When reality star Kim Kardashian West was heavily pregnant, she spoke out about her experience undergoing an ECV (external cephalic version), due to the fact that her baby was breech. Only 3-4 percent of babies remain in the breech position towards the end of pregnancy, which means that having to undergo this procedure is a very rare indeed. In order to shed some light on the situation and help expectant mothers to better understand the issue, we thought we would share some information about breech babies and what this means for the pregnancy.
In simple terms, breech simply means that your baby is positioned bottom-down as opposed to head downwards, meaning the baby would be born feet- or bottom-first if a vaginal birth were to go ahead. While this is usually a temporary position in the third trimester, in cases like that of Kim Kardashian West, the baby may remain in the position, which means that your doctor or midwife will have to advise you on the best course of action.
If your baby remains in the breech position you will likely be advised to undergo a caesarean in order to deliver the baby, although some measures may help to turn your baby, making natural birth possible if it is successfully positioned. While there are several natural methods it is possible to attempt in order to encourage your baby to turn, or you may also be offered to undergo ECV, at 36 weeks if it is your first pregnancy, or at 37 weeks if like Kim Kardashian West you have had a baby before. This involves being given medication to relax you uterus, after which a doctor will attempt to manually turn the baby so that is facing the correct way. This is not recommended in some cases, however, particularly if you've experienced complications during your pregnancy such as vaginal bleeding.
While the baby will either turn naturally or be manually turned with success in the majority of cases, there is no need to be concerned if your baby remains in the breech position. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the best course of action to ensure safety for yourself and your child, which in most cases will mean delivering the baby by caesarian.
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