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Ideas on Turning a Breech Baby

At 33 weeks when you hear the word “Breech” it can be quite scary. In fact when I heard that Shelby was breech this past week I cried. Even though I know she is small and still has a lot of room to move around I felt for a second my entire birth plan with her went out the door. In fact I can’t even picture my birth plan right now because my mind is focused on “what if she doesn’t flip back?”

She had been head down since about 24 weeks. I knew her little body parts. her kicks and tickles but now I feel like a deer stuck in headlights. I feel like my body is failing me and not allowing her to get in the right position.

My midwife was awesome and gave me so many different suggestions on helping get Shelby to flip back head down. We do have an ultrasound planned at 36 weeks to check her position and we might even try a version if she hasn’t flipped.

I plan to exhaust all my options, and discuss vaginal breech birth with my midwife as well. Although I am hoping these techniques below help her flip on her own.

Here are some suggestions I received on flipping a breech baby:

  • Relax! – Many times maternal fears lead to tense muscles (including those of the uterus), making the breech position the most comfortable one for baby, or the one in which it was stuck, and is then unable to move to vertex because of the confines of the uterus

Necessary for other turning attempts to work—no amount of turning will get the baby out of breech if the uterine muscles are just too tense

  •  External Cephalic Version – Basically, someone manually turns the baby head-down by pressing and pushing on the mom’s stomach.  This is typically done at 36+ weeks, and can be done during labor. There is the possibility of cord compression or some other cause of fetal distress, so it’s typically done in the hospital, in case a quick C-section needs to be done
  • Webster Technique – A chiropractic technique in which the body is manipulated to release stress on the mom’s pelvis and relax the uterus and ligaments
  • Breech Tilt – Mom lays on something like an ironing board (or several large pillows) with one end on the floor and the other end propped up on a couch, with her head on the floor side. Done three times a day for 10-15 minutes at a time. Best done on an empty stomach and when baby is active
  •  Music – Play nice relaxing music near your pelvis to induce baby to come closer to hear better. Or play loud raucous music near your fundus so baby will move away
  • Shine a light near your pelvis, or even between your legs
  • Have the father talk to the baby, low on the belly, and tell him/her to move
  • Hypnotherapy (helps to relax)
  •  Lots and lots and lots of pelvic rocking
  • Elephant walking (walking on hands and feet, to get your rear-end up as high as possible)
  •  Acupressure
  • Drink plenty of fluids – This may help especially if low amniotic fluid is making not enough room for baby to move freely enough to turn
  • Posture – Keep your belly open by keeping spine straight and tall.  Sit “Indian style”, leaning slightly forward. Watch out for “bucket seats,” recliners, and other types of seats that tip you slightly back
  • Moxibustion (a Chinese herb that is rolled into a stick, then the end is lit and put on various acupressure points of your body)
  • An ice pack or frozen bag of peas where the baby’s head is, to encourage it to move

About the Author

Amanda Acuña an influential Mom Blogger. She created MommyMandy as an online resource to the parenting community. She is married to her high school sweetheart and has three daughters, ages 14,11, 5 and a son who is 2. They currently reside in Texas.

13 Responses to “Ideas on Turning a Breech Baby”

  1. Jennie says:

    I know if I were you, I would be trying everything too!! Good luck, and Shelby, would you turn over please!!! 🙂

  2. courtney b says:

    i hope she flips over!:) My friend just had a breach baby and she turned out just fine!

  3. Tian Kinasih says:

    Thank you for the information, i learned a lot from your post.

  4. Eileen says:

    Your really do have a lot of time yet Mandy, especially if your babies were not big and I see they were not. I sure hope she does turn…have been reading your other posts about your birth plan and know you really want things to go as planned.
    My last son was breech, then transverse, then breech. He was like an Olympic swimmer, back and forth. I did try all the tips you mentioned but for him it was a cord wrap thing. I wondered if all the turning they tried to do was in his case maybe part of the problem in the end. Plus he was almost 9 lbs. I would always request for SURE to have an ultrasound during, before, after? a turning to check cord placement. I did end up with an E-sect and at that point I had no care in the world…I was so happy he was OK. Cord was wrapped 4x around his neck and they said they have never seen that before. I know Mandy that you will be strong and you are so gaga over your kids and this baby, that in the end, no matter what happens you will feel blessed and lucky and everything will be “all right”. No matter what happens with this situation, you know now how to ask for things that you need regarding ALL the other things that are part of having a lil one. Chin up kiddo, you will do this! Maybe you can play the song by THE BYRDS – TURN! TURN! TURN! (TO EVERYTHING THERE IS A SEASON…) 🙂

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks Eileen! I think she keeps flipping around on me. Last night I had hicuups super low then an hour later they were high again.

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks Eileen! I think she keeps flipping around on me. Last night I had hicuups super low then an hour later they were high again.

  5. Sonya Morris says:

    Hopefully, she will turn around soon! I know it has got to be scary thinking she may stay breech! She is still tiny and has plenty of room for doing gymnastics in your belly. Your midwife gave you a lot of great ideas and I have one suggestion. Let your other kids talk to her low on your belly too. My 11 year old read books to my belly and when the baby arrived she immediately bonded with her. Of course, daddy was sad that the 11 year old could calm down a fussy baby easier than he could! Good luck!

  6. Eileen says:

    Good luck, I hope she turns so you can have your midwife birth!

  7. Heather says:

    Lots of information on this post… thank you! I’m at 25 week and am getting curious about how I can avoid a breech birth.
    Keeping you in my prayers and hope she’s all turned in time!

  8. Cassie says:

    Wow this is some great information, I’ll have to bookmark this entry in case I need this info later on down the road! Thank you for sharing! And I hope Shelby flips!

  9. Carolsue says:

    My first baby was breech (feet first, in this case) also and therefore I had a C-section. They did not decide till the last minute — hoping she would turn — on which way to go. I think I’m in the minority, but I was very glad to have a C-section. I was a big chicken. When given the chance on which way to go with baby #2 (she was not breech), I chose C-section right away.
    But, I hope things work out for you the way you want them to.
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  10. Rebecca Smith says:

    I think a lot of babies are breech at some point and most of them flip– not to worry!

  11. anneke says:

    one of the girls i worked with tried several of these and after about 2 weeks of trying her little guy finally flipped! Hmm who knows which one did the trick:)

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