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Abnormal Presentation During Pregnancy

Clip Number: 20 of 40
Presentation: Women's Health -- Common Conditions, Tests, and Procedures
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Reviewed By: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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Sometime during the last few weeks of pregnancy, most babies move into a head-down position. Normally, the baby faces the mother's back, and the chin is tucked in toward the baby's chest. This position allows the head to descend thru the birth canal with the least difficulty. When the baby is in some other position, it is called an "abnormal presentation." This complication happens in about 4 out of 100 births.
If the baby comes down buttocks or feet first, it is called a "breech" presentation.
Your doctor may be able to change the baby's position by gently pushing on your abdomen.
When the baby is lying side-to-side in the mother's womb, rather than up-and-down, and the shoulder is right above the birth canal, it is called a "shoulder" presentation or a "transverse lie".
When the baby is in the head-down position and the chin is not completely tucked in on the chest, it is called a "brow" presentation. If the chin extends even farther away from the chest with the face coming down the birth canal first, it is called a "face" presentation.
Abnormal presentations may convert to normal up until the time labor begins.

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