If you're pregnant and closing in on your baby's due date, it's typical to worry about labor and delivery. At every prenatal appointment, your doctor or midwife will start preparing you for childbirth; spending some time feeling your baby bump, assessing your baby's position, and checking to make sure your body is ready. They'll also check for signs of potential complications, so everyone can prepare as best as possible. Luckily, there are early signs your baby is breech, too, so you and your provider can adjust accordingly and knock labor and delivery out of the park.
According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), most babies turn head down at the end of the third trimester. A few — about 1 in 25 — will be breech, meaning bottom or feet down. The same site notes that if your baby is breech, it might not be safe to deliver them vaginally, so it’s important to know in advance so you can your health care provider can adjust any labor and delivery plans accordingly.
According to What to Expect, sometimes there are a few early signs that your baby is breech that you can pick up on, including how they feel in your belly, how frequently they move, and/or any vaginal bleeding you may be experiencing. The site Breech Babies club notes that some women with breech babies report pain in their ribs, but others don't, which can make it hard to diagnose their condition before delivery. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, breech babies can also be diagnosed by your doctor or midwife with a physical exam and ultrasound. The good news is once you know for sure, you'll have the information you need to make a plan for your doctor to try to turn your baby, or to schedule a C-section if they don't turn over on their own.