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Are Breech Babies Born Early?

Although it's fairly uncommon, it can be unnerving to know your baby is breech. After all, you want to make sure you're little on is all set and ready come their arrival day. Wondering when, or if, he will turn in time can be nerve-wracking. And to compound your worries, you may wonder are breech babies born early? Because the last thing you want is another reason to worry about your little one's arrival.

In general, by the time a labor begins at term (around 37 weeks), about 97 percent of babies will be born head first, as Baby Center explained. If your baby is born premature, however, your doctor may not have adequate time to help your infant get turned around properly. And according to the American Pregnancy Association, women who have a history of premature deliveries may be at greater risk of having a breech baby. So it does appear that there is at least some correlation between breech and premature births, although not necessarily causation.

Breech deliveries are not the end of the world, but they can present some additional complications. For instance, as WebMD noted, breech babies may injure a woman's uterus or birth canal, and the babies themselves may be injured in the birthing process or at risk for a prolapsed umbilical cord. However, preterm delivery of breech babies may present even further complications. According to Medscape, fetal abnormalities occur in 17 percent of preterm breech deliveries, as compared to nine percent of term breech births. This kind of information is understandably concerning to any expectant woman.

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So what can you do if you're worried about an early delivery for your breech baby? Your best bet is to work with your own physicians first, as they will have a more complete understanding of your medical history, risk factors, and specific pregnancy. Really, in a case such as this, there is no substitute for medical knowledge. However, do keep in mind that there are plenty of ways to turn a breech baby, and of course your physicians will have even more methods of helping you mitigate your risk. Although the thought of a breech premature delivery may be frightening, keep in mind that it is not a guaranteed occurrence, and your doctor can tailor a safe delivery plan for your personal situation.