed about all aspects of childbirth will help make sure that you are ready for whatever happens on D-day and that both you and your baby have the best possible experience.