Breech Presentation

Because the womb becomes cramped late in pregnancy, almost all – close to 97 percent – of babies will settle into a head-down position, or cephalic position, to maximize space. For those three to five percent who don’t, the perinatal mortality rate is increased two- to four-fold, regardless of how the baby is delivered – either vaginally or by caesarean.

What is Breech Presentation?

Breech presentation is defined as when the baby is lying with the buttocks or feet facing down, closest to the cervix. It occurs in three to four percent of all deliveries. There are three types of breech: Frank breech, when the hips are flexed and the knees are extended as in pike position (this is the most common), complete breech, when the hips are flexed in cannonball position, and footling or incomplete, when one or both hips are extended and a foot is presenting.

What Causes Breech Presentation?

Among the predisposing factors for breech presentation are prematurity, uterine malformations or fibroids, polyhydramnios, which is an excess of amniotic fluid, placenta previa, which is when the placenta is lying unusually low in the uterus often covering the cervix, fetal abnormalities such as neck masses, plus the presence of more than one baby.

Breech presentation can result in a difficult vaginal delivery, fetal distress, birth defects and compression of the umbilical cord.

The Symptoms of Breech Presentation

Many mothers are unaware their baby is lying in a breech position, although sometimes late in a pregnancy a mother may be able to feel the baby’s head in the upper area of the abdomen, or kicking in the lower abdomen.

A doctor or midwife can often feel a breech pregnancy through the abdomen late in pregnancy. And a breech pregnancy can be spotted through an ultrasound.

The Treatment of Breech Presentation

Proper chiropractic care can be very beneficial to a pregnant mother, including the ability to help prevent breech presentation. Dr. Larry Webster created a chiropractic technique that balances the pelvis to reduce the stress on the ligaments – particularly the round ligaments.

A pelvis that is aligned properly helps the pelvic muscles stay loose, and allows the network of nerves within the pelvis to transmit important messages from the nervous system without interference.

As a pregnancy progresses, the round ligaments often become slim and can become thin and taut– like a rubber band that’s pulled to full extension – and will decrease the space the baby has to move around.
Because the Webster Technique focuses on relieving the tightness of the round ligaments, the baby has better ability to shift comfortably within the womb and get into the proper position for childbirth.

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