Week 31 - Breech
Hello. This is Dr. Mauldin. And you must be 31 weeks pregnant now.
Before birth, most babies will settle into your pelvis in a head-down position. However, a small percentage of babies will have their bottoms or feet presenting first. And as the pregnancy progresses closer towards the due date and there is less and less space within your uterus, the baby’s ability to move around and change positions goes down.
So, what should you expect? By 3-4 weeks before the due date, most babies are head first. If the baby’s bottom and feet are presenting first, the position is called breech. This happens in 3-4% of all pregnancies and takes some special planning for how the baby will be born.
To plan for delivery, your doctor will try to feel the baby’s position by feeling the shape of the baby on your abdomen. An ultrasound may also be used to confirm the position. If the baby is breech, you may be offered a version. This is an attempt to turn the baby into the head first position. Versions are usually not done until you are 36-37 weeks along. To turn the baby, the doctor simply puts his or her hands on your abdomen and pushes or lifts the baby out of your pelvis and then tries to guide the baby into rolling forwards or backwards.
Versions are not an option for everyone. So if a version cannot be attempted or is not successful, cesarean birth may be the best option.
Be sure to talk to your doctor about any questions that you have. Take care and I’ll talk to you in a week.