Moms, here’s what you need to know about suhi or when your baby is breech at birth.
What can you read in this article?
- Causes a breech pregnancy?
- What do moms need to know about suhi or breech at birth
As a pregnant woman’s due date draws near, one of the things that the doctor checks is the baby’s position inside the womb. This is because this has an effect on a woman’s labor and delivery.
Pregnant moms know very well that the baby inside their womb has a habit of moving around and sometimes even kicking.
But, right before a mom gives birth, most babies usually move to a head-down (anterior) position, facing the mother’s back. This is the most common and wanted position because the baby is ready to exit the birth canal, so it makes natural birth easier.
However, some babies don’t move to this head-down position and are instead stuck in a feet-first position. This is called a breech birth, or “suhi” in Filipino.
What is suhi or breech position?
As previously mentioned, a breech position occurs when the baby is positioned head-up in the woman’s uterus, and his feet are pointed toward the birth canal.
There are three kinds of breech position:
Complete breech – when the baby looks like he’s sitting with his legs crossed in front of him, his buttocks facing the birth canal.
Footling o incomplete breech – the baby’s legs can be crossed or not, and his feet are pointing downwards towards the birth canal.
Frank breech – position where the baby’s legs are raised near his face and the buttocks are towards the birth canal.
Breech position | Image from Pinterest
The breech position is said to be the most dangerous one when it comes to giving birth. Although a lot of babies come out healthy, there is an increased risk of birth defects and trauma because of the length of the delivery. This is why moms have a lot of questions when it comes to this specific topic.
Things you need to know about suhi or breech at birth
Causes of breech birth
One of the things a pregnant woman need to know about breech or suhi is the possible reasons why this happens. Here are some possible factors that contribute to it:
- The pregnant mom has placenta previa. This is when the placenta of the baby totally covers the mother’s cervix.
- Abnormal shape of the uterus or has complications
- Multiple pregnancies
- Too much or too little amniotic fluid in the uterus
- If the pregnant mom had a premature birth back then
How do I know if my baby is suhi?
According to Healthline, your OB-GYN will be able to tell if your baby is breech just by feeling your baby’s position through your stomach. However, to confirm this, they will probably ask you to undergo an abdominal ultrasound by the 36h week and again in the hospital before you give birth.
Can my baby in breech position still turn?
According to Dr. Rebecca Singson, an OB-gynecologist from the Makati Medical Center, 2 out of 3 babies are in the breech position in their 20th week inside their mother’s womb, but change to the anterior position by the time their reach 36 weeks.
“Even as much of 2/3 of babies are in breech before 20 weeks, but by the time they reach 36-37 weeks, only 7% remain in breech. They usually turn to cephalic position on their own” she said in Filipino.
But Dr. Singson added that for the baby in a breech position to turn, it also depends on how much wiggle room there is in the mother’s pelvic area. Because as the baby descends to the birth canal, he will be looking for a position where his head can fit.
“Usually, thats related on how adequate the pelvis of the mommy is. Because the head of the baby is the biggest diameter of the body, bigger than the butt, so his head will naturally go towards the biggest diameter.
If there is adequate in the pelvis, baby’s head can go down. So it also depends on how much room there is in the mom’s abdomen for the child to turn,” she explained.
What should I know if my baby is in a breech position?
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What are a mom’s options?
There are some ways that a mom can try to get her baby to turn. But keep in mind that the priority is always the baby’s safety. Here are some things that moms with breech babies can do to help make sure that they can deliver their baby successfully:
Have a C-section
The greatest risk of a breech birth happens if the baby is delivered vaginally, or through natural birth. The baby can experience trauma or injuring during the delivery. That’s why the most common means of dealing with a breech birth or suhi would be to perform a cesarean section delivery. This is the safest way to get the breech baby out, especially if he is in a footing breech position.
However, C-sections also have their own risks, so a different option would be to reverse the baby’s position early on.
What you need to know on how breech birth or suhi na baby starts | Image from Shane on Unsplash
External Cephalic Version, or ECV
Another way of dealing with breech birth is through External Cephalic Version, or ECV. ECV is performed by the doctor to gently turn your baby using his hands while the baby is still inside the womb. The process is pretty straightforward and doesn’t require any complicated procedures. It’s usually done at about 37 weeks into the pregnancy.
However, there are situations wherein an ECV is not advised, such as the following:
- If the mother experiences vaginal bleeding
- If there is a low level of amniotic fluid
- The fetus has an abnormal heart rate
- If the placenta is near the uterus
- When the mother has twins or multiple pregnancies
What you need to know on how breech birth or suhi na baby starts | Image from Dreamstime
ECV can also have some risks, but the chances of them happening are very slim, especially with an experienced doctor doing the procedure. Here are some of the potential risks:
- The baby might turn back to breech after the procedure is done.
- Fetal distress can lead to an emergency C-section.
- There may be a premature rupture of the membranes.
- Sudden onset of labor may occur.
- There may be small blood loss for the fetus or the mother.
The success rate for an ECV is about 58%, so it’s important for mothers to take that into consideration whenever they have a breech birth.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is to prioritize both the baby as well as the mother’s health. So for everything that you need to know about suhi or breech position at birth, or anything relared to your pregnancy, don’t hesitate to consult your OB-gynecologist.
familydoctor.org, Healthline, Cleveland clinic
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