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Your 40-week Journey : The End of Pregnancy What to expect (part 2) - Breech presentation & Your hospital bag

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Breech presentation

Breech position is when your baby is bottom first instead of head first. Breech babies lie in one of three positions: a flexed, or “complete,” breech, when the hips are bent, the thighs against the chest, and the knees bent with the calves against the back of the thighs and feet above the bottom; an extended, or “frank,” breech when the hips are flexed, or bent, the thighs against the chest, and the feet by the ears; and a “footling” breech, like a flexed breech, but the hips aren't so bent and the feet are below the bottom. If your baby is breech at term, your doctor may recommend delivery by cesarean section.

Complete breech

With a complete breech, where the knees are bent and the feet are above the bottom, a vaginal birth may be possible.

Frank breech

A frank breech position, with the legs up in front of the body, is most favorable for a vaginal birth.

Footling breech

If your baby is in a footling breech, with the feet below its bottom, you will probably be advised to deliver your baby by elective cesarean.

Your hospital bag

Although hospital visits tend to be short, with many women staying around 24 hours or less after a normal delivery, you will need a few essential items. Many moms have a bag for themselves and one for the baby, while others organize a labor bag and postpartum bag for mom and baby. It's up to you. Basic requirements include:

Packing your bag:

Getting your bag ready well in advance of your due date can be reassuring, helping you to feel prepared and ready for labor.

  • Clothing for labor (including socks and/or footwear).

  • Nightwear.

  • Toiletries.

  • A towel, sanitary pads, disposable panties, and a bra.

  • Music, books, and magazines, as well as money, telephones, phone numbers, and cameras.

  • A food bag with nutritious snacks to keep you going.

For your baby you will need:

  • Clothing, cleaning materials, and some clothes for returning home.

  • Diapers (check to see if the hospital provides these).

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