Most babies are positioned with their heads downwards near the end of the pregnancy. However, some babies remain in the bottom/legs downwards position. This is called a breech and occurs in 3-4% pregnancies.

If the baby is in a breech position around 35 weeks, it can be attempted to turn the baby.

The external (cephalic) version is a safe and effective way to turn a baby and the chances of complications are small. The version at Focus Midwifery Centre or at the hospital (Diakonessenziekenhuis or WKZ) is performed by a version professional. The version professional tries to turn the baby from the breech position to the head facing downwards position by applying external pressure to the womb.

Tineke van den Akker, Eva den Ouden and Tineke van Solkema are version professionals who are qualified to perform the procedure at the Focus Centre.

This procedure is optional; sometimes babies still turn to the head downwards position without any intervention.  But this is rare after the 35th week.  If the baby is breech, you will be referred to the hospital to give birth. The gynaecologist will then discuss the options with you and the gynaecologist will take over your care from us.

If the external version procedure is successful, you will be referred back to our practice and we will supervise the birth.

If babies are breech between 32 and 33 weeks, the position often corrects itself near the end of the pregnancy.  Other methods in correcting a breech are: