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Are Breech Babies Smaller? Not Necessarily

As your baby grows larger inside of the womb, your little one may find a way to perform some pretty impressive maneuvers in such a tight space. It's not until the last weeks of pregnancy that he or she really settles into the ideal birthing position. Though most babies find their way to this position, which places their head near your cervix with their face toward your back, some babies find themselves in the breech position. Breech babies can be born with some complications, but are breech babies smaller?

First, you have to consider the position of a breech baby. According to What To Expect, around three to four percent of babies are breeched when they arrive at full term, and they're found in one of three breech positions.

  • Frank breech: With the baby's bottom down, and legs pointing upward toward his or her head, this is the most common breech position.
  • Complete breech: With your baby's bottom seated near your cervix, with his or her head up, usually sitting cross-legged.
  • Footling breech: With your baby's head up, and one or both feet hanging down, which would mean your baby would come feet first during delivery.

According to the Bon Secours Medical Group, there are several reasons why your baby might present in the breech position. Among the reasons are you having a previous breech pregnancy, expecting twins, an excess of amniotic fluid, an abnormally shaped uterus, fibroids, and a premature birth.

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Around 25 percent of babies are still in breech position at 28 weeks, according to What To Expect. Which is why if your baby is in danger of being born prematurely, your baby has a higher chance of being born in breech position. According to the Mayo Clinic, size is a side effect of a premature birth. Though there is a correlation between premature births and breech births, a breech birth does not mean your baby will be smaller simply because of the breech birth. In fact, according to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), most breech babies are born completely healthy. A few weeks before your due date, your doctor will check your baby's position, and if it is in breech position, there are several ways your health provider can attempt to help move your baby into a more ideal delivery positions. The APA lists both medical and natural techniques available to help babies reach a more natural position, which you can discuss with your doctor upon discovery of whether or not your baby is in breech position.