When a baby is positioned bottom-down late in pregnancy, this is called the breech position. Breech birth can sometimes be more complicated for both mother and baby, and therefore planning for the birth requires discussion with your doctor or midwife.
Most babies settle into head-down position, ready for birth, by about the last month of pregnancy. Health professionals call this a ‘vertex’ or ‘cephalic’ position.
It is fairly common for a baby to be in a breech position before 35-36 weeks gestation, but most gradually turn to the cephalic position before the last month.
Your doctor or midwife will feel your abdomen whenever you have your pregnancy check ups in the second and third trimester-this is called an ‘abnormal palpation’. When they feel your abdomen at 35-36 weeks, they will assess whether the baby has settled into a head -down position in preparation for birth. If they suspect your baby might be in a breech position, they can confirm this with an ultrasound scan.
There are 3 main types of breech position. All of them involve the baby being in a bottom-down, head up, position. The variations of breech include: