Definition

A “footling breech” is a childbirth term that refers to a specific fetal position in the womb. In this position, one or both of the baby’s feet are pointed downward and will come out first during delivery. It is considered as a more dangerous breech position, as it has higher risk of complication during delivery.

Key Takeaways

  1. A footling breech refers to a situation during childbirth where the baby’s feet are in a position to come out first from the womb as compared to the normal head-first position.
  2. This type of breech is less common and can create complications during delivery, as there is a high risk of cord prolapse, where the umbilical cord drops down through the cervix before the baby.
  3. In most instances, due to risks involved, footling breech positions often result in a recommendation for a Caesarean section (C-section) for safe childbirth.

Importance

The term “footling breech” is vital in the context of motherhood as it refers to a specific position a baby may be in during the later stages of pregnancy or during delivery.

In a footling breech position, one or both of the baby’s feet are positioned to descend into the birth canal before the rest of the body, presenting them first.

This position can increase the risk of complications during vaginal delivery, including cord prolapse, where the umbilical cord slips into the birth canal ahead of the baby.

Understanding and identifying these kind of positions can help healthcare providers to make informed decisions to ensure the safest delivery plan for both the mother and the baby.

Explanation

Footling breech refers to a specific position of a baby in the womb, particularly relevant during the later stages of pregnancy and during birth. It serves a practical purpose in the field of pre-natal medicine, as understanding and recognising it can help doctors and midwives predict possible complications in delivery, allowing them to take necessary precautions or make a plan for a Cesarean section if the baby does not change position naturally.

Breech, in general, means that the baby is positioned with its feet or buttocks towards the birth canal, unlike the ideal position which is headfirst. Footling breech is a subtype wherein either one or both of the baby’s feet are poised to come out first during birth.

Identifying a footling breech position is crucial because it usually implies a high risk for cord prolapse, where the umbilical cord slips into the birth canal before the baby, thus potentially compromising oxygen supply. Therefore, understanding the term ‘footling breech’ helps healthcare practitioners to ensure the safety and well-being of both the mother and the baby.

Examples of Footling breech

Footling breech is a term used in obstetrics to describe a specific position of the fetus where one or both feet are positioned to come out first during delivery. This is relatively rare, occurring in less than 1% of all births. Here are three real-world examples that may help illustrate the term:

Example 1: In maternity ward, a pregnant woman at her 37th week was found to have her baby in footling breech position during an ultrasound. This gave the medical team time to discuss possible delivery methods such as C-section if the baby did not reposition by the due date.

Example 2: A midwife practicing in a rural area encountered a footling breech during a homebirth. Since this can present more risks during a vaginal birth, she had to quickly decide if they need to move to a hospital setting for a safer delivery or continue with carefully monitored labor at home.

Example 3: A doctor trained in delivering breech babies successfully delivered a footling breech baby vaginally. However, this situation required careful monitoring of both mother and baby throughout labor and an understanding that they may need to switch to a C-section if complications arose.

FAQs on Footling Breech

What does footling breech mean?

A footling breech refers to a specific position of the baby in the womb where one or both feet are positioned to be delivered before the rest of the body.

What causes a footling breech position?

There is no specific cause for a footling breech position. It can be due to multiple pregnancies, an irregular shaped uterus, previous premature birth, or low-lying placenta.

What are the risks associated with a footling breech?

Footling breech can cause complications during delivery, including cord prolapse, where the umbilical cord drops through the open cervix before the baby does, possibly leading to oxygen deprivation.

Can a footling breech baby be delivered naturally?

Most doctors recommend a cesarean section for footling breech babies due to the potential risks. However, vaginal birth can be attempted under certain circumstances and with proper medical supervision.

Can a baby in footling breech position be turned around?

Yes, there are techniques to try and turn the baby around in the womb. This process, called External Cephalic Version, can be successful in many cases and is usually performed after 37 weeks of pregnancy.

Related Motherhood Terms

  • Maternal Pelvis
  • Obstetrical Manipulations
  • Caesarean Section
  • Birth Canal
  • Umbilical Cord Prolapse

Sources for More Information