Things Have Taken a Turn

You are going about your pregnancy business when you are at your 36 week appointment. Everything is going fine. Baby’s heartbeat is great. Your blood pressure is great. Your care provider starts palpatating your belly. Then your care provider gets “the look” on their face. The one where they are feeling body parts in unexpected places…like a head instead of a bum at the top of your belly. Ultrasound confirms the suspicion..your baby is in a breech position. Suddenly your birth preferences have been turned upside down.

This is one of the things that most people do not expect to encounter during pregnancy so when ti happens it tends to catch people off guard. Many people want to know their options and how a breech baby changes their plans for birth.

Most providers wiill schedule a Cesarean section for your 39th week of pregnancy if your baby is breech. Talk to your provider about your options for the Cesarean…who can be in the OR with you, can you have immediate skin to skin contact with baby, can you play music, etc. Having some input into what happens in the OR during a planned Cesarean birth can be very empowering for you and minimize anxiety about the unknown.

There are some hospital-based providers who will do vaginal breech deliveries but their numbers are small. We tend to see a provider more likely to do a breech delivery if the you have a “proven pelvis” meaning you have had a vaginal birth prior to the current pregnancy. For more information about vaginal breech births you can check out Dr. Stu Fischbein's website.

Sometimes care providers will give you the clear to do things that may help turn the baby from a breech position into a head-down postition. +Please check with your care provider before attempting any of these+ Here are some of the options….

1. Chiropractic care. You’ll need to find a chiropracter is trainer in the Webster technique. Typically you will need to go to a minimum of 2-3 appointments.
2. Swimming
3. Moxibustion 
Moxibustion is the act of burning moxa near a person’s skin. It tends to be most effective in turning breech babies when combined with acupuncture.  
4.. External Cephalic Version (ECV) 
Your care provider will help you determine if you and your baby are good candidates for this procedure. Every time we have seen this procedure done it has taken place in the hospital OR. You and your baby are monitored very closely during the routine. The ECV involves the OBs (usually a team of 2 for the procedure) placing their hands on your stomach and gently trying to manually turn your baby.

While it can be hard to wrap your head around, we believe babies are smart and choose the position that’s best for them. You may not know the reason your baby was breech until after he is born or you may never know at all. Trust your baby and let him trust you into doing what’s best for both of you.