OK so you find out your baby is breech. Now I know this is easier said than done, but the first thing you must do is relax, take a breath and know there are a few things you can do to help turn the baby, and if you put yourself in a panic mode and become anxious and holding onto muscle tension your chances of turning the baby become slim to none, the baby will have a hard time turning if the uterine muscles are tight and held in tension.
And of course call to make an appointment with your prenatal massage therapist to help release the tension that started to build as soon as you heard the words “your baby is breech”. Remember relaxation is key!
Here are some suggestions and I want you to keep an open mind on some of the techniques I’ll be presenting here, you need to be open to anything that will help turn your baby.
Now you have your hot and cold technique, where you place a cold pack, I prefer a bag of frozen peas they mold so well, at the top of your belly and something warm, preferably the Bed Buddy (don’t miss that page) down near the pelvic bone. Sit and relax with the cold and the heat and visualize the baby turning into the correct position moving towards the warmth of the heat…turn baby turn!
Using music or shining a light over the belly is another trick to get the baby moving. Starting at where you think the baby’s head is and slowly move your flashlight or headphones along the top of the belly moving down toward the pelvic bone, again with you relaxing and visualizing the baby safely turning into the correct position…I also read that positioning the flashlight between your legs can also work to bring the baby around…move towards the light baby!
Rolling on your ball doing pelvic tilts for about 5 to 10 minutes at a time, especially when you feel the baby being active, the kicking against the uterus is what helps the baby move position.
Get yourself some pillows for your knees and get down on all fours, put your butt in the air (like ya just don’t care), your hips are shoulder width apart and stay there for a good 10 to 15 minutes, this position helps to open the pelvis and again best to do when baby is most active…consider this a kneeling meditation, praying with all ya got that this baby turns already!
The Breech tilt kind of freaks me out, it’s easier to do then the yoga shoulder stand which I don’t recommend the shoulder stand unless you are real yogi, but you can lie with your head towards the floor supported on something like an ironing board, I would be more afraid of falling or rolling off the ironing board so I would recommend using some large pillows to support your back while lying on the floor with your legs propped on a couch or chair. This should be done three times a day for 10 to 15 minutes at a time and also best when baby is active.
Adopting a knee-to-chest position by kneeling on you bed with your butt in the air and your hips flexed at slightly more than 90 degrees (don’t let your thighs press against your belly). Keep your head, shoulders, and upper chest flat on your mattress. Hold this position for 15 minutes every two hours for five consecutive days. In one study of 71 breech babies, 65 turned when their mother adopted the knee-chest position…now there are some good odds for you!
Walking on hands and feet, to get your rear-end up as high as possible…oy I wouldn’t want an audience for this one!
Swimming, doing somersaults, or walking on your hands in the water, which is easier than doing the yoga shoulder stand.
Then you have the Webster Technique and you will need a chiropractor for this and make sure you ask how many times they have done this technique, is this something they are comfortable doing, and ask what is their success rate. The Webster technique helps to release stress on your pelvis and relax the uterus and ligaments.
External Cephalic Version or ECV is where they manually turn the baby by pressing and pushing on your stomach…Ouch! I have heard this procedure can be very painful but with a skilled OB/Midwife the success rate is between 50% to 70%. Even though around 2% of babies flip back to breech I’d still opt for this over having a C-sect.
Make sure you stay hydrated, drink plenty of fluids this may help especially if low amniotic fluid is making not enough room for baby to move freely enough to turn.
One of my favorite techniques and here is where your open mind comes in, is using Moxa a Chinese herb that is rolled into a stick, then lit and used to warm and stimulate acupuncture points on your body. Moxibustion, a traditional Chinese medical practice has been shown as an effective treatment to turn breech babies. I have personally turned three babies using the Moxa technique. According to an article in “The Journal of American Medicine” (JAMA) moxibustion is found to be effective in stimulating fetal movement and in correcting breech presentation. The primary point used for the treatment is located on the outside corner of the nail of the little toe. This point connects with the uterus through an internal meridian. The heat of the moxa stick stimulates the baby to move and encourages it to turn. Treatment is most effective if started in the 33rd or 34th week of pregnancy. It is suggested that you do this twice a day for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. How the hell the Chinese figured this out is mind boggling to me but they did. And I thank them for it! Take the time to watch the video I found so you can see a moxa technique being done. I would also suggest you see an Acupuncturist to have this done or at least for them to show you how to do this properly at home.
Acupuncture is also an option.
Types of breech positions:
A = Frank, B = Complete, C= Footling
- Frank breech. The buttocks are in place to come out first during delivery. The legs are straight up in front of the body, with the feet near the head. This is the most common type of breech position.
- Complete breech. The buttocks are down near the birth canal. The knees are bent, and the feet are near the buttocks.
- Footling breech. One leg or both legs are stretched out below the buttocks. The leg or legs are in place to come out first during delivery. Below is link to video explaining moxa treatment for breech from YouTube.com.
And then of course there is always just asking the baby to turn! Turn baby turn!