The breech clinic is for women whose babies are in a ‘bottom first’, also called ‘breech’ position towards the end of pregnancy, if your baby is in a breech position when you are more than 35 weeks pregnant it is unlikely to turn into a head down position for birth. There are a number of choices that can be offered to you by the team at the Westmead Breech clinic to manage the last weeks of your birth and pregnancy. We do not accept appointments earlier that 35-36 weeks as there is still a chance that your baby might turn head down.
Appointments and Referrals
You need to be referred to the breech clinic by your local doctor (GP), your midwife or your obstetrician, they can make an appointment for you. If you need to change the appointment you can telephone 9845 6508. Your GP, midwife or obstetrician can also call the Clinical Midwifery Consultant for Breech Clinic on 8890-7993 or 0427 159 286.
Your GP, midwife or obstetrician needs to order an ultrasound scan of your baby before you come to the clinic if you do not already have a recent one. The ultrasound looks at the amount of fluid around your baby, how big your baby is and where the placenta (afterbirth) is. This helps us to decide how best to manage your pregnancy and birth. An information booklet about External Cephalic Version (turning the baby) will be given to you so that you will have an idea of what we will be discussing appointment.
The breech clinic team consists of an obstetrician, an obstetric registrar and a midwife. The team are experts in breech pregnancy and birth and safety is our main concern. We will also see you in Birth Unit if you are having a vaginal breech birth and on the Maternity Ward after the birth of your baby.
What to expect at your appointment
At your appointment you will be able to plan your care with our team. You may think that you have no choice but to have a caesarean section, this is not the case. At your appointment we will talk with you about trying to turn the baby to a “head down” or cephalic position. This is called an External Cephalic Version (ECV). If you choose to have an ECV and your baby turns you will return to your main pregnancy carer (Midwife or Doctor) and plan for a normal vaginal delivery. If you choose not to have an ECV or we cannot turn the baby, we will then talk about your birth options with you so that you can decide whether to have a vaginal breech birth or a caesarean section. If you choose to have a vaginal breech birth sometimes we need to send you for extra tests, such as a CT scan or another ultrasound scan. You will be able to talk about all of your options at your visit. After birth your baby's hips will need an ultrasound scan at 6 weeks of age due to the way they were positioned in the uterus. All breech babies will be offered this ultrasound scan after birth whether they were born vaginally or by caesarean section. The maternity ward will give you the ultrasound referral form for this ultrasound scan. This is a routine test to check your baby's hips are normal and do not require any other treatment. At your appointment you can ask as many questions as you need so that you are confident and informed about your choices.
You will find the breech clinic in the Women’s Health Clinic, level 2, G Block at Westmead Hospital. You will find the breech clinic in Women’s Health Clinic which is to the left of the Information Desk at the main entrance. When you arrive please see the Women’s Health Clinic receptionist. The breech clinic takes place every Monday between 1:30pm - 5:30pm (excluding public holidays).
Westmead has parking and there is a cost involved. During business hours, can be hard to park, it may be easier for you to come by bus or train when you have an appointment. The train station and bus stops are within easy walking distance of the hospital. Parking is patrolled by security and fines will be issued for illegal parking.
Tip: The team will help you decide whether vaginal or caesarean breech birth is best for you and your baby.
Patient stories - Our breech birth delivery
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