I hate it when one of my students from Loving Your Labor or The VBAC LAB sends me a message or posts in our private communities that their baby is breech. It frustrates me, and here is why a breech baby gets my goat.
I get it, mama; I had this happen in 3 pregnancies. I had a breech baby at 38 weeks with 2 of them. Well, guess what? I turned all 3 through various methods and a lot of fear and anxiety. But they turned.
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Here are some ways to encourage a breech baby to turn:
Below are some suggestions for turning a breech baby. None are guaranteed. I suggest you try them all or at least most of the mama.
Yoga is something to try out for a breech baby. It is the basic principle of gravity to turn the baby’s back head down. I highly suggest you try the supported bridge pose for as long as you can maintain it. Use support under your sacrum. (I used books as I didn’t have yoga blocks)
Related: The VBAC Consent
I was in the pool often when I found out my son Gavin was breech. I did handstands. Boy, was that a challenge. But I did it. Swimming slow laps also felt amazing for my aching body!
ECV is an intervention we do in labor and delivery at the hospital to turn breech babies. It is performed under the care of your provider. After giving you a medication to relax your uterus, the doctor uses her hands to turn the baby physically. I have had this successfully done once and hated it. But I was happy to have him turn and give birth vaginally. (Some providers do it after you get an epidural, I did not do that)
FORWARD LEANING INVERSION
This is something I preach all the time on Labor Nurse Mama. I love this technique. It is helpful for aches and pains of pregnancy as well as turning a breech baby. You can do this (as tolerated) a couple of times a day.
Check out this article: 15 Ways to Have a Gentle Cesarean or a Family-Centered Cesarean Section
ACUPUNCTURE & MOXIBUSTION
I did not try this myself, nor did I try the next suggestion, but I have had readers and patients who have tried.
This is a Chinese medicine that meets acupuncture, but instead of the needles, they use a mugwort stick. (Looks like a cigar). One end is lit, and the other (unlit!) end is gently applied to a pressure point on your baby toe.
It would be best if you found a chiropractor who specializes in Webster Technique and breech babies. It’s a specific adjustment that helps get the sacrum aligned for the baby to get into proper positioning. Start this as soon as you find out the baby is breech.
Basically, you will lie on the floor and raising your hips. You plant your feet on the ground and bend your knees. You can also use an ironing board. I did both for my breech babies. You put the ironing board with one end on the couch and the other end on the floor. I used pillows on mine. Lay on it with your feet elevated for 20 minutes. To warn you that my head felt awful!
This one may not work, but it will be fun and some much-needed cardio! I can’t help you much here as I never tried this one, but have fun and try it!
Ice vs Heat
Put heat on the lower abdomen and ice on top of the abdomen to encourage the baby to turn to the heat.
Alright mama, again I want to encourage you that patience is key. Most breech babies turn themselves over time.
Once your baby turns head down, I was told to put on an abdominal binder to hold him in place. (you need one for postpartum support anyway!)
As always, share your story!