Baby Position Scan
Aiming to exclude undiagnosed breech presentation (bottom down). Also includes mandatory checks for placental position, amniotic fluid and fetal growth. (36-40 Weeks)
The main aim of Baby Position Scan (or Presentation Scan) is to diagnose breech
position or other abnormalities in the baby’s position
Normally, a few weeks prior to birth, the baby will move into a delivery position where the head is
positioned close to the birthing canal. However, about 3-4% of babies remain in a breech position. This is
where the baby’s buttocks are positioned closest to the birthing canal, resembling a sitting position.
Delivering a baby in breech position can be dangerous, but in roughly 50% of cases the position can be
corrected by external cephalic version (ECV), which is a manual process performed by an obstetrician to
turn the baby upside down in the womb allowing a head-first delivery. Alternatively, a caesarean section
may be the safest option.
In most cases, an experienced midwife can recognise a breech position through an external manual
examination of the baby, which is done by feeling for the baby’s orientation through the mother’s lower
tummy. However, in some cases, the breech position remains unnoticed until active labour and/or rupture
Thus, the main aim of our Baby Position Scan is to recognise an undiagnosed breech position.
Some of the other things we also look out for include:
- Monitoring the growth of the baby
- Baby’s well-being (such as movements, amniotic fluid, and fetal Dopplers)
- The placenta
What is the best time for a Baby Position Scan?
The best time for this scan is at 36 weeks of pregnancy.
By this time, if the baby’s head is not near the birthing canal, there is still time to discuss external cephalic
version (ECV) or other delivery plans with your doctor or midwife.
Can we exclude any fetal anomalies using the Baby Position Scan?
If you are worried about late manifesting fetal anomalies, which can develop after the anomaly scan
performed at 18-20 weeks, we strongly recommend getting our Baby Development Scan at 32-34 weeks.
Is it possible to perform a 4D scan during Baby Position Scan?
Usually performing a 4D scan during a Baby Position scan is ineffective because:
- The resolution of the image is severely affected by the naturally reduced amount of amniotic fluid by this
stage of pregnancy.
- By this stage the majority of babies are facing their mother’s backs in preparation for delivery, meaning
we would not be able to produce a useful scan.