Finding out late in pregnancy that your baby is breech can be devastating and create added stress if you have not been anticipating a cesarean section. But do not despair, there are many different things you can try to flip a breech baby.
I found out my baby flipped breech at 36 weeks 2 days. I immediately panicked but wanted to do whatever I could to encourage her to flip around. There are many different ideas and techniques that have worked for women that range from things you can do at home to procedures that need to be performed by a physician.
Natural Ways To Flip Breech Baby At Home
- Shine a flashlight on the underside of your belly.
- Place an earphone on the underside of your belly and play music. If you often listen to a certain song or have been playing a special song for your baby throughout pregnancy then that would be a good choice.
- Place an ice pack on your belly where the head is located.
- Get on the floor on all fours. You can try a downward dog Yoga position or bend your elbows so your bottom is in the air and your head is resting on a pillow on the ground. If your baby likes being upright then this slant to your body might encourage them to flip. You can do that as long as it is tolerable. Look to average doing it about 10 minutes each time, up to around 6 times per day (as recommended by my chiropractor).
Also be sure to check out www.spinningbabies.com for more specific positions that you can try.
- Concentrate on your posture. If you do a lot of sitting, make sure you are not reclining or rolling back on your sacrum. These positions can narrow the pelvic opening so baby wouldn’t want to put their head down there. When sitting be sure not to slouch. Try to sit on the bony part of your pelvis. Sitting on a birth ball can really help with opening things up. When you are relaxing such as taking time to watch TV or using the computer, try to use a birth ball to sit.
- Essential Oils – Rub a few drops of myrrh therapeutic grade essential oil in a rainbow shape over the baby’s head. You might also try Peppermint. I tried Peppermint and though it seemed to cause her to move, she did not flip. I wish I had known more about essential oils then because it seems to have a great success rate.
Alternative Medicine Techniques To Flip Breech Baby
- Acupuncture – There are certain points on your body where needles are placed. They are mostly painless. The most important point is UB67 which is located on the side of the pinky toe. This one does pinch as the needle goes in but it only lasted for a few seconds in my experience. Acupuncture is supposed to stimulate the uterus to loosen and create more room for baby. My acupuncturist mentioned that the procedure has a 90% success rate for women 34 weeks and earlier, but still has a high success rate late in pregnancy as well.
- Moxibustion – A form of Ancient Chinese Medicine that involves burning an herbal stick called moxa. It is similar to incense. In this situation, the burning moxa is held above the same UB67 point on the pinky toe mentioned above with acupuncture. My acupuncturist follows a protocol of holding the moxa over the point until it feels hot, then move to the opposite toe. Repeat this process two more times. Perform the whole sequence three times per day. Studies have shown that women who use acupuncture or moxibustion are more successful at flipping their babies than those women who “wait and see”.
- Homeopathy – Pulsatilla is a homeopathic remedy that has been success at turning breech babies. It may be available in some pharmacies or most health food stores (no prescription needed and it safe during pregnancy), but I would suggest consulting a Homeopath or another type of practitioner that is familiar with homeopathic remedies.
More information on Pulsatilla use can be found here:
- Chiropractic – The Webster Technique is performed by chiropractors who have had additional training. Make sure you find a chiropractor who is certified in this technique. It is thought to help open up the pelvis to allow for optimal room for baby to move.
Medical Techniques To Flip Breech Baby
- External Cephalic Version(ECV) – This is a procedure that is performed by a perinatologist usually around 36 or 37 weeks. An ultrasound is done first to confirm the baby’s position as well as the location of the placenta. A fetal heart monitor is hooked up to monitor the baby’s reaction to movement and if they are distressed. If the baby is confirmed to be breech or transverse then the mother is given a tocolytic agent, which is a medication used to relax the uterus and prevent contractions. A Doctor and usually a nurse will then use their hands on the mother’s belly to try to manually move the fetus to get the head down. The procedure can be quite uncomfortable and cause bruising. There is a 58% success rate on average. (source) There are some risks associated with the procedure such as possible twisting of the umbilical cord or breaking of the amniotic sac. The risk of any adverse effects is pretty low, but it is important to discuss them and any other concerns or questions you have about ECV with your healthcare provider.