When are babies delivered as a ‘Breech Birth’?

At about 280 days after the baby’s inception, the mother starts to feel strong tightening pains, called contractions, in her womb when the birth is near. These contractions become stronger and the neck of the cervix starts to open. As the contractions continue, the baby’s head moves down and eventually emerges through the cervix and vagina.

A breech birth is different to a regular birth because the buttocks engage in the pelvis instead of the head. This makes delivery more complicated as the largest part, namely the head, is delivered last. A breech birth is encountered about once in every thirty deliveries. Because the head in such cases is the last part of the child to be delivered and because this part of the delivery is the most difficult, the umbilical cord may be compressed while the after-coming head is being born, with the result that the child may be deprived of oxygen.

Fact File:

Sometimes a baby cannot be born normally through the vagina and so it has to be surgically removed from the mother’s womb. This operation is called a caesarean section.


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