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As you get closer and closer to your due date, you may wonder how you will know which way your baby is positioned.  In most cases, your baby will turn many, many times over the course of your pregnancy.  However, as you approach your due date, your baby will most likely turn to a head-down position.  When the baby has his/her feet or bottom down, this is called breech.  By the time most women are in the last three to four weeks of pregnancy, approximately three out of 100 babies are breech.

Your doctor can attempt to determine how the baby is positioned in several ways. Frequently, by pressing on your abdomen (Leopold maneuvers) or by performing a vaginal exam, we can tell the baby’s position. If there is any question, we can obtain an ultrasound (sonogram) to check. In some situations, a baby previously thought to be head down may be discovered breech unexpectedly during labor.

Depending on the specific circumstances of your pregnancy, your doctor will discuss your options with you.  These may include aversion, which means pushing on your abdomen from the outside to try and turn the baby.  While this procedure is usually safe, you and your baby will be monitored closely during and after the procedure. If you or your baby develops problems from the procedure, you may need to have an emergency C-section. In some cases, having a planned C-section may be the best option for you and your baby.  Your doctor will discuss with you the specific circumstances of your pregnancy and help you make the right choice for you and your baby.