Nearing the end of pregnancy with a baby in the breech position?
If you’re reading this the chances are the answer is yes – and, like me, I’m guessing you want to try and do something about it.
At 34 weeks pregnant baby number four is still in the same footling breech position they’ve been in for most of the pregnancy – meaning they’re feet rather than head first – and my midwife is already talking about medical intervention.
For that reason I’m keen to do everything I can to encourage the baby to turn naturally myself, and after posting about it on social media I’ve been inundated with suggestions – some of which I’d never even heard of!
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So this is the current position of the baby: head firmly wedged under ribs ✔ bottom sitting right on top of my bladder ✔ arms & legs the opposite of where they should be ✔ I’ve got another week until the powers that be are going to want to do something about it so I’m trying EVERYTHING: yoga, swimming, reflexology, walking up stairs sideways, wishful thinking I know there’s still time for things to happen naturally so I’ve got all my fingers & toes crossed & am trying not to stress about it but at the same time I REALLY want to avoid medical intervention so can’t stop thinking about it either Thanks so much for all the suggestions you’ve given me so far – I’m trying them all so please keep them coming! #34weeks #pregnancydiary #babynumber4
So, for anyone else in the same position as me, I thought it would be helpful to collate some of the best advice I’ve had all in one place. Please note though I am NOT a medical professional and please don’t try anything without discussing it with your midwife or doctor first!
7 ways to try & turn a breech baby naturally
1. Lie on your left side
Which is easier said than done if you naturally sleep on your back or your right side like me. Sleeping on the left side improves circulation to the heart and allows for the best blood flow to the fetus, uterus, and kidneys. And if you put a pillow between your legs it not only allows the hips to remain in a slightly open position which is great for alignment, but it lets the muscles in the lower back relax, reducing overall tension in your lower body.
2. Swap the sofa for a medicine ball
When it comes to the position of your baby slouching on the sofa in the evening is bad news, apparently. According to Spinning Babies doing circles on a birth ball can help encourage your baby’s head into the cervix, and they say a birth ball is second only to a birth stool for helping rotation while expectant mamas are sitting.
According to my pregnancy yoga teacher there are several positions which are great for encouraging a foot-first baby to turn, including the child pose, the downward facing dog and the cat cow pose. The parenting website Romper has a great post on 5 yoga poses to turn a breech baby, with YouTube videos as well as pictures to show you how it’s done.
Reflexology is a gentle way to encourage a baby to turn, and has a 60% success rate according to hypnobirthing experts KG Hypnobirthing. Find a practitioner who specialises in pregnancy so they know which energy channels to focus on.
Being relaxed in water can have a positive effect on turning a baby according to the experts at turningbaby.com. They say that a good swim technique relaxes your hips and positions the pelvis in an anterior position (when the pelvis tilts downwards) which can help your baby turn and descend head down. It’s worth noting they caution against starting swimming just to try to turn your baby though.
Don’t worry, it’s not as drastic as it sounds. Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese therapy which involves burning dried mugwort near particular points on the body. When it comes to turning a breech baby, this involves burning the herb near acupressure points on the little toe to heat the energy points. Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has this helpful no-nonsense explanation for how it works.
7. Talk to your baby
It might sound bonkers, but according to KG Hypnobirthing talking to your baby is the most effective of all hypnotherapy with a success rate of 80%. They suggest stroking your bump gently from the top, going down the left-hand side to the bottom, while gently talking to your baby and suggesting that they might like to turn. I have to say the jury’s out on this one!
Do you have any experience of trying to turn a breech baby, or know anyone who has? If you have any hints or tips I’d love to hear them!