How to Turn a Breech Baby

Information about turning a breeched baby.

daria-nepriakhina-262667

 

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Member tips:

 

Some parents considered alternative therapies like seeing a chiropracter, yoga, getting acupuncture or moxibustion:

 

"Moxibustion is known to be highly effective. Seeing a chiropractor who does the Webster Technique can also be successful."

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"I just wanted to chime in on this and say that I went to my chiropractor throughout my pregnancy.  She sees a lot of pregnant women and does some really gentle adjustments that make room for the baby and help it turn.  I met a woman in the waiting room just a couple of weeks ago who went in with a breech baby that turned after 1 or 2 visits.  They do a technique specifically designed for this issue.  They are great over there and definitely worth a try."

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"You should definitely not give up.  There are TONS of things that you can do for a breech baby.  My doctor set me up with an acupuncturist who was not able to turn my baby but she did turn the baby of a good friend of mine.  My baby Norah was breech up until week 37 when I had an external cephalic version--an interesting and successful procedure.  The YIN OVA Acupuncture Center in Manhattan specializes in breech births."

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"Have you practiced any yogaSome midwives and yogis say that spending time in certain positions can help encourage babies to turn.  In general, positions where your pelvis is tilted forward help make room for your baby to move around, such as the Up and Down Cat pose and Downward Dog.  The best one is this:  1. Come onto hands and knees with knees a bit wider than hip distance apart.  2. Put some cushions on the floor under your chest right above your belly.  3. Rest your upper body and head down on cushions with arms however they feel comfortable and turn your head to the side.  Your seat should stick up with your hips over your knees, so your hips are higher than your torso and your pelvis is tilting forward.  4. Rest that way often for however long it is comfortable, turning head to other side after a bit so you don't get a crick in your neck!  Avoid squatting which encourages your baby to engage in the pelvis in her current position, and minimize sitting back with rounded spine, lounging on the sofa etc. where the pelvis is tilted back.  They also say that visualization and talking to your baby can help.  Picture him or her turning and ask her to help you.  You never know!  My midwives told me that chiropractic really works for many women."

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"had a manual version at 39 weeks after trying many unconventional methods of getting my little sweetheart to flip.  We tried moxabustion (an acupuncture technique), lying inverted on an ironing board while playing music (between my legs!), and having my husband shine a flashlight into the birth canal and sing to her.  She just found her comfy spot and didn't want to move.  The version took about 1 - 1 1/2 hours.  They worked on me for about 45 minutes before I allowed them to give me the drug that relaxes the uterine muscles. After that, she turned in 15 minutes.  I listened to relaxing ocean waves on a walkman during the whole thing and held my husband's hand. Slow, deep breathing was pivotal and great practice for labor."

 

From one mother who tried a combination of methods:

 

"[My child] was breech until about 37-38 weeks when she finally flipped. I have no idea if any of them made a difference, or if [my child] would've turned on her own. There's a good website (I think it's called spinningbabies.com) with lots of info/exercises to try. I also tried acupuncture and moxibustion, and I could definitely feel movement during the sessions."

 

Other parents suggest "The Webster Technique":

 

"My husband and I are both chiropractors in Park Slope, and we have quite a bit of experience with pregnant women.  One of the techniques we use is called the Webster Technique.  It is a technique with a high (over 80%) success rate for turning babies.  General information about the Webster Technique:  Chiropractors work to correct subluxations (misalignments) of the individual spinal bones. When subluxated, these bones put pressure on the spinal cord and the spinal nerves causing malfunction in any part of the body and imbalance in surrounding muscles and ligaments. Sacral subluxation causes the tightening and torsion of specific pelvic muscles and ligaments producing uterine constraint. It is these tense muscles and ligaments and their constraining effect on the uterus which prevent the baby from comfortably assuming the vertex position. The Webster Technique is defined as a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment that reduces interference to the nerve system, facilitates balance in the pelvic and abdominal muscles and ligaments, which in turn reduces constraint to the woman's uterus, thereby allowing the baby to get into the best possible position for birth.  In expectant mothers presenting breech, there has been a high success rate of the baby turning to the normal vertex position.  Any position of the baby other than vertex may indicate the presence of sacral subluxation and therefore result in intrauterine constraint. It is strongly recommended that this specific analysis and adjustment of the sacrum be used throughout pregnancy, to detect imbalance and prevent intrauterine constraint.  You may also want to check out www.spinningbabies.com; there is some really good info on this website about fetal positioning."

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"My little one is not breech but posterior.  My midwife suggested that I lie upside down for 15+ minutes on an ironing board, or butt up and face down for 15+ minutes (to get the baby's head out of the pelvic area and make it easier to turn) together with massaging the baby gently into the position you want it to lie.  I did the whole lying-on-my-left-side-only and butt-up-thingy for about four days, and it worked for me; however, then my baby turned right back into her old position a couple of days later!  (I felt like I was a bread machine!)  I am now 37 weeks, and my midwife suggested that I find a chiropractor certified in the Larry Webster's Chiropractic Technique for Turning Breech Babies as they also can turn a posterior presentation.  I have found one who also practices cronio sacral chiropractic work, and it seems to be a good fit for the future as well.  It took about 2 hours of research to find a chiropractor in my POS plan, but it was worth it.  I ultimately decided that I will use acupuncture (although acupressure should work, too).  There are several so-called turning points in our body, and I was told that turning a baby 1/4 to the left or right or 1/2 to the anterior, or from breech to head down positioning can be done after 37 weeks until right before birth (if need be, even during labor).  Based on results I have had with carpel tunnel syndrome, sciatic nerve pain, and swollen feet/ankles (all of which were alleviated or at least considerably lessened), I KNOW that it is working and trust that."

 

Sometimes babies will turn on their own in 39 weeks - and some babies are just late turners:

 

"My younger son was transverse until 39 weeks 4 days. He turned head down on his own (i.e., with no special exercises, interventions, etc.), and was born two days later. My doctors (from a pretty straightforward medical OB practice) were really not at all concerned about the transverse position until 39 weeks, at which point we did discuss the possibility of their doing an attempted turn in the hospital.  Their view was that there was plenty of time for the baby to turn on its own up until 39 weeks.  My older son turned from full breech to head down at around 37 weeks, and this was directly after doing a lot of yoga positions designed to make it easier for the baby to move.  So I would recommend doing whatever low/no intervention you can (chiro, yoga, etc.), keeping in mind that the baby may still turn on its own."

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"Just wanted to add to that M was breech until about 35 weeks. I didn't do acu or moxi - just a lot of down dogs and avoided the squatting position (yoga) for any length of time (so as not to set the baby in breech position). I also wouldn't necessarily worry about breech position until closer to 35-36 weeks."

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"No new information to contribute, but just wanted to provide another story of a late turner! My OB also reassured me that they really can flip until late and also not to worry until about 38 weeks.  Elliot flipped right around then, after many at home sessions of rooftop moxibustion and downward dog.  My friend who is a naturopathic dr also recommended the moxi."

 

One mother suggests the "Breech Tilt," as well as other methods outlined above:

 

Below is the mish mosh of breech info I have collected:  There are lots of things you can do.  Between 35 and 38 weeks it is often recommended that a woman lie in the Breech Tilt which involves lying on the floor with your butt propped up on a ton of pillows, hips raised 12 inches or more, knees bent and feet flat.  Or you can lie on an ironing board with one end propped up on a couch.  You can do it three times a day when your stomach and bladder are not full, and the baby is active.  Remain in that position for 10 to 15 minutes.  Consciously release tension in your abdomen and visualize the baby's head pressing down against the top of your uterus.. This is what will give the baby a little wiggle room when you do get up so that it can turn.  You can also try music.  Place earphones low on your abdomen and play rhythmic music at a comfortable volume. The baby may try to move its head closer so it can hear.  Moxabustion is another great and well-proven option that we really think is worth trying.  It involves burning the Chinese herb moxa over your left pinky toe and has great success in turning breech babies.  In fact, several studies have been done showing its efficacy.  Most acupuncturists can perform this, as can you if you just purchase the herb in Chinatown and read up on it online.  Acupuncture itself can also work, and since most acupuncturists use moxa, it's a great idea to do both.  A chiropractic method called the Webster Technique has great success, too.  Finally, there is ECV (External Cephalic Version) where your midwife/doctor does an ultrasound to locate the baby's position and then attempts to manually move the baby into the head-down position.  Many people are quite successful at this while many others won't even try it.  Some use an epidural and some don’t."

 

PSP Member Recommended Websites and Resources:

 

Spinning Babies

"Check out www.spinningbabies.com for more information on "optimal fetal positioning" and helping your baby lie in the anterior position rather than "backwards" in the posterior position during pregnancy.  This website addresses how to avoid a posterior baby (the position which leads to longer and more difficult "back labor") and also offers suggestions for helping to rotate the baby during labor so that you can get your labor to progress more smoothly and easily."

One Midwife's Collection of Breech Turning Techniques

 

PSP Member Recommendations For:

 

Acupuncture (prenatal)

Chiropractors