Is Baby Breech? What to Expect in a Cephalic Version

If baby is breech, your doctors may want to perform a version. We walk you through what happens, step by step.
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Updated May 5, 2017
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A cephalic version is basically when your OB pushes and prods your breech baby to try and get him to turn head-down (a technique some doctors use to try and shift a baby into the proper birthing position).

First, they’ll do an ultrasound to determine baby’s position, heart rate, the placenta’s position and the amount of amniotic fluid. You might also be given a medicine to relax your uterus and ease the turning. Next, the doctor (and maybe a helper) will push or lift your tummy with his hands to try and help baby roll into position. She might use ultrasound to guide her in the procedure and keep track of baby’s heart rate. Your doctor isn’t likely to attempt a version until after 36 weeks, since baby is still likely to turn a somersault before then. And yes, even if your OB does manage to get baby into position, he could still flip right back into his favorite spot.

The good news: More than half of version attempts are successful—so it’s definitely worth a shot. Complications from a version are rare, but you’ll probably have the procedure done in or near a delivery room so baby could be delivered quickly in the (unlikely) case of early membrane rupture, heart rate problems, placental abruption, or preterm labor.

Excerpted from The Baby Bump: 100s of Secrets to Surviving Those Nine Long Months.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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