The Breech Position

The breech position is when a baby is positioned bottom-down rather than head down late into your pregnancy. Normally in the last month of pregnancy, your baby would be settled into the head-down position, ready for birth. But it is common for babies to be in the breech position 35-36 weeks in.

Your midwife will feel your abdomen at around 35-36 weeks and will be able to asses whether your baby has settled into the had-down position. If the feel as though your baby may be in the breech position, an ultrasound will be performed to confirm this. There are 3 types of breech positions…

Frank Breech - When the baby’s legs are straight up in front of its body in a V shape position, therefore the feet are up against its face.

Complete Breech - When the baby is in a sitting position with it’s legs crossed and the feet near its bottom.

Footling Breech - When the baby’s feet (either a single foot or both) are hanging below its bottom so the foot or feet would be coming first.

Your baby is always safe in the womb whether it is in a breech position or not and it can still turn on its own at 36 weeks. Your midwife may suggest thinking about a External cephalic version (ECV) after 37 weeks as this will give your baby a better chance at turning.

If the ECV doesn’t work or you don’t want one, the best options after would be to have a C-section or a vaginal birth, which may still be possible depending on the circumstances and the breech position.