When you want to be a mother and finally get to know that you are pregnant, you are obviously overjoyed. It feels good to be pampered and taken care of during those crucial nine months. But not all pregnancies are normal. If your doctor informs you that your baby is a breech baby, i.e., your baby’s head is turned bottom down, you will obviously be worried.
It is normal for babies to be in a breech position in early pregnancy, and by the end of the pregnancy, they will turn. But in case it does not happen, you can follow certain techniques and exercises to turn it the right way naturally.
Techniques to Turn a Breech Baby
Your ultrasound report might have shocked you when you came to know that your baby is in breech position. This may be a matter of concern, but the good news is that there exist a number of techniques to turn your baby in heads down position naturally. If you want to know how to turn your breech baby naturally, refer to the following effective techniques:
Light can do wonders. When you come to know in your late pregnancy that your baby’s head is not facing downward, you may not know what to do next. But by simply putting a flashlight on the lower pelvic area, you can see the magic happen.
It is known that by the end of the second trimester, the foetus can recognize light from outside. When you put light on your lower pelvic area, there are pretty good chances that the baby would follow the light and move his head towards the bottom. Though there is no conclusive study related to this, there is no harm in trying this simple technique.
2. A Magical Touch of Frost
This is another simple way to turn around your baby’s head in the downward direction. Placing the ice pack or a frozen pea pack would do. All you need to do is place a towel on your tummy, particularly where the head is and then gently keep the ice pack on it. It is likely that the baby would feel the cold and would try to move away from it and that is what you want. Isn’t it?
3. Go the Medical Way
This technique should be considered when nothing else seems to work. The procedure that is widely used for physically turning the baby is called ECV or External Cephalic Version (ECV).
First of all your doctor would help your uterus relax by giving you epidural. Once it is done, the gynaecologist would physically try to move or tilt the baby. This could be painful and is dangerous too. But using the right technique and expertise, it can be achieved without much effort. But one should never ignore the risks associated with the process that could lead to a caesarean section surgery.
4. Try Changing Your Side
Turning to sides can help your breech baby come in the right position. This is because by turning again and again to either side, you make your pelvis flexible and it further aids in giving way for the baby to make a turn. This is a natural process, and you would not even realize in your sleep when your baby tilted back to the heads down position. Sleep on your left side instead of your right side for increased blood circulation. Also bending your legs and knees should be done, and a pillow should be placed between your legs.
5. Experiment Moxibustion Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a great way to turn a breech baby. In this technique, a physician would pinch thin and narrow needles on both of your toes. Then incense called moxibustion comprises a herb called mugwort. This incense is burned, and its smoke is spread around the toes. It is the combination of heat, needle pressure, and smoke that, in turn, leads to turning of the baby in the downward direction.
6. The Soothing Magic of Water
There is no denying the fact that a pregnant woman feels relaxed and light when in water. If you are pro at swimming, you can flip forward and backwards in the water or even try the breaststroke. This can greatly help in flipping the baby to the head down position. Another thing that you could try is headstand under the water. This may sound weird, but it is a useful and an effective technique. However, one needs to be careful when hitting the water and should always take advice from their doctors prior to diving. And, also while going for the headstand under water, do take help from someone who could hold your both feet in position.
7. Make Some Noise for the Baby
You would be surprised to know that a baby starts to respond to noise from outside once you reach the third trimester. Therefore, this method can also prove to work positively. All you need to do is play some calming music and place the headphones on the lower pelvic area. The baby would hear this music and would naturally move down to where the sound may seem to be coming from.
8. The Power of Hypnotism
This is the craziest thing you might be hearing, but yes it is a technique that has led to positive results in the past. The science behind this includes the fact that our conscious mind takes a back seat while subconscious mind dominates our thoughts. A hypnotist would hypnotize the mother-to-be and ask her to relax and forget all her worries. Once the body is relaxed, she would be asked to create a mental image of her rightly positioned baby. This can help in actuating the process in real.
9. Try a Massage
Prenatal massages have been popular since time immemorial. Massage is like a one-stop solution to every problem a pregnant woman is likely to face. Massage can help relax and get the much-needed break from pregnancy stress and pain.
A massage can significantly help in flipping the baby to the desired position. You should know that when you are pregnant, the ligaments, the tendons, and even the muscles around the pelvic area turn stiff. But with the right kind of massage, your body and mind will relax, and thus make way for the baby to turn downwards.
10. Going the Webster Way
This technique is conducted by an expert chiropractor. This process is carried out with the aim of realigning your pelvic bones and relaxing your ligaments so as to make a natural passage for the baby to move his head in the downward direction. You won’t get the desired result in a day and so you need to be patient. You would have to attend sessions at least 3 times a week when you are nearing your delivery date. Also, make sure that your chiropractor is a reputed one with a successful track record in the past.
11. Grab Some Pulsatilla Herb
This involves relying on homoeopathy for flipping over the baby. Pulsatilla is a herb that is derived from the windflower and is recommended for women by their physicians when they are pregnant with a breech baby. If the positioning of the placenta or the uterine aberration is the reason for your breech baby, this herb is not your thing. But if everything is normal except the resistance your baby is showing towards turning over, pulsatilla can prove to be a boon. It is the dosage of this herb that aids in expanding of your uterus, thus added space for your baby to flip over.
Exercises to Turn a Breech Baby
While the above-mentioned techniques would do the needful, exercises can also help turn your breech baby to normal heads down position. Also, exercising keeps you fit and your mood happy, so why not try some to give some space for your baby to move. There should be no problem in turning a baby before 37 weeks with these exercises. However, turning a breech baby at 37 weeks or after should be done only under medical assistance.
1. Slope Your Body
Also called the tilt method, this exercise can be easily done with the help of an iron board. Look for a stable surface like your sofa and rest the ironing board in the slope position with one end on the sofa and the other on the floor.
Lie down on the iron board with your head towards the floor and your feet towards the sofa. But keep someone by your side as balancing could be an issue. This tilt would put some pressure on the baby’s head, and he would probably tuck his chin, thus there is a possibility of him flipping over. Try this exercise for at least 3 times a day with each session lasting for about 10-15 minutes for effective results later.
2. Knee to Chest
This exercise is based on gravitational pull. It is a simple exercise that involves you getting down on your knees on a mat. Next, keep your forearms on the ground, tuck your chin on the rested forearm and elevate your butt in the air. Stay in this position for about 5-10 minutes. This exercise helps the lower portion of your uterus to expand, thus more space for the baby to turn the right way.
It is recommended to do knee-to-chest exercise at least 2 times a day. Also, prefer doing it on an empty stomach or it could add on to discomfort or nausea later. In case you feel your baby turning while doing this exercise, use one of your hands to exert gentle pressure on the baby’s rear part that lies just above the pubic bone.
3. The Cat-Cow Position
Also called the hands and knee position, a mom to be can rely on it in order to turn the baby around. This position can help turn the body flexible so that the flipping over of the baby can be achieved easily. Get a yoga mat or a simple mat for yourself. Now, get down on your knees and hands on the mat. Also, drop your belly low. This position is similar to a cow-posture. Next, elevate your back in a curved position and stay there. This is similar to a cat position. Repeat this 3-4 times a day, and you may notice a miracle when your breech baby is no more breech.
4. Forward-Leaning Inversion
This exercise is similar to knee-to-chest exercise but involves a bit of more effort. Follow the similar pattern as that of a knee to chest exercise. However, this time place your lower body on the couch or the bed and your upper body parts, i.e., the head and elbows on the ground.
Do remember to tuck your chin as this very step would help in pelvic muscle relaxation. Keep someone by your side while you practice this exercise. Stay in the position for about 30 seconds and repeat it 3-4 times a day.
5. Pat Attention to Your Posture
Exercising is one important thing, but what is more important is keeping your posture straight. A perfect posture would provide your baby with enough space to turn over. The right way to maintain good posture is to stand straight with your chin perpendicular to the ground. Let your shoulders rest naturally without attempting to move them in the backward direction. Remember to not stand in the tilted position as if your belly is protruded and pull in your butts so that your body’s centre of gravity stays on them.
Things to Keep in Mind
Flipping a breech baby can be a challenging task. And, if you try the above techniques and exercises, you may get to achieve what you desire for. However, there are some things to keep in mind so as to avoid any issues during the course of pregnancy or during the labour.
- A breech baby position is a normal thing till you reach your 30th week of pregnancy and fine until you reach the 32nd week.
- Always take advice from your gynaecologist before trying any technique or exercise as there may be health risks associated with your specific condition.
- In case your baby is still breech by the end of 37th week of pregnancy, medical assistance is strictly recommended. It is important to note that ECV or External Cephalic Version for manually turning a breech baby would be conducted in such cases.
- You need to be confident and positive and you should not mourn why this happened to you.
- If you have any pain or discomfort during exercising, stop immediately.
- Drink as much water as you can. Drinking fluids are one effective solution for al body problems, and there is no denying this fact.
- ECV is not a recommended technique for pregnant women who are expecting twins or for pregnant women who have a heart shaped womb and not a pear-shaped one.
- Trust yourself, your baby, and your body; sometimes all you need to do is wait and to get your baby turn into heads down position naturally. Panicking is not the solution here.
- Turning a breech baby becomes important in order to avoid problems in babies such as hip dysplasia or even lack of oxygen that reaches the brain.
- Talking can be helpful sometimes. It is the words that come from the heart that can prove to be helpful. Talk to your belly; let the baby hear what you want and what he needs to do in this situation.
- Lastly, a C-section is the last option if no other technique works. It is always better to pre-plan for your C-section in order to avert any issues later.
Looking at the above information, you would know by now what a breech baby is and what you could do about it. Maintain your calm and meditate to steer clear of any stress. Also, knowing that this is a normal situation and only about 3% of babies do not turn in the heads down position by the end of 37 weeks becomes important here. Take it as an add-on tip; remember to trust yourself and your instincts rather than believing in everyone what others have to say.
Also Read: Umbilical Cord around Neck