Turning a breech baby in the womb (external cephalic version)

Breech means that your baby is lying bottom first or feet first in the womb (uterus) instead of in the usual head first position. In early pregnancy breech is very common. As pregnancy continues, a baby usually turns by itself into the head first position. Between 37 and 42 weeks (term), most babies are lying head first, ready to be born.

Vaginal breech birth is more complicated than normal birth. Your obstetrician or midwife may advise trying to turn your baby to a head-first position. This technique is called external cephalic version (ECV). This is when gentle pressure is applied on your abdomen which helps the baby turn a somersault in the womb to lie head first.


The leaflet can be downloaded as a pdf by clicking on the link below.