External cephalic version is a process by which a breech baby can sometimes be turned from buttocks or foot first to head first. It is usually performed after about 37 weeks.It is often reserved for late pregnancy because breech presentation greatly decreases with every week. It can be contrasted with "internal cephalic version", which involves the hand inserted through the cervix.
In this procedure hands are placed on the mother's abdomen around the baby. The baby is moved up and away from the pelvis and gently turned in several steps from breech, to a sideways position, and finally to a head first presentation. Use of intravenous nitroglycerin has been proposed.
Complications and risks
As with any procedure there can be complications most of which can be greatly decreased by having an experienced professional on the birth team. An ultrasound to estimate a sufficient amount of amniotic fluid and monitoring of the fetus immediately after the procedure can also help minimize risks.
There are a few cases in which there can be a greater risk, these include pre-eclampsia, uterine scarring, and multiple pregnancies or fetal abnormality. Fetal death can also occur
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