Getting a Breech Baby to Turn
“Your baby is breech” is a phrase often feared by many women. A breech baby is a common reason for a cesarean birth, since it is no longer a very common practice to vaginally deliver a breech baby due to the additional risk. After hearing that phrase, women take to the Internet to ask Google and their moms groups on Facebook, “how can I turn a breech baby?” She will get all kinds of answers ranging from telling her to play with a flashlight, flipping around in a pool, and spending her days upside down.
I get it. I used to recommend some pretty crazy things to moms who came to me asking for help in turning their breech babies. Some things appeared to work, although we can’t prove it, but most often there is really nothing you can actively do. Babies are the only ones in control of turning and neither you nor your doula is responsible for getting them to flip over into the head-down position. As much as we would like to believe that we are in control of what our children do, we are not. But you may still be wondering what you can do to try to get baby to turn.
If you are a ‘do-er’ personality, you may feel like you just need to try everything.
The Webster technique specifically is a wonderful method of chiropractic that is used to relax the uterus and surrounding ligaments, as well as to reduce the stress on the pelvis and it can be done throughout your pregnancy. Dr. Susan Kees at Kees Chiropractic in Franklin and Dr. Bryan Pascoe at Belle Meade Chiropractic are both great Webster-certified chiropractors right here in the Nashville area.
Massage is another wonderful way to get the muscles, ligaments, and fascia to relax and release, which may help turn your breech baby. Book a prenatal massage appointment with Sosanna Coyne at Exhale Nashville located in West Nashville. She has an incredibly impressive background in massage and specializes in prenatal massage.
Acupuncture, a Chinese tradition that has been around for thousands of years, uses tiny hair-like needles, which are inserted into the skin along various points of the meridians. It is believed to correct imbalances and promote relaxation. There is also a technique called moxibustion, which is the burning of an herb by the toes to encourage a baby to turn. For a phenomenal acupuncturist, check out Rachel Davis at Green Hills Natural Health Clinic.
Towards the end of your pregnancy, if baby is still head-up, you can discuss an External Cephalic Version, which is a non-surgical technique of moving the baby manually. You wouldn’t want to wait too long to have this discussion though because it is more challenging and less successful the closer you get to your due date. You would be given medication to relax your uterus and your baby will be monitored carefully during the procedure to ensure they are handling it well.
Yoga is another potential way to turn a breech baby, but, as with the other methods mentioned, the goal is not to turn the baby, but to create space and relax the abdominal muscles, which in turn may allow baby the room to turn. Book a private yoga session with one of our experts or join a prenatal yoga class with Bethany Hard at Kundalini Rising Yoga.
We can provide opportunities to turn, but the decision to do so is ultimately your baby’s to make.
If a cesarean is the route you, your partner, and your medical team decides is best, discuss your preferences and desires for your cesarean so you can have an experience you feel happy about. Book a cesarean planning session with our doulas to learn about the options available to you, specific to your chosen birth location.