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Signs of a breech baby?

(17 Posts)
123Louise123 Sun 19-Oct-08 15:59:56

I'm 34 weeks pregnant and at my last antenatal appointment(32 weeks) the midwife reckoned the baby was breech.

I am now not sure of the position of my baby. My abdomen feels hard high up on both sides and I feel nothing at the bottom toward the pelvis, it's quite squashy. The kicks can be anywhere so there's no clue for me there.

During a normal presentation (head down) can you feel the baby's head low down in the pelvis/ abdomen? What does it feel like?

I'm just looking for clues of her position before I see my midwife in just over a week.


Squitten Sun 19-Oct-08 18:17:15

My son was breech and your description of what you can feel sounds very similar to what I felt. Unfortunately, he is my first baby so I don't know what normal feels like!

McDreamy Sun 19-Oct-08 18:19:40

Sore ribs! The head pressing against the ribs is very sore.

123Louise123 Mon 20-Oct-08 11:08:27

I don't have sore ribs, but feel breathless at times.

bikerunski Mon 20-Oct-08 11:24:51

My DS (6 weeks old) was undiagnosed breech. In the last few weeks of pg I was getting kicks in my lower plevic area - like he was trying to kick my pelvic joinnt, hard enough to make my left leg go numb. I kept saying "I think this baby is breech" because what I was feeling felt too hard to be punches. But what do I know, he is my first and MW didn't agree - 2 days before he was born she told me his head was engaged!

123Louise123 Mon 20-Oct-08 12:48:29


My sister and my best friend both had breech babies which almost went diagnosed, luckily a different midwife saw them just before their due date and c-sections were scheduled in time.

Did you go into labour with your baby before they found out? Hope you and the baby are ok now.

gladders Mon 20-Oct-08 14:26:02

upper abdomen felt very hard on both sides - felt like 2 heads - was v confusing!!

kicks were all down low - but he had his knees bent - if legs are straight I guess the kicks ould be higher?

FWIW, midwives diagnosed breech and registrar thought head was engaged before the scan proved the silly doctor wrong!

Tangle Mon 20-Oct-08 15:08:23

DD was a diagnosed breech. She was born as a breech baby at home with IMs. A CS isn't a definite consequence of a breech presentation.

One trick the MWs showed me was to put a hand on either side of the lump at the top (helps if you can identify a single lump) and push gently and alternately - if the baby is head down then the entire body should swing, but if its breech then the neck should absorb most of the motion and the head will swing freely "like the basket of a balloon".

DD is my only so far, so I can't comment on normal either. If you're feeling something all along the top and nothing along the bottom, is it possible the baby is transverse rather than breech?

If you're interested, I found "Breech Birth" by Benna Waites and "Breech Birth: What are my options" by Jane Evans to be very informative and approachable. And google Mary Cronk!

Fingers crossed for you

bikerunski Wed 22-Oct-08 10:30:44

*123 Louise* Hi, yes, I was in labour, at home for 7 hours, before DH rang the hospital to described what was happening (contractions 2 mins apart, but only 40s long) who told us to come in as my progress sounded "abnormal" (fab choice of words to use on a woman in labour). Hospital did an internal when I got there and mw went "ooh, that's a foot, or has he got his hands on his head?", yelled for an scanner and an obstetrician and found he was footling (feet dangling) breech (first there had been any sugguestion that he was breech, let alone footling). I was 8cm dilated by now, contractions 90s apart, and doc desperate to get ds out before I started pushing as feet first is a messy and dangerous delivery. Anaethasist did very well getting spinal block in in the 90s window between contractions!

Anyway, emergency CS ensued, bit of a traumatic first week, but all well now. smile

Tangle Wed 22-Oct-08 12:52:21

Sorry you had such a stressful experience, bikerunski, but glad things are going well for you now

One of the things I'm grateful for is that we knew DD was breech well before my EDD so we could do some digging and make plans with time to think. How dangerous breech births are is very dependent on who you talk to and what kind of birth you're talking about - DD wound up as a footling breech and the midwives weren't overly concerned. The issue a lot of obstetricians seem to be most worried about with a footling breech (or any breech, for that matter) is the whole "body born, head stuck" scenario - if you can find MWs that are experienced in hands-off breech birth (as described by Mary Cronk), then as long as the baby is normally develolped and term and labour starts spontaneously and progresses naturally I was told there are NO known instances where the baby has got stuck in that way. In a term baby, the bum and head are usually very close in size so if one gets born the other follows. I think it may have been known to happen where labour was premature (head still significantly larger than bum) or interfered with (either induced, augmented or assisted) - which is where most obs will get their only breech experience.

As it was described to me, the biggest risk in a hands-off, vaginal breech birth is cord prolapse - if the baby is frank breech (legs up straight) and the bum is well engaged then the bum makes very nearly as good a plug as the head and so cord prolapse is rare. As you move through full breech (little budha) to footling so the fit between baby and pelvis deteriorates and the risk of cord prolapse increases. It's worth noting that although the risk is higher than in a cephalic presentation it is still very small, and some research sugests it may be less critical than in a cephalic presenation as the presenting parts (legs, bum) are softer and so will cause less compression.

MrsJamin Wed 22-Oct-08 13:11:50

I think the major signs were that DS's head was pushing my ribs up and out, and that my bump seemed higher than other bumps we saw! Kicks were down low too. You should always be able to get second opinions - my midwife got DS's position wrong and it was the GP who diagnosed breech - I thought the GP must be wrong but no I had a rubbish midwife!

JezzaJ9 Wed 22-Oct-08 15:17:46

I have been presenting breech for the last 4 weeks at 2 MW appointments I am now 33.4 weeks.

My right rib is very sore at certain times of the day - my MW says its when the baby is stretching its arms and your rib contracts and it feels like you want to lift it to stop the ache. Also I have a little tap dancer on my bladder! V painful at times )

Fingers crossed for you, I am hoping my littleone turns - my MW said its nothing to worry about yet if its still this at 38 weeks we'll start looking at Acupunture then. So am trying not to read to much into it yet!!

Tangle Wed 22-Oct-08 21:29:55

DD's head used to move right out when I was in the bath - looked like something out of alien! Looking back, it would have been very difficult for her to do that with her bottom

JezzaJ9 - just playing devil's advocate, but depending on how strongly you feel about having a CS you might want to start reading up on breech babies and/or trying things now. Having been in the situation of carrying a breech baby that hasn't turned, things start happening very fast as you get to 37/38 weeks. If I'd followed the hospital's protocol they'd have tried an ECV at 38 weeks and booked me for a section at 39 weeks in case that failed.

I'm honestly not trying to frighten you and for most women there is no point in worrying at this stage because their baby will turn. But I was very glad I'd done a lot of reading had an idea of what I wanted before I reached the point when it was a "problem" that DD was still breech.

123Louise123 Wed 22-Oct-08 22:02:07

Glad everything turned out ok for both of you - Bikerunski and Tangle. Jezza, I hope your baby turns for you!

I'm not bothered by the thought of a c - section to be honest - I think it will be a relief for me as I have been dreading giving birth naturally (for years prior to pregnancy and during).

I am trying to work on my fears though, so hopefully if I have to give birth I will be able to cope with it.

I think she is tranverse but I guess I will find out more next week.

JezzaJ9 Thu 23-Oct-08 11:22:24

Thanks Tangle, my DH says if the MW says don't worry then don't but I agree with you!

I really do not want to have a CS, if it was an emergancy and I have to thats fine but not if I can in anyway prevent it, I think I will start looking into acupunture in my local area now, as I know that the baby is clearly still tap dancing down the wrong end!!

Also I have a book with some exercises that are meant to encourage turning.

Also someone said I think it may have been on here about cold pea'd or similar on the babies head and then hot water bottle below to make the baby gravitate towards heat - not sure about this one but I'll give it ago!

MrsJamin Thu 23-Oct-08 14:18:05

Hi JezzaJ9, I had moxibustion acupuncture, to be honest I would just buy some moxa sticks from a chinese herbal shop, all you do is light the end and wave it over your little toe, I thought I was a bit ripped off in paying £40 (can be more than that too).

Other than that, spend lots of time on all fours with your bum in the air. You can always try for an ECV (turning) too.

Tangle Thu 23-Oct-08 14:43:09

That must make it even harder - 123Louise123 .

I found it to be a very tough decision, as did everyone else I've come across with a breech baby - there isn't one right answer as personal circumstances have such a big influence. My instincts tell me that, to a greater or lesser degree, the mother's attitude to birth will have an impact in how labour goes - and breech labours seem to be more sensitive than others. If the mother isn't keen on a vaginal birth maybe she subconsciously knows its not a good idea for her and her child?

Whatever happens, fingers crossed you have a good experience of birth - however it pans out for you

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