What is a breech baby?
A breech baby means that the baby is in a bottom-down position inside the uterus. The baby generally has enough room inside the uterus to change position. By 36, most babies are in the head-down position (vertex presentation), which is the best and safest position for delivery. In around 4 out of 100 births, the baby stays in the breech position even after 36 weeks of pregnancy. Non-vertex presentation in a baby means any position other than the head-down position inside the uterus. Non-vertex positions, including breech, are more common in twin pregnancies where one baby may be in a vertex presentation whereas the other baby is in a different presentation (such as breech or lying transversely in the uterus).
A breech presentation may be of different types. These include
- Complete breech: In this breech position, the baby’s buttocks are down near the birth canal and the knees are bent so that the feet are near the buttocks.
- Frank breech: This is the common type of breech position. In this type of breech, the baby’s legs are stretched up so that the feet are near the head, whereas the buttocks are the presenting part and come out first during the delivery.
- Footling breech: This means that the baby has one leg or both legs stretched out below the buttocks. One or both the legs are in place to come out first during delivery.
What is a breech extraction delivery?
Breech extraction is a procedure in which the obstetrician grasps the baby’s feet so that the baby is delivered (extracted) from the womb through the vagina. This procedure is performed for the delivery of the second twin in a vertex (head-down) or non-vertex presentation (such as a breech baby or a baby lying obliquely in the uterus). It is not recommended for the delivery of a single fetus. After the delivery of the first twin, the second twin often changes its position. If the second twin is in a vertex presentation, the baby is allowed to descend through the pelvis. In a non-vertex position, however, breech extraction is preferred. The procedure is generally performed with adequate pain control (analgesia) under epidural anesthesia.
Is breech extraction safe?
The safety and success of the breech extraction procedure largely depend upon a well-trained and experienced obstetrician. Although several studies have revealed that breech extraction gives a good outcome, some complications can occur. These include
- The head of the second twin may get entrapped if the cervix is not fully dilated or if the second twin is significantly larger than the first twin.
- Injuries to the baby
- Injury to the mother
- The baby’s hip socket and thigh bone may get separated during the delivery.
- Abruptio placentae (a condition in which the placenta separates from the womb before delivery) leading to excessive bleeding
- Postpartum hemorrhage or PPH (excessive blood loss after the delivery), which most commonly occurs due to uterine atony (inability of the uterus to sufficiently contract after delivery)
- There may be problems with the umbilical cord such as compression or flattening of the umbilical during delivery, which can cause nerve and brain damage in the baby due to lack of oxygen.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Top Is Breech Extraction Safe Related Articles
Childbirth Delivery Methods and TypesThere are various childbirth delivery methods and types such as the Lamaze method, the Bradley method, water birth, and assisted births. Options for where a woman can deliver her baby include home birth, a birthing center, and a hospital. The method and type of labor and delivery options should be discussed with a woman's doctor.
Can You Deliver a Breech Baby?Breech presentation is when the fetus (unborn child) is placed inside the womb with the buttocks or feet closest to the cervix (mouth of the uterus), which is unlike the usual when the head is closest to the cervix. A breech presentation occurs in 3-4% of all deliveries.
Labor and DeliveryEarly and later symptoms and signs of labor and delivery are unique to each woman. Early signs of labor are "lightning" and passing the mucus plug. Later symptoms and signs that labor that labor is are the woman's water breaking, and when contractions begin. There are three stages of labor, stage 1 is the longest and occurs when the cervix begins to thin and dilate. During stage 2 of labor the baby passes through the birth canal and remains there until delivery, and stage 3, is when the baby is delivered.
Pregnancy: Multiple Births, Twins, Triplets, and MoreMultiple births occur when a woman bears twins, triplets, or even more babies during pregnancy. More multiples are born today thanks to assisted reproductive technology (ART), including in vitro fertilization using fertility drugs. Women carrying multiples often give birth via C-section.
Pregnancy Myths QuizBeing pregnant is a delicate time for both mother and baby. Take this quiz to separate the myths and facts about being pregnant, and learn the truth behind healthy pregnancies!
Pain Relief Options for Childbirth
Women experience and tolerate pain differently. For some pregnant women, focused breathing is all they need to get through labor and childbirth; but for others, numbing of the pain is desired. There are a number of different medications a woman can take during labor and childbirth. It is important for you to learn what pain relief options are available. Please discuss the options with your health care provider well before your "birth day" so that when you are in labor you understand the choices.
What Are the Side Effects of Vacuum Delivery?Vacuum delivery is a type of assisted birth delivery also called ventouse-assisted delivery. Vacuum-assisted birth is a method to assist the delivery of a baby using a vacuum device. The side effects include potential risks to the mother and risks to the baby.
What Causes a Breech Baby?A breech position or breech baby means that the baby’s position inside the uterus is such that his feet or buttocks are near the uterine mouth. The baby generally has enough room inside the uterus to change its position. By 36 weeks of pregnancy, most babies are in the head-down position, which is the best and safest position for delivery.
What Is the Process of Normal Delivery?Normal delivery refers to childbirth through the vagina without any medical intervention. It is also known as a vaginal birth. Every delivery is unique and may differ from mothers to mothers. There are different stages of normal delivery or vaginal birth.
Why Is a Vacuum Used During Delivery?During a normal vaginal delivery, the doctor may use a vacuum to aid in the removal of the baby from the birth canal. This is also called vacuum-assisted vaginal delivery. This procedure augments (speeds up) the process of delivery, reduces the risk of injury to the baby and helps avoid cesarean delivery because it has a high risk of maternal morbidity. Vacuum extraction accounts for over 80% of operative vaginal deliveries in the United States.
Why Is Forceps Delivery Done?Forceps delivery is a type of assisted delivery in which tong-shaped instruments are used to ease the baby out of the birth canal. These instruments are used to cradle the baby’s head in the vagina and turn the baby into a better position if needed so that they can be guided out.