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At the end of most pregnancies, the baby's head is near the birth canal (vagina). But sometimes a baby's rear end or feet are near the birth canal. This position is called breech.
If your baby stays in this breech position, you will probably need a caesarean section (C-section). Most breech babies are healthy and don't have problems after birth.
Your doctor may try to turn your baby. To do this, the doctor presses on certain places on your belly. Sometimes this causes the baby to turn. The medical name for this process is external cephalic version.
During the process of trying to turn your baby, your doctor will carefully watch your uterus. There's a chance that the pressure and movement might start contractions. There's also a chance that the umbilical cord will twist or get damaged.
If your baby turns, your doctor may send you home. But the doctor will check you often until your labour starts. If your baby's head stays down, you may be able to have a vaginal delivery. But a small number of babies move back into a breech position.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Current as of: February 23, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & William Gilbert MD - Maternal and Fetal Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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