Munson Health
Breech Presentation

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by Madden SL


If your baby is still in the breech position in the last weeks of pregnancy, talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include the following:

External Version

External version is a nonsurgical procedure. The doctor will try to move the baby's head into a downward position by gently pushing on the mother’s abdomen. External version is usually performed 3-4 weeks before the due date. The procedure is successful more than 50% of the time. But, sometimes a baby will turn back to the breech position before delivery.
There are some rare, but serious complications that may occur after an external version, such as preterm labor.


Two nonmedical exercises done during the last eight weeks of pregnancy may be tried to help encourage a baby to turn head-downward. These exercises are usually done two or three times a day for 10-15 minutes each.
  • Tilt position—Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor and with several good-sized pillows under your bottom.
  • Knee-chest position—Kneeling on the floor, you lean forward until your head rests on your folded arms, making your head lower than your bottom.


Moxibustion is a Chinese remedy that involves burning an herb, Moxa, close to the skin. When attempting to turn a breech baby, Moxa is burned close to the acupuncture point at the tip of the fifth toe. Some studies have found moxibustion to be effective in stimulating breech babies to turn. This treatment is still being studied. Because it may help you avoid a surgical delivery, you may consider talking to your doctor about it.

Cesarean Section

Surgical delivery of the baby is the most common way of delivering a breech baby.


American Academy of Family Physicians

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists



The Canadian Women's Health Network

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada



Breech babies: what can I do if my baby is breech? American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: . Updated August 2010. Accessed June 5, 2013.

Breech births. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: . Updated May 2007. Accessed June 5, 2013.

Breech delivery. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: . Updated May 1, 2012. Accessed June 5, 2013.

If your baby is breech. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: . Accessed June 5, 2013.


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