Few things can sound as scary to an expectant mother as the words “breech pregnancy”. Certainly, we all want the best possible pregnancy and childbirth experience possible, so anything that comes our way that threatens to challenge that is often a cause for concern.
Now, it’s important to know that breech pregnancies are not dangerous until it’s time for the baby to be born, where there is some risk that the baby could get stuck in the birth canal – but as with all things, early diagnosis is key and understanding what you can safely do to aid safe and successful childbirth could make a difference.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOUR BABY IS “BREECH”?
As you get closer to your due date, your doctor or midwife will determine the baby’s position by feeling outside your abdomen or uterus. Should your baby be breech, then their frim, round head will be located towards the top of your uterus and your baby’s softer, less round bottom will be found lower.
Babies are more likely to be breech if they are early or premature, you’re having more than one baby, you have an abnormal level of amniotic fluid, or if you have an abnormally shaped uterus.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR BABY IS IN THE BREECH POSITION?
Your doctor may try to change the position of your baby while the baby is still in your womb. This is done by pushing against your stomach to try and turn the baby naturally, they will use ultrasound as well to aid in the process, and they may also recommend a “C-section” birth.
When your doctor attempts to correct the breech with the baby still inside the womb, this is known as the “external cephalic version” or ECV.
If your baby is in the breech position and you have a normal pregnancy, then you could qualify for an ECV, however, you should never have an ECV if you have:
- Vaginal bleeding.
- A placenta that is near or covering the opening of the uterus.
- A low level of fluid in the sac that surrounds and protects the baby.
- An abnormal fetal heart
- Premature rupture of the membranes.
- Twins or other multiples pregnancy.
An ECV will usually be done in a hospital towards the end of pregnancy, around 37 weeks.
Many women will consider using a pregnancy chiropractor, and there have been many positive results yielded by chiros that specialize in this area. Now, chiropractors won’t turn your breech baby, but that doesn’t mean that chiropractic care doesn’t help. Chiropractors use certain techniques to encourage the baby to “right” itself. This method minimizes the pressure on the mother’s uterus and is meant to correct the pelvic misalignment that might have caused the breech in the first place.
As always, you must discuss chiropractic for pregnancy care as well as any other forms of treatment and possible solutions with your healthcare team. While most medical practitioners take great care in caring for their patients, as with all service providers – not all are created equal, so getting a referral from your doctor is critical.
The most important thing to do if you discover that your baby is breech, is to stay calm. Medical science has evolved in ways that our mothers and grandmothers could have only dreamed of, so follow your doctors’ advice and make sure that you’re getting as much rest and TLC as you can, and if you’re the fitness type do check with your healthcare team before starting or changing your fitness regime.
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