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A baby’s breech position means the baby is not head down but instead the feet or bottom is right next to the mother’s cervix. This is a common position during the early stages of pregnancy. But, what if your baby is still in such a position by the 38 weeks?
Breech Baby at 38 Weeks: What Can You Expect?
Babies who are on a breech position during the last stages of pregnancy usually cannot turn by themselves. That is why it is important to talk with your doctor if your baby is in such as position at 38 weeks. Your doctor can offer help to move your baby to a head-down position if you are a right candidate for a procedure, external cephalic version (ECV).
This procedure moves the baby to a head-down position by applying pressure on your abdomen. This can only be done by experienced caregivers and medical specialists.
The ECV has a success rate of about 57-59% for babies in a breech position and about 92% for babies who are in a transverse position. Some babies may rotate back to the breech position. The result of ECV will be better if you are not having the first baby.
However, the ECV won’t work on anybody, for example, when carrying twins or when having pregnancy complications like poor amniotic fluid or bleeding. If you have placenta previa or are carrying triplets, a C-section must be performed on you, and the ECV won’t be needed at all.
Breech Baby at 38 Weeks: Do You Need a C-Section?
It depends. If you are carrying twins, and one twin is in a breech position, while the other is in normal position, then you are likely to give birth through the vagina.
Most babies that remain in a breech position upon the time of delivery will arrive by C-section. Several studies show that C-section is the safest method for babies in this position. This surgical procedure is usually planned at no earlier than 39 weeks. An ultrasound will be used to check your baby’s position just before the procedure.
Call your physician and head to the hospital when your water broke or go into labor before the planned date.
What You Can Do to Turn Baby Before Birth
There are some methods that you can try to turn your baby into a head-first position.
- Put your hands and knees on a mat, keeping your buttocks higher than your back, and rock back and forth gently. This action will make your baby move inside your abdomen and can help it get out of the breech position.
- Do pelvic tilts whenever you want throughout the day.
- Sit upright on an exercise ball while maintaining a good posture. This helps by opening up the pelvic area and helping your baby move.
- Play some relaxing songs or have your spouse speak to your belly; your baby will follow the tune and move.
- Use a bag of frozen veggies and put it on top of your abdomen; the uncomfortable freezing sensation will make your baby change its position.
- Try to visualize your baby being in a proper position.
It is important to note that these methods will not always help with breech baby at 38 weeks. Consult your doctor first before attempting any of these.
Other Mothers’ Experiences
Around the 38 weeks, I felt a very big movement in my belly. I thought my son was in a good position, but then when I was receiving an ultrasound, the doctor told me that the baby was in a breech position. They told me that the chances of him going back to the normal position were slim to none. The best thing to do was to prepare myself for a C-section. Since I didn’t want that, I tried putting a pack of cold veggies on my belly, playing some music and doing handstands. I think it worked out because at my next appointment, he was in a normal position and luckily, I was able to deliver naturally.
I have a breech baby at 38 weeks. My doctor prescribed a version procedure but it did not work correctly; the baby reversed to the initial position. That is when I thought of trying alternative techniques like acupuncture, but my physician told me that if I tried sooner, around 32-35 weeks, there might be a better chance of turning. I ended up having the C-section and surgeons found out that my uterus was in a weird shape, which made it difficult for my son to turn.