Monday, 14 October 2013

How to Turn a Breech Baby or Forward Facing Baby

Updated 15 November 2016

As you get further on into your pregnancy, the majority of babies turn meaning that they're head down. About 3-4% of babies are breech at term. Ideally they should also be facing your spine since their faces are squishy. If they're facing forward this can cause back pain and back labor. Even if your baby is facing forward there's still a chance that the baby can turn while you are in labor. Here are some things that you can do to help your baby turn.

Things that help babies get in the right position 
  • Both
  • Breech
  • Forward facing 
Some techniques, such as pelvis rocking, myofascial release, and acupressure are traditionally used for breech babies, but can also be used for forward facing babies. Talk to your caregiver or seek out an alternative medicine specialists to see what's right for you.
  • Abdominal stroking: for forward facing babies, get all on fours and have your partner stroke from one side of your belly to the other; only stroke in one direction!
  • Acupuncture: traditional oriental medicine that is said to cure a lot of things.
  • Acupressure: similar to acupuncture, but no needles! Bladder 67, located at the outside of the pinkie toe. Use with caution. Seek a licensed acupressurist.
  • Aromatherapy: may help you relax and the baby turn. 
  • Bagnell Technique: similar to Webster but also takes the cervical vertabrae into account.
  • Belly dancing: can loosen muscles and help baby turn.
  • Belly lifts: simply lift your belly up. This can give your baby space to move. 
  • Bowen technique: gently uses the thumbs and fingers over muscles, tendons, fascia, and nerves. Frequent pauses are used in this technique.
  • Breech tilt: lie on your back with pillows under your hips so that they are higher than your heart. You can also use an ironing board. Find out more in the Spinning babies parent class
  • Chiropractors: some chiropractors can help adjust your pelvis and spine to help the baby turn. Make sure your chiropractor has experience doing this. 
  • Circuit: 3 simple exercises that you can do at home. 
  • Cold at the top of your belly: this encourages breech babies to move away from the coldness. 
  • Craniosacral therapy: addresses the body as a whole and believes fixing minor misalignment can have huge benefits. 
  • Diet: eat more yang foods (fish, poultry, eggs, red meat, dairy, and miso). Decrease yin foods and products (fruit, ice cream, oil, coffee, sweets, drugs, chemicals, cigarettes, and stress). 
  • Doulas: some doulas can help you use the techniques mentioned here. For example, Kate Beslame who is a doula and midwife has helped mothers turn their babies with moxa, Bowen technique, and hypnosis.
  • Elephant walking: walk on hands and feet.  
  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT): based on the connection between mind and body.
  • External Cephalic Version (ECV): your doctor or midwife will manually try to turn your baby from the outside. It has about a 50-60% success rate but babies can flip back into a breech position. Using acoustic stimulation before an ECV is performed has been shown to dramatically increase the success rate. YouTube has some videos that show how it work. Some places will use medicine to relax your uterus and/or only do it up until 36 weeks, so be sure to ask around. Some hospitals and birthing centers in Seoul such as Cheil Hospital, Jungan Hospital, Medi Flower, Rosa, Soonchunhyun, and Yeon and Nature will do them. Here's the contact information for these places.
  • Forward leaning inversion: you can find out more in the spinning babies parent class
  • Forward sitting: don't lean back while sitting. 
  • Homeopathy: they often prescribe pulsatilla, ignatia amara, or natrum muriaticum.
  • Hypnosis: mind over matter. Here's a sample script.
  • Inverted shoulder stand: hold your waist so your feet are up in the air. Do twice a day for 5 minutes. 
  • Light: towards the base of the belly can help breech babies turn. 
  • Lunges: helps loosen muscles.
  • Mayan massage: can help with alignment.
  • Meditation: some believe that a mother's fears can inhibit a baby to turn. Releasing these fears can help the baby get in the correct position.
  • Moxibustion 무연 미니 뜸: this herb is said to help turn babies between 34-36 weeks. You can buy it over the counter at Korean pharmacies.
  • Music near the bottom of your belly: breech babies move towards the music.
  • Myofascial release: they help release muscular shortness and tightness. 
  • Pelvic rocking: birthing balls are great for this.
  • Photos: get photos of babies in the optimal position and place them at work and at home so you see them all the time.
  • Polar bear position (knee-chest; modified handstand): for breech babies, get on all fours, bend your elbows to the ground and stick your butt up in the air for 30-45 minutes.
  • Rebozo sifting: helps loosen muscles and tension. 
  • Spinning babies: you'll learn how to what position your baby is in and how to get your baby into an ideal birthing position. Be sure to check out the Spinning babies parent class and the Daily essentials.
  • Side-lying: helps babies turn.
  • Side lying release: you can find out more in the Spinning babies parent class
  • Slow dancing: helps loosen muscles so a forward facing baby can turn.
  • Squatting: helps a forward facing baby turn. 
  • Standing sacral release: you can find out more in the Spinning babies parent class
  • Swimming: somersaults may help the baby turn. 
  • Talking to the baby: telling the baby that you want it to turn.
  • Visualisation: mind over matter, see your baby turning.  
  • Water: you might be dehydrated and the baby doesn't have enough amniotic fluid to turn.
  • Warmth near the bottom of your belly: breech babies move towards the warmth. 
  • Webster Technique: is a chiropractic method. Here's how it works and the history behind it

Breech Babies and C-sections
Many doctors do not like to deliver breech babies vaginally and will schedule a C-section. When a baby is at full-term (from 37 weeks) their head and butt are about the same circumference. If you want to deliver vaginally, ask your doctor if they have experience delivering breech babies and are comfortable doing so or change hospitals.

If you are willing to have a C-section, ask your doctor if you can labor on your own first due to the hormones that your body produces. You can achieve this by going into labor naturally or being induced (pitocin is commonly used). There are many benefits for both you and your baby if you go into labor. It helps your baby get a higher Apgar score, breath better, and transition to life outside the womb more easily. It will help you bond easier to your baby, help create a transition from being pregnant to being a mom, and help your milk production.

Tender Embrace Birthing offers childbirth, breastfeeding, and newborn care classes and support.

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