Encouraging a Breech Baby to Turn

Encouraging a Breech Baby to Turn

Babies are often in breech position until term – as it is a natural position for some. Whilst the medical profession seems to want baby to be head down, this is only half the story – as when moved to head down, there is a large issue as most women need baby to be facing ‘OA’  (occiput anterior to the front) to your right with baby’s back is ideally settled to your left side, so the  OP or posterior /spine to spine presentation is avoided.

Whilst your position is crucial for this to succeed, (and being on hands and knees for ages is really NOT the answer) the breech resolution usually needs a totally different tack.

Once baby who may have been breech turns, there may still be the OP issues – to deal with – almost all who come to see me to ‘induce’ their birth are not due (but hospital is annoying them) or baby is not optimally placed – here you can help yourself solve this, and have an easier labour, and life.

Before we start there though. .. ask yourself  – is something driving this process?

Why is baby presenting that way?

Much like all of current medical endeavours – some reflection, not reaction may be needed.
Even on a personal note – what are you gaining by having a breech?

When you really get down to it – have you had great childbirth education – are you looking forwards to the maternal initiation as a birthing mum? Perhaps spend some time in free association seeing what you can write on a page around the actual birth – and if you find you would rather skip it – then why bother about trying to get baby to do anything? If you feel it is all too much hassle – or deep down you somehow are not sure you can . .?

If there is simply a mismatch between time you have spent getting ready – especially if you are still going to work – perhaps the breech option is one where to get to specifically stop and focus – which is really a good thing.

Perhaps look to http://www.spinningbabies.com/baby-positions/breech-bottoms-up and see what has happened to allow others in this situation to turn around the result.

Look to the Easy Birthing eBooks – What can you start your birth partner doing to help loosen your pelvis? Childbirth education for the hips . . .

Babies very often sort their own position when mum calms down or resolves what is driving her – the little toe moxa I almost never do as it is reactive medicine – and if we undo what is leading baby in this position – if possible – baby ill get optimally placed – of that is what baby can do.

In my clinic I rarely have to suggest the use of moxa on the little toe point – as the sacral work that is outlined in the Easy Birthing Preparation is often all that is needed – and some spare time spent bonding with dad with the massage outlined – and after taking Magnesium supplementation ..

Other people may get you to do labour intensive workouts to ‘help’ baby feel less comfortable where s/he has been lodging.

What is usually suggested that you do . .

From 35 weeks you can use the breech tilt position, as follows:

  1. Three times a day, when your stomach is not full and baby is awake and active, lie on the floor on your back with knees bent and feet flat. Raise your hips some inches off the floor and slide some cushions beneath to hold your body in a tilted position. You will be lying with your head and shoulders on the floor and hips and knees raised. Remain there 10 minutes. The aim of this position is to help a partially engaged baby to become unengaged from the pelvis and free to move. However, if you feel faint or uncomfortable, stop the exercise at once.
  1. As you consciously relax tension in your abdomen, visualize your baby’s head pressing “down” against the top of your uterus, and watch in your imagination the baby trying to get his head “up” again.

If you have high blood pressure or cannot tolerate the breech tilt position, avoid it and concentrate on using music for the same purpose.

Place stereo headphones low on your tummy and play rhythmic music moderately loud. Some people believe babies particularly like baroque music. The baby may try to move his head closer so he can hear the music better. The music can also be used in the breech tilt position.

Go for a gentle swim (no backstroke – it strains the stomach muscles.) If you are uncomfortable going to swim at a public pool, try a bath or shower.

Babies seem to like the sounds of the water and the feeling of weightlessness that they experience when we are taking a bath. Get into the bath or shower when the baby is awake and especially active, and concentrate on lengthening your torso, imagining more room in your abdomen.

Speak soothing, encouraging words and talk to baby, encouraging him/her to turn. I know that s/he doesn’t really understand speech yet, but the tones of voice are understood and your positive hormones cross the placenta and s/he feeds on your feelings as well.

Obviously, whenever you feel the baby being active try to adopt an open position that encourages him/her to have the space to turn over.

By 34 weeks you can start the moxa and massage in earnest.

Prior to this if you have any back ache, the sacral moxa and massage down lightly – and often just the moxa (a few minutes outside a day and a few Magnesium hits orally, magnesium oil on the body many times daily applied topically through the skin, and Epsom salts foot baths at least – will have your muscular aches and pains and your insomnia/ moodiness all sorted out.

ICE – do not use it
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If you feel you need to . .

At least do step one above before you attend the medical centre. When the doctor attempts to turn your baby, he or she will put you in the above breech tilt position for 20 minutes, all the time monitoring your blood pressure, in order to un-engage the baby from your pelvis. It is a lot easier to do this at home with the use of the moxa not  just handing over bygoing to an acupuncturists who is only going to be reactive by using the moxa on the little toe.

Firstly – your uterus needs relaxing, as you do – hence the Magnesium. Frequentlyand in different applications – orally as a powder or a Magnesium only capsule, topically and in a bath or foot soak. Without plentiful Vit D and fat in the diet, it may not be absorbed.

If attending a medical setting they will do an ultrasound (are you really convinced bathing baby in what consumes the fluid around bub as it heats the area to often one whole degree C and causes the fluids to dry out, and changes forever DNA a good idea?) to make absolutely certain that the baby is actually breech, and that they are not making a mistake. Then your belly is slathered with lubricant, and gently but firmly the doctor will stroke your belly in circular movements until the head is downwards and the bottom up. If you are scheduled for an exterior turning of the baby, don’t be scared by stories of how much it hurts. There are a few good tricks that help the experience to be easier and more successful:

  • Take lots of Magnesium to calm you and your uterus.
  • Don’t eat too much or drink anything acidic (like orange juice) beforehand to avoid uncomfortable heartburn. Do have a light breakfast.
  • Bring someone along with you who will make you laugh! Chat and joke the entire time. If you are laughing, you are not tensing your stomach muscles and holding them in, which will work against the doctor’s attempts and cause pain to your sensitive uterus. The massaging movements of your laughing will jiggle the baby and endorphins may help him feel positive and more willing to be manipulated too.
  • Take several drops of Bach’s Rescue Remedy beforehand, available at pharmacies and health food shops.  This mild homeopathic distillation of flower extracts is safe to use in pregnancy and does not have any known adverse side effects.  It will help you feel
  • Perhaps talk to baby first alerting him/her to the changes afoot.
  • It is easier if you get calmer – and not thinking about what may happen if . .

But why not take action with the moxa and the time honored ways of helping yourself outlined in the Breech Solutions (eBook series) will calm you and relax the uterus and no doubt give baby the clue to change position naturally.

KEY POINT – sit straddled a chair (facing the chair back) and forwards – this opens the pelvis up 28% – it also means to birth standing/leaning forwards is the way to ensure easy birthing. Baby is hanging forwards and the weight of the heaviest part – her/his head will drive the turn around.

The DVD Birthing will also help you get tips on having an easy birth – as will the entire package.

The recently complied Pregnancy App will easily answer far more than just this question – as will going to this sister site www.HeatherSays.com

Above all – why are you needing to alter baby and where s/he is most comfortable?

It may well be best to leave nature to attend to what is best in your individual unique circumstance and see a proficient home birth midwife who has years of dedicated one-to -one hands on intuitive understanding of birthing and of normal – as breech is a variant of normal – and making/forcing your body to do anything else is not that.