Learning you have a breech pregnancy can be stressful, but women who rely on Steven Maynard, MD, at Rainier OB/GYN in Tacoma, Washington, can rest assured they are in the best of hands. Dr. Maynard is highly skilled in managing breech presentations and is here to help as you welcome your newest family member. Call the office today, or schedule online to set up a visit.
In the final weeks of pregnancy, most babies will shift into a position where their head is ready to move into the birth canal. A breech pregnancy is when the baby’s feet or buttocks are positioned near the birth canal.
Only around 3%-4% of full-term pregnancies will result in breech positioning. It isn’t always possible to determine what caused a breech pregnancy to occur, but some of the contributing factors include:
Dr. Maynard can determine if your pregnancy is breech by simply feeling the outside of your abdomen. If needed, ultrasound imaging or a pelvic exam can provide more insight into your baby’s exact positioning.
Learning you have a breech pregnancy may be stressful, but there are many ways to manage a breech pregnancy and keep both mother and baby healthy. Dr. Maynard will work with you to determine the best possible approach.
A planned cesarean delivery is one option and involves a surgical procedure to remove the baby from the uterus without moving through the birth canal. In some cases, a vaginal delivery is possible even if the baby is in a breech position.
Another option involves changing the baby’s position prior to labor and delivery. That is called external cephalic version.
External cephalic version is a process in which Dr. Maynard uses his hands to place pressure on your abdomen in an attempt to turn your baby into a heads-down position. It is only done once a pregnancy has reached term.
The procedure can be guided using ultrasound, and your baby’s heart rate is monitored from start to finish. If you or your baby experience any complications during the process, a cesarean delivery will likely be performed right away.
External cephalic version is successful more than 50% of the time. If you are carrying more than one baby or have any issues with placenta position or placental abruption, external cephalic version is not a good option, and Dr. Maynard will discuss alternatives.
Working with a highly skilled obstetrician with extensive experience in breech pregnancies is the best way to navigate a complicated birth. If you have questions or concerns, book a visit with Dr. Maynard online or by phone today.