My Baby Is Breech – What Can I Do?
Hi! You’re probably anxious and have a million things running through your mind if you’ve come to this blog post. I will start off by encouraging you to relax. Let’s take this one step at a time.
Your baby is breech, or isn’t head down. Is this a problem or something to be concerned about?
How far along are you? A baby who is breech at their 20 week anatomy scan (ultrasound) isn’t a cause for concern. He/she has plenty of time to turn.
A bit further along? Let’s break it down. As a midwife, I’ve seen this before. As a mother, I’ve experienced this before with my last pregnancy. What I’ve come to find is that there is a “sweet spot” with regard for optimal time to turn baby that usually results in them staying head down for birth. Is that ALWAYS the case? Has every breech baby I’ve encountered turned head down and resulted in a vaginal birth? No. But overall, the following methods are worth a try to see if they may help you.
So, what can you do?
- Optimal Fetal Positioning Exercises
- Chiropractic adjustments
- ECV or External cephalic version
I’ve listed them in order of least invasive to more invasive.
When would you need to consider starting these? That depends on how far along you are and how long baby has been in a breech position.
If the first time you’re hearing about this is 33-34 weeks, you may consider starting with the appropriate homeopathic remedy, which will depend on whether there is an issue of over- or under-abundance in amniotic fluid levels or not. Different remedies are suggested based on the whole picture, not just baby’s position. Do your research or seek out a homeopathic healthcare provider who can help.
Beginning at 34 weeks: Optimal Fetal Positioning Techniques
You may have heard of Spinning Babies?
Check out their website fo more specific exercises and to expand on this information: www.spinningbabies.com
This is also a great time to begin chiropractic adjustments with a provider who is pregnancy certified, if you haven’t already. Perhaps baby is “stuck” in a certain position due to tight ligaments.
35 weeks gestation
This is what I found to be the “sweet spot” with regard for timing. The previous times we tried to encourage my little guy to turn, he just moved right back into the position he was in. Doing the ironing board technique coupled with the cold pack on his head (top of my belly) and heating pad on my lower abdomen (above my pubic area) made him turn at that time and because he wasn’t too little, he stayed that way!If the above tips haven’t helped baby to turn just yet, you may want to consider acupuncture. It’s actually very relaxing and can have great results.
Finally, if around 37 weeks baby has not yet turned, your healthcare provider may have set up a consultation to see if you are a good candidate for an external cephalic version or ECV. Basically, that’s a procedure where your baby is turned or encouraged to turn by the hands of the provider, usually while monitoring baby via ultrasound.
What if baby has been consistently Breech at 28, 30 & 32 week visits? (Or 2 out of 3 of those visits)
You may consider starting the homeopathy, chiropractor and acupuncture earlier, giving yourself more time.
Remember, most babies turn before delivery. I’d encourage you to wait rather than scheduling a surgical birth at 37 weeks for a baby who has not turned. If this is your first baby, the average is to go 10 days past your due date! That means baby would have a month to turn! Meanwhile you can be doing the above tips and techniques to encourage him or her to do so.