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)
- 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