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I'm approaching 33 weeks pregnant and my baby is still not head down - the midwife suspects he is lying transversely. I have been told to do a few exercises, and if this doesn't work then the doctors can turn the baby at 36 or 37 weeks. Is this safe?

  I'm approaching 33 weeks pregnant and my baby is still not head down - the midwife suspects he is lying transversely. I have been told to do a few exercises, and if this doesn't work then the doctors can turn the baby at 36 or 37 weeks. Is this safe?

Babies are often not 'head down' until about 36 weeks; up until then they may lie transverse (across), or breech (bottom down) so you shouldn''t worry unduly at the moment. As long as there isn't a reason that baby cannot be head down (for example, fibroids in the womb, or a condition of the baby that prevents him from moving-both rare), then there is a high chance of baby being 'cephalic' (head down) by 36 weeks. After this time, an Obstetrician may suggest ECV (external cephalic version)-essentially moving the baby by pressing firmly but gently on your tummy in the direction that the baby needs to move in order to be head down. ECV is considered safe (complications are very rare) and increases the chances of having a normal vaginal birth. It is usually done on the delivery ward, with the baby monitored before and after, as an out-patient and takes about 10-15 minutes or so.
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