When a woman is around 32 to 37 weeks pregnant, baby should hopefully start to make their way head down. They do this because their head is heavy and gravity moves them downwards. Sometimes this doesn’t happen and baby is described as a breech baby.
This can cause a lot of stress and anxiety for parents to be, generally because in our society, hospitals tend to offer a c-section as a solution for breech presentation.
We will discuss the pro’s and con’s of the different ways to birth a breech baby in another post but for now, we’ll discuss all the things you can try to move your baby into a head down position.
Spinning Babies is a fantastic organisation that provides activities for a pregnant woman to do that can help improve the position of baby.
If you visit the website, then find the Flip A Breech page, you should get some really detailed information and activities you can be doing each day to encourage baby to move.
Check out Spinning Babies HERE
The Webster Technique
This is a chiropractic technique, which works at releasing tension in the pelvis and sacrum. This tension can cause pulling on the uterine muscles, effectively making it hard for baby to turn. Once the tension is released, baby may find their way into the head down position.
Acupuncture is the application of very fine needles to pressure points, increasing the flow of energy around the body. It has been used for centuries to aid in turning breech babies. With acupuncture for a breech baby, the therapist places the needles in points that stimulate energy flow to the uterus.
Moxibustion goes hand in hand with acupuncture and generally done at the same time. Moxa is a dried herb, which is formed into sticks and burnt, while holding it close to (but not on) mum’s little toes. This point it meant to have a deep, energetic pathway to the uterus. Your therapist will often give you some sticks of Moxa to take home to continue the treatment daily.
Seeing a hypnotherapist can be a great idea when baby is breech. In the natural birth world, we often look to more than the physical reasons why a baby won’t turn. Is mum tense, scared or anxious about the labour or becoming a parent? Is there previous trauma needing to be healed? Often when this is addressed, baby moves!
There was a great (small) study done where 81% of breech babies turned using hypnosis! You can read the study HERE.
External Cephalic Version (ECV)
This is a process, done in hospital by a specialist. It’s a hands on procedure where the specialist tries to move baby from the outside of mum’s stomach. Often drugs are administered to the mother first so her muscles are more relaxed and others that inhibit surges starting.
ECV’s have about a 33% success rate in first time mums and 61% success rate in women who have birthed before.
If you have done the HypnoBirthing course with a Mongan Method practitioner, they will most likely be able to offer you a special, one on one session to do another Fear Release or a Breech Turn script. This is a great opportunity to work through any last fears to see if baby feels the release of tension and moves on their own.
Not All Babies Turn
3-4% of babies remain persistently breech at term. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, baby decides not to move. We have to remember that this is baby’s birth and sometimes they know best.
The placement of the placenta, the length of the cord, too much or too little fluid, and the shape of the uterus can all play a part in baby’s position.
If baby stays breech, a very important decision about how your baby will enter the world needs to be made. Vaginally or a caesarean? We will explore this in a later blog.
The most important thing to know is that breech presentation is just a variation of normal, so it is important not to get yourself all stressed. There are many care providers that support breech births, and one of the main reasons that a hospital or care provider doesn’t offer it, is because they are not trained or experienced in breech birth.
If you need help finding a supportive service provider to help with any of these suggestions, you can check out our database or get in contact with your local practitioner to get their recommendation.