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HealthSheets™

External Version

If your baby doesn’t move into a head-first position on his or her own, your healthcare provider may attempt to do an external version. Your healthcare provider will try to rotate your baby by pressing down on your belly. Your healthcare provider may give you medicine to relax your uterus. This can make it easier for him or her to rotate your baby. During a version, your healthcare provider will use ultrasound to watch your baby.

Changing your baby’s position

Image of doctor moving baby

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  • Your healthcare provider presses down on your belly and locates your baby’s head and bottom.

Image of doctor moving baby

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  • By pressing down on your belly, your healthcare provider may be able to rotate the baby into a head-first position. This often will allow a vaginal birth.

Delivering your baby

Even if your baby’s position can’t be changed, he or she can sometimes be born vaginally. The mode of delivery should depend on the experience of your healthcare provider. A cesarean section (surgical delivery) is the preferred mode of delivery for most healthcare providers, because of the diminishing expertise in vaginal breech delivery. You will have anesthesia (medicine to block pain), but you may remain awake and alert.

© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.