Butt First? How to Flip Your Breech Baby
Typically between 32 and 36 weeks of pregnancy your baby settles in a more permanent position, head-down (this called “cephalic” or “vertex”) Finding out that your baby is breech in the last few weeks of pregnancy can be stressful. But a breech baby does not mean you are destined for a caesarean. There are a number of techniques you can try, many even at home to encourage your baby to flip.
Natural Ways to Flip a Breech Baby
Chiropractor: The Webster Technique-
Many women experience pelvic misalignment during pregnancy. This can reduce the amount of room for your growing baby, making it difficult for them to move into a favorable position. The Webster Technique has an 82% success rate and currently the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) recommends women receive chiropractic care throughout pregnancy to establish pelvic balance and optimize the room a baby has for development throughout pregnancy. I recently had a client who presented breech at her 38 week well check. She saw a chiropractor and found that one of her legs was an inch and a half shorter than the other. After a quick readjustment her baby flipped and she went on to have the natural birth that she hoped for.
Pressure point UB 67 which is located on the side of the pinky toe. This involves placing needles in various points in your feet while burning mugwort incense near your pinky toes. This process is meant to be repeated over the course of one or two weeks.
Downward facing dog. The pose is a forward bend named after the resemblance to a dog stretching out with its hind legs extending upward and both head and forelegs facing downward. Make sure to do this when you have someone around for extra support. Your center of gravity is off, which can make you more susceptible to falls.
There are many homeopathic remedies that can be used, but one is particular is Pulsatilla. All homeopathic remedies should be discussed with your healthcare provider prior to use for proper dosing and frequency.
Visualization and Encouragement-
Sit quietly, close your eyes and visualize your baby moving into the perfect position. Try to connect with them. By 23 weeks your baby can hear your voice and will often respond to you. Talk to your baby! Let them know it’s time time to move down, encourage them.
External Cephalic Version-
ECV is performed by a healthcare professional. Your doctor or midwife will place his or her hands on your abdomen. Firm pressure is applied to the abdomen so that the fetus rolls into a head-down position. Two people may be needed to perform ECV. Ultrasound also may be used to help guide the turning. Your baby’s heart rate will be monitored throughout the process.
It’s never too late to switch to a provider who supports vaginal breech birth and is confident in their practice. In one study, researchers compared outcomes for planned cesarean and planned vaginal birth for breech babies among 8,105 women in France and Belgium. In the planned vaginal birth group, 71% were successful. No significant differences were noted in outcomes between the vaginal and cesarean groups.
Trust Your Baby-
Your baby might know something you don’t. Babies know where they need to be. Maybe their cord is short or tangled. Perhaps they know that they will have an easier exodus if they are in a certain position. Trust your body and your baby.