Have a symptom?
See what questions
a doctor would ask.

Breech pregnancy

Breech pregnancy: Introduction

Breech pregnancy is a condition of pregnancy in which the fetus or baby is not in the head-down position in the uterus. Breech pregnancy is common and normal in early pregnancy as the baby grows and moves around in the uterus. However, by about 36 weeks of pregnancy, the baby should have moved into the head-down position, the normal position for vaginal delivery. If this has not happened, it is called a breech presentation.

In a breech pregnancy or breech presentation, the baby is positioned with the buttocks down and the head up. The mother may or may not be aware of any symptoms of a breech pregnancy or breech presentation. Complications of breech pregnancy that lead to breech presentation and a vaginal breech delivery can include difficult vaginal delivery, fetal distress, birth defects and compression of the umbilical cord. For more details on symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of breech pregnancy.

One of the main causes of a breech pregnancy that leads to a breech presentation is prematurity. Risk factors for breech pregnancy that leads to a breech presentation include having an abnormally shaped uterus, too little or too much amniotic fluid, having twins, triplets or other multiple pregnancies, fibroids of the uterus and placenta previa.

There are several variations of a breech pregnancy or breech presentation. These include a frank breech presentation, in which the hips of the fetus are flexed and the legs extend straight upward with the knees straight and the feet at the head or face.

A breech pregnancy or breech presentation called a complete breech presentation occurs when the hips and the knees of the fetus are flexed. A breech pregnancy or breech presentation called a footling breech presentation occurs when one or both of the infant's feet cover or push through the cervix of the uterus.

A breech pregnancy that results in a breech presentation occurs in only about 3 percent to 5 percent of pregnancies with a single infant. A breech pregnancy that results in a breech presentation is more common in multiple pregnancies, in which there are twins, triplets or other multiple infants.

A diagnosis of breech pregnancy and/or breech presentation is made by ultrasound. In the later stages of pregnancy, it is often possible for a licensed physician or nurse midwife to feel a breech presentation through the wall of a pregnant woman's abdomen. A variety of other tests may be performed to evaluate overall health of the mother and the fetus. Tests can include blood tests, such as a complete blood count (CBC), a chemistry panel, urinanalysis, and blood glucose testing. Amniocentesis may also be performed for some women.

It is possible that a diagnosis of breech pregnancy can be missed or delayed. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of breech pregnancy.

Breech pregnancy can be treated or addressed to minimize any complications that can occur during labor and delivery. Treatment can include manual manipulation to turn the baby into the correct head-down position (vertex presentation). This is called external cephalic version.

Infants in a breech presentation that are unable to be repositioned into the vertex position are often delivered by cesarean section. In some cases it is possible to safely deliver an infant vaginally in a breech presentation. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of breech pregnancy. ...more »

Breech pregnancy: Pregnancy with fetus reversed with head up. More detailed information about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of Breech pregnancy is available below.

Breech pregnancy: Symptoms

Many women are unaware of a breech pregnancy, especially in early pregnancy when the baby is small and tends to move around and shift positions often. If the infant remains in a breech presentation and does not move into a head-down position (vertex presentation) in late pregnancy, a woman may be able to feel the baby's head in the upper area of the abdomen and/or possibly a lot ...more symptoms »

Breech pregnancy: Treatments

Treatment of a breech pregnancy begins with prevention. This includes avoiding premature labor, which can occur before an infant has shifted into the normal head-down presentation for delivery. premature labor can also result is other serious complications of the infant, including premature delivery, low birth weight and respiratory distress.

Preventing premature labor ...more treatments »

Breech pregnancy: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of breech pregnancy and breech presentation may be delayed or missed when a woman does not seek regular prenatal care. In addition, a woman with a breech pregnancy or breech presentation often has no symptoms. Because a breech pregnancy and breech presentation can lead to serious complications, such as difficult vaginal delivery, fetal distress, birth defects and ...more misdiagnosis »

Symptoms of Breech pregnancy

  • Reversed presentation of the fetus with head upwards
  • Bottom of fetus near the vagina
  • Head of fetus upwards
  • more symptoms...»

Treatments for Breech pregnancy

Home Diagnostic Testing

Home medical testing related to Breech pregnancy:

Wrongly Diagnosed with Breech pregnancy?

Breech pregnancy: Related Patient Stories

Breech pregnancy: Deaths

Read more about Deaths and Breech pregnancy.

Diagnostic Tests for Breech pregnancy

Test for Breech pregnancy in your own home

Click for Tests

Breech pregnancy: Complications

Read more about complications of Breech pregnancy.

Causes of Breech pregnancy

Read more about causes of Breech pregnancy.

More information about causes of Breech pregnancy:

Disease Topics Related To Breech pregnancy

Research the causes of these diseases that are similar to, or related to, Breech pregnancy:

Breech pregnancy: Undiagnosed Conditions

Commonly undiagnosed diseases in related medical categories:

Misdiagnosis and Breech pregnancy

Mild worm infections undiagnosed in children: Human worm infestations, esp. threadworm, can be overlooked in some cases, because it may cause only mild or even absent symptoms. Although more »

Unnecessary hysterectomies due to undiagnosed bleeding disorder in women: The bleeding disorder called Von Willebrand's disease is quite common in women, but often fails to be correctly diagnosed. Women with the condition tend more »

Mesenteric adenitis misdiagnosed as appendicitis in children: Because appendicitis is one of the more feared conditions for a child with abdominal pain, it can be over-diagnosed (it can, more »

Rare type of breast cancer without a lump: There is a less common form of breast cancer called inflammatory breast cancer. Its symptoms can be an inflammation of the breast tissue, more »

Blood pressure cuffs misdiagnose hypertension in children: One known misdiagnosis issue with hyperension, arises in relation to the simple equipment used to test blood pressure. The "cuff" around the arm to measure more »

Children with migraine often misdiagnosed: A migraine often fails to be correctly diagnosed in pediatric patients. These patients are not the typical migraine sufferers, but migraines can also occur more »

Undiagnosed celiac disease in pregnancy harms fetus: The failure to diagnose the common but less known digestive disease celiac disease (see symptoms of celiac disease) is linked more »

Misdiagnosed weight-related causes of infertility: A woman's weight status can affect her level of fertility. Although obesity or overweight can in themselves more »

Breech pregnancy: Research Doctors & Specialists

Research related physicians and medical specialists:

Other doctor, physician and specialist research services:

Hospitals & Clinics: Breech pregnancy

Research quality ratings and patient safety measures for medical facilities in specialties related to Breech pregnancy:

Choosing the Best Hospital: More general information, not necessarily in relation to Breech pregnancy, on hospital performance and surgical care quality:

Breech pregnancy: Rare Types

Rare types of diseases and disorders in related medical categories:

Evidence Based Medicine Research for Breech pregnancy

Medical research articles related to Breech pregnancy include:

Click here to find more evidence-based articles on the TRIP Database

Breech pregnancy: Animations

Research about Breech pregnancy

Visit our research pages for current research about Breech pregnancy treatments.

Clinical Trials for Breech pregnancy

The US based website lists information on both federally and privately supported clinical trials using human volunteers.

Some of the clinical trials listed on for Breech pregnancy include:

Statistics for Breech pregnancy

Breech pregnancy: Broader Related Topics

Breech pregnancy Message Boards

Related forums and medical stories:

User Interactive Forums

Read about other experiences, ask a question about Breech pregnancy, or answer someone else's question, on our message boards:

Definitions of Breech pregnancy:

A malpresentation of the FETUS at near term or during OBSTETRIC LABOR with the fetal cephalic pole in the fundus of the UTERUS. There are three types of breech: the complete breech with flexed hips and knees; the incomplete breech with one or both hips partially or fully extended; the frank breech with flexed hips and extended knees. - (Source - Diseases Database)


By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use. Information provided on this site is for informational purposes only; it is not intended as a substitute for advice from your own medical team. The information on this site is not to be used for diagnosing or treating any health concerns you may have - please contact your physician or health care professional for all your medical needs. Please see our Terms of Use.

Home | Symptoms | Diseases | Diagnosis | Videos | Tools | Forum | About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Advertise