Being told you have a breech baby can be scary. Years ago obstetricians were prepared and trained for vaginal breech births. Now, Cesarean dates are given to expectant mothers weeks before their due date if ultrasound shows the baby is breech, including:
1. Footling breech – feet first
2. Complete breech – baby sitting on heels (Buddha Style)
3. Frank breech – bottom first, with feet up by head
Breech babies make up about 4 percent of pregnancies. Here are some great tips to do help your baby turn head down.
- Webster Breech Technique from a certified chiropractor
- Acupuncture choose one that specializes in pregnancy and knows the points to stimulate for turning a breech baby.
- Swimming as often as possible. This keeps your body and pelvis loose and relaxed. Do in conjunction with headstand below if you have help.
There are also some remedies you can try at home. These include:
- Breech Tilt – begin at 32-35 weeks gestation. Do 3 times daily for 10-15 minutes each time, when you have an empty stomach, and the baby is active. Prop one end of an ironing board securely on a sofa or chair 12 to 18 inches high (or may use slant board). Lie down, bend knees but keep feet flat on board. Relax, breathe deeply, avoid tensing. May also use pillows on a flat surface to raise hips 12-18″ above shoulders. Gravity pushes the baby’s head into the fundus, tucks it, and baby can then do a somersault to a vertex position.
- Flashlight or rolling pin – try moving slowly down from the top of the uterus toward your pubic bone while you are in a breech tilt position.
- Massage – start with your left hand at the bottom of the abdomen and your right hand just above it. Move move your hands clockwise around the right side of your tummy. As your right hand reaches the top of your abdomen, slide the left one over your right and move it down the left side of your tummy. Your left hand leads as you you come full circle, continuing clockwise. Massage gently as you would to apply lotion. Massage for ten minutes or more up to several times each day.
- Clothespin – place on the small toe of each foot at the outside corner of the toenail; sideways so that the toenail and toepad are stimulated for 30 minutes per day, this is an acupressure point that is a “moving down” point. You can also do this with just finger pressure as you remember to do it.
- Motion Sickness band – place with the bead four fingerwidths above the inner ankle bone – another acupressure point that is used for stimulation of the uterus. Do not use this point if you are experiencing any pre-term labor.
- Glass of orange or other juice – follow this with a side-lying position with your hips positioned higher than your feet. Babies move more after a sugar high!
- Pelvic Tilt- with an ice pack on the top of your tummy on an empty stomach, 10 minutes twice a day. Do this while lying on your back on the floor with knees flexed and feet on the floor with three large pillows placed under your buttocks. Try this in conjunction with headphones and visualization.
- Cat stretch – start with all fours, then lay your head and chest flat on the floor with your buttocks in the air, as you round your back and return to all fours.
- Knee-chest position – by kneeling with hips flexed slightly more than 90 degree, but with thighs not pressing against your tummy and your head, shoulders and upper chest are flat on a mattress for 15 minutes every two waking hours for five days.
- Visualizing the baby moving down with the head very deep in your pelvis, several times a day; especially in conjunction with positions and exercises below.
- Belly Relaxing followed by Inversion – Partner places a shawl, sheet, towel or rebozo under mom’s hips as she lays on the floor. Lift up on the corners of the cloth and shimmy her from side to side moving your hands up and down to wiggle her belly from side to side. These should be very small movements which mom should find very relaxing. Do this for about 5 minutes. Then mother kneels on the stairway landing. Walk your hands down 2 or 3 stairs into an all fours position; have your partner support your shoulders to balance you. Remain in this position for about 5-10 minutes or as long as comfortable. Also do this on an empty stomach.
Dr. Amie Gregory is Webster Certified. This is a technique specifically for babies in the breech position and it is effective about 80% of the time. It is painfree, gentle and helps get you ready for delivery as well. It can also help with pelvic pain and low back pain.
- Medical Professionals will recommend External Version after around 37 weeks. This is uncomfortable and quite invasive. If you have a breech baby, this may be the best way to get your baby face down and ready for birth.
Sources: Brenda Lane: Turning a Breech Baby