How to Turn a Breech Baby
Today we're going to talk about 11 ways to help a breech baby to turn. Just imagine, the excitement of pregnancy, the opportunity for new life. You're having dreams of what the future is going to be like with your child and you're going through this process of pregnancy. Some of them joyful, some of them uncomfortable but it's all a part of the process, You get to a point nearing the end of pregnancy where you find out that your baby is breech, not the right position, basically upside down. What are you going to do and why is this important?
When a baby's breech, most doctors don't want to perform a natural birth. Most moms, on the other hand, don't want to have surgery. They want something that's natural and done the way God made us.
Are there any options that you have? Oftentimes, expectant mothers usually get to a point where they are advised to have a C-section or a painful external cephalic version if the baby doesn't turn. So what do we do? Let's talk about this for a moment.
Different Baby Positions
There's never a time where delivery is fun or easy, but you want it to go as smoothly as possible. If baby is in one of these non-optimal positions, is there anything that you can do?
Non-Surgical Breech Birth Alternatives
The first recommendation would be to exercise. I have a special bonus for everyone here today. Go to our podcast freebies. Go into the show notes and there will be a link to download our podcast freebie and you can download that exercise guide for breech presentation.
There are a number of different things that you can do that will help you. Now you have something that you can take with you that will help make a difference in that breech position.
The next thing we'll talk about is chiropractic care. If you see a pediatric pregnancy focused chiropractor, there are very specific techniques that are designed to help when baby is breech. It is believed that sacral misalignment can cause tightening and torsion of specific pelvic muscles and ligaments.
It's these tense muscles and ligaments and their effect on the uterus which will prevent baby from being in the position that's normal and comfortable. Baby won't assume the best possible position for birth if the sacrum is out of position. It puts pressure on the broad ligaments and the round ligaments affecting the positioning of the uterus.
The Webster Technique
There's a technique called the Webster technique that is specifically designed to work on relaxing the round ligaments and improving sacral position. It's not going to turn the baby right there and then however, it creates the right alignment for your baby to naturally get in the proper head down position. This technique is not rough or forceful (unlike the external cephalic version that your obstetrician does). This is a very gentle, easy technique.
There are studies that have shown (and we actually were involved in this practice-based research study) the Webster technique was 69% effective at helping baby turn. There'll be a link to that in the show notes and I want to make sure that you get that link.
Webster technique along with chiropractic care are incredibly effective to get your baby to turn. It's basically a general position for aligning the pelvis and works on relaxing those round ligaments and it makes a big difference.
Here's a few other things you can try to help convince baby to turn.
Get In The Water
Go to your nearest pool and do a handstand in the water. Water increases amniotic fluid - more room, more movement!
Shine a Light on the Lower Pelvic Area
Baby responds to dark and light. Have Dad shine a light down in the lower pelvic area while talking or singing to your baby to coax them down. This one is a little less comfortable even for the baby.
Ice, Ice, That Baby
Baby also responds to cold and hot. Place an ice pack where the head is. When you ice that upper part of the abdomen, the baby is going to want to be in a place where it's more warm and so they'll work their way down.
The technique has been around for over 3500 years! Between weeks 30-34 gestation with a breech baby, an acupuncturist will stick the needles (very thin and narrow) in your pinky toes, both sides. Then, moxibustion incense, comprised of an herb called mugwort, is burned and the smoke is swirled close around the needles. The hot cherry of the incense is also put close (but not on) the needles. The combination of smoke, heat, and acupressure points stimulate the uterus to get baby to turn head down. It doesn’t hurt.
Use Some Noise
While the ice method tries to push baby away from the top of the uterus, the noise method is gentler and simply entices baby to the southern end with some great tunes or stories. Mom will need headphones or a partner for this one. The mother should place her headphones on top of the abdomen. Babies can hear during the third trimester and the noise entices the baby to move down into the birth canal.
Pulsatilla is a homeopathic herb from the wind flower. It can be used for mom when baby just won't budge. A naturopath or a midwife can administer it and it's safe for most women.
Hypnosis for Mom
There are case studies on hypnosis showing that after mom is hypnotized going through certain affirmations and things has been shown to help baby to turn. Talk about the ultimate relaxation technique!
The Cat/Cow Position
Actually they talk about some of the nesting instinct where mom prepares the home for the arrival of baby on the hands and knees scrubbing the floor. That actually is the cat cow position or cat camel position. If you're in that position, it actually helps baby to be at a more normal and natural position.
This position is actually great for any pregnant woman to practice, but women whose babies are breech will benefit from the way it opens the body so the baby can flip if they are able.