Articles and Topics
What if my baby stays breech?
Q: I had an ultrasound this week and it shows my baby is in the breech position and large for his stage of development (I’m at 29 weeks). The doctor said my baby might turn itself around before delivery, or they can try turning the baby before he gets too big. How common is this? How is it done? What if the baby stays breech?
A: Dear Tom & Nancy,

When an ultrasound is done at 29 weeks, it’s pretty normal to find the baby in a breech position. Many babies are “butt-” or feet-first at this time. Almost all of them will spontaneously turn on their own before delivery. However, 3% will stay breech.

Turning the baby is an option at 37 weeks of pregnancy. The procedure is call “external cephalic version.” Done in the hospital with the help of ultrasound monitoring, the doctor induces the baby to do a half-summersault, guiding the baby into a head down position. The procedure is successful half of the time. For those babies who remain breech, delivery by cesarean section is recommended.

As for the size of your baby, I would not make any predictions based on a size estimation given at 29 weeks. Your baby has a lot of growing ahead. But using his weight at this time to make assumptions about the future is like a meteorologist using today’s weather to predict the weather three months from now.