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What Is A Version?

My baby is breech and my doctor wants to do a version. What will happen exactly?

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 to 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 that 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

Plus, More from The Bump:

Delivery Options for a Breech Baby

Create Your Birth Plan

Top 10 Labor and Delivery Fears