Can A Breech Safely Back Out or Will You Need A C-Section?

Breech babies are lying with their head in the upper part of the uterus, and their bottoms pointing towards the birth canal. They to be sitting, and the healthier way to deliver vaginally for the baby to be born is head down. This is so the bigger parts can come out first.  With a breech the feet are much smaller than the head, so the feet coming first, or footling breech, can be dangerous as once the baby's shoulders and head come to the birth canal they can get stuck.  This is of critical importance. We think of the risks of c-sections as being significant, but prior to modern times, operative deliveries were uniformly fatal. The operation is quite safe for the mom, but what is not always recognized is that it is much safer for the babies to be born by c-section if they are breech. In 2000, a study from the Netherlands found that breech babies born vaginally had a 33% higher risk of injury or death compared to those born by C-section. they have now updated their data, and they have found, by looking at 1.4 million births, it is still safer for a woman with a breech baby to delivery her baby by c-section. Statistics now show that about 3-4% of all babies are born breech, but that takes into account some of the pregnancies that are delivered slightly before full term. Many pregnancy factors keep the average fetus in the head down or vertex position. These factors that usually prevent breech and keeps the baby into it's rightful had down position, include the shape of the female pelvis, the weight of the baby's head keeps the body in head down, the shape of the uterus keeps the pregnancy down, and there's not enough fluid in the third trimester for the baby to truly be "floating". So  factors that go against those just listed predispose a woman to having breech babies, including those women with an odd shaped pelvis or  a odd shaped uterus, or with too much fluid in the baby's sac all have reasons for that baby to be breech. Now days we can keep very close track of the baby's position, but in the olden days, you just had to be able to differentiate whether the heart rate could be heard below the belly button (head down) or heard higher than the belly button (breech). Most obstetricians will perform a c-section for breeches. But according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in the past about 60% of breeches can be turned by a procedure called external version  so that baby would no longer be trying to back out!


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