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What is a breech birth presentation?

Finding out that your unborn baby is in a breech position is a frightening experience since it can come with some risks. The risk is especially great for women who are at risk of premature birth because a breech baby almost always necessitates having to have a Cesarean section for the delivery. Learning about breech positions can help you to feel more empowered as you approach your delivery.

Are all breech babies positioned the same way?

There are three types of breech presentations. The first is the frank breech, which means that the baby is positioned with the rear end pointing down and the legs folded straight up in front of the baby. A complete breech presentation means that the baby's rear end is pointing down but the legs are bent at the knees. A footling breech means that the baby is bottom down but the feet are positioned near the birth canal and will come out first.

What is necessary to diagnose breech presentations?

In many cases, a practitioner can diagnose a breech presentation through a manual examination of your stomach. The practitioner will feel for the baby's head or bottom through your stomach. This usually occurs a few weeks before your due date at a prenatal appointment. If it seems the baby is breech, the practitioner will likely send you for diagnostic testing, which might include an ultrasound or x-ray.

If a woman with a breech baby is allowed to deliver vaginally, the baby and mother must be carefully monitored. Any signs of distress, lack of labor progression or a premature baby are all indications that the baby should likely be delivered via c-section. If proper medical care isn't provided and the baby or mother suffers harm, compensation might be something worth pursuing.

Source: American Pregnancy Assocation, "Breech Births," accessed May 06, 2016

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