Here's What to Expect if Your Baby is Breech

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August 21, 2018 | Pregnancy

Breeched positions, where the baby is not head down in the womb, after 37 weeks are rare and account for around 4 per cent of pregnancies.  Quite often, earlier in a pregnancy, a breeched baby will turn on his or her own, prior to delivery.  In the rare times that this does not happen, a medical team will step in to ensure the safest delivery for both you and your baby. If you learn that your baby is in the breech position, there are a number of things you can expect to have happen during the remainder of your pregnancy.

Medical Monitoring

Prior to delivery, your doctor will monitor your baby’s position in hopes that he or she will turn around on its own. Even until the final weeks, there is a high probability that your baby will flip around when it is ready.  During this time the doctor may order an ultrasound to see exactly what position your baby is in.  A breech with your baby’s legs crossed will not pass through your cervical canal. A breech where the legs are still pointing down, may still offer a possibility of a vaginal birth.  During this time your doctor will also try to manually turn your baby, using a technique called external cephalic version (ECV). This is a procedure that involves gently pushing your baby into position.


As of May 2018, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada released new guidelines for breech delivery.  There is new evidence that shows many women are safely able to vaginally deliver babies who enter the birth canal with the buttocks or feet first. Unfortunately, there is a serious shortage of physicians that teach and perform these deliveries, therefore a C-section is usually recommended.

Whether you had a birth plan or not, the final outcome will be determined by your unborn baby.  The ultimate goal is to have a safe delivery and a healthy newborn child.  Sometimes the best laid plans, do not end up as hoped. The result though, can still be the same, a new baby that is healthy and a mother that is able to fully recover.  Everybody knows that children help shape your future, their own personalities and behaviours play a large part on your own daily routine. Many do not realize how true this statement is, not from birth, but from the day that they are conceived.

At the Pregnancy Care Centre we are here to help. From questions to concerns, we have staff that can answer and assist you during your pregnancy to help ensure that this time in your life is one that you fondly remember.