How to Turn a Breech Baby
If you are planning a natural birth, one of the last things you want to hear is that your Baby is in the Breech Position.
Most Hospital guidelines in most developed countries will summarily schedule you in for a C-Section near your due date. Whilst it is possible to birth a breech baby, there are some additional risks which is why a Section is routinely offered.
Only 4% of term babies are Breech
Some Units may also offer an ECV (external cephalic version) – a manual procedure where a Doctor will try to physically move your baby with some deep manipulations through your abdomen. Check out this YouTube video for an amazing view of a baby turning during an ECV. However, there is a risk of your waters breaking due to the pressure on the abdomen (0.22%) and a very small risk of placental abruption (0.18%).
There is a 58% success rate for an ECV.
There are also some less invasive techniques for turning breech babies.
1. YOGA AND YOUR BIRTHING BALL
We discovered that our baby was breech at our 26 week Growth Scan. At this stage I was sure that baby had plenty of time and plenty of room to turn independently. A repeat scan was booked for 37 weeks, and despite my midwife assuring me baby had turned head down, the scan revealed otherwise – still breech! I was given information on ECV (external cephalic version), and the options of cesarean section or vaginal breech birth were also discussed.
I decided to try a one-on-one yoga session with Julie (I was already attending her weekly pregnancy yoga classes) and she gave me a personalised set of exercises to encourage baby to turn and provide as much room as possible! I also had a reflexology session at home. This was wonderfully relaxing! Julie concentrated on trying to encourage baby to turn. I felt lots of movement after this session, but I didn’t think baby had turned. I went along to my booked cesarean section at 39 weeks (I declined the ECV).
The consultant examined me and agreed that baby was likely still breech, however it is policy to scan all planned cesareans booked for a breech presentation. We were both stunned when he said baby was head down and engaged! I was sent home to wait, and delivered a beautiful baby girl naturally 5 days after my due date. Huge thanks to Julie for her help!”Christine and Betsy
Sometimes a baby will mischeviously rotate backwards during labour, so that their spine rubs up against yours. This uncomfortable scenario often leads to intervention as the labour becomes more difficult. But all is not lost!
Head Down and Ready for Birth!
I’d love to know how you get on. Leave your comments below.
I can also offer a one-to-one Skype session if you’re really stuck (or your baby is really stuck!).
- ‘Breech Presentation – Caesarian Operation versus Normal Birth‘ by Gina Lowdon, AIMS Journal 1998 Vol 10 No 3
- ‘What is the Evidence for using an ECV to turn a Breech Baby‘ by Rebecca Dekker at www.evidencebasedbirth.com