Breech baby – Chance of Caesarean

Will my doctor perform a caesarean if my baby is still lying in the breech position when I reach my due date?

Because the vaginal delivery of a breech baby is considered more risky than delivery of a baby who is head down, a large proportion of breech babies are delivered by caesarean section. This is to protect the head of the baby, since this is the most difficult part of the baby to deliver and it will travel down the birth canal last. Situations may arise where the head is very large, and struggles to fit through the birth canal, but the body has already been delivered. This can cause problems for the mother’s body as well as the risk to the baby. Typically the labour to deliver a breech baby is long and difficult.

If your due date arrives and your baby is still breech, there are factors that your doctor will take into consideration when deciding the best route to deliver your baby. Some doctors will not deliver a breech baby vaginally if the mother is over 35. For example, if you have a spacious pelvis, your baby is not too large and the baby is in the frank breech position, then your doctor may well consider allowing you a trial of labour. You will be monitored extremely carefully because of the risks involved, as well as the chance of the cord slipping past the baby and down the birth canal. This can occur because the bottom and feet do not fit snuggly into the birth canal as the head would, and so there is space for the cord to slip through.

Delivering a breech baby vaginally is a skilled task, and requires the presence of a doctor or midwife trained in these special techniques. As with every labour, you should be prepared for the possibility that the birth may be carried out by caesarean, and you should celebrate the fact that this option is open to you.

See also:
Breech baby – Labour
Breech baby – Turning by doctor or midwife
Breech baby – Turning to head down
Breech baby – Types +27 (0)81 885 4683

*Important : The information provided is for information purposes only. No medical diagnosis or prescription can be inferred or is implied. Please consult your doctor for medical advice.

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