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Melissa M. Goist, MD

Transverse Baby?

My doctor told me my baby is transverse. What does that mean?

Your baby usually hangs out in a few different positions while in the womb. Sometimes she may be head down (vertex), sometimes head by the ribs (breech), and occasionally she may even by sideways (transverse). Eventually, as you get into the late stages of pregnancy, she’ll pick a position and stay that way. Luckily, very few babies actually stay through a transverse position because the uterus is built to stretch up and down, not side to side.

So if you’re still relatively early in your pregnancy (say, 25 weeks or so) there’s a good chance your transverse baby won’t  stay that way for long. By 36 weeks, she’ll likely descend into the head-down position. But in some cases she can still be breech.

If that’s the case, your doctor may ask if you want to try and turn the baby with an inversion procedure to get her into a vertex position, or you may consider having a c-section. However, it’s very rare for doctors to see a purely transverse baby after this point, because gravity tends to lend a hand in helping her to begin her descent.

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