Chances of a Second Breech Baby

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
My daughter was born at 41 weeks 1 day. She was frank breech and born at home vaginally. She was head down the day before and even at the initial labor checks (just checking from belly no ultrasound).I felt her moving way too much during labor so I and my midwife believe she flipped in labor. The entire pregnancy I measured way ahead for my due date like anywhere between 3-8 weeks ahead. but she was only 7lbs and 21".

Now I am pregnant with my second and I am measuring way ahead again, so I know there is extra amniotic fluid again. I'm 20 weeks and starting to get worried that this one is going to have too much room and will be breech as well.

I know that the chances of having a breech in the first place are pretty low like 3-5% but do your chances of having a breech baby increase with subsequent pregnancies? Have there been any studies to this subject?

ANSWER

The more important question is why you are making extra amniotic fluid. If the baby was healthy, the next most common cause is (gestational) diabetes. If you tested positive for it last time, that would be the root cause of the breech presentation. Even if you tested negative, I would suggest that you go on a strict diabetes diet for this pregnancy (many examples on-line) right away and see if that would help you to produce a normal amount of fluid.

You are correct, excess fluid does increase the risk of malpresentation of all types, including breech.

-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.