Midwife Cath Curtin is used to seeing women get upset when she tells them their baby is in the breech position – that is, head up instead of head down.
“If they’re 20 weeks or 23 weeks, you wouldn’t say anything,” she tells Mamamia. “But it’s usually around 34, 36 weeks that we’d start to say, ‘Your baby is breech and it’s going to stay there.’”
“That means their bottom is really wedged down into the pelvis,” Curtin says. “They don’t move.”
A lot of mums-to-be aren’t happy to get the news.
“These days, most doctors choose to do a caesarean section for a breech presentation. That is what can be upsetting. But once you explain it properly, the women are usually fine about it.
“You explain that it’s okay to have a caesarean section.”
Women often ask if it’s possible for the doctor to turn the baby. Curtin says it depends on the baby’s position.
“If it’s sitting down in that frank breech, it’s very hard to actually turn it. But if it’s sitting like a Buddha, with its legs crossed, it’s easier to do the turning.”
However, she says it’s not that common anymore.