Resources for parents and providers

Prevention & Turning of Breech

Seeking resources to help turn your baby?  Or did you have a previous breech baby and are searching for ways to prevent breech positioning?  Learn how to encourage optimal positioning and be sure to consult your care provider for individual recommendations.

 

Prevention

While the following techniques are intended to help prevent breech, they are also considered ideal options for increasing comfort, well-being, and encouraging optimal mother/baby positioning for all women during pregnancy and birth.

Spinning Babies has a wonderful resource explaining many options and techniques available, including bodyworkmaternal positioning, daily essentials for balancing, and parent class.

Encouraging Baby to be Head Down

Understanding how uterus shape affects breech presentation and what you can do to help.

How the Chiropractic Webster Technique Can Help You Birth Without Fear

Chiropractic Webster Technique demonstration.

Turning

Some believe that babies should never actively be turned as they were meant to be born in that particular position.  Regardless of your belief, the complexities of our culture require us to at least examine other options.  First, by doing bodywork and staying well hydrated, we can allow more space for baby to be able to rotate.  Second, as many hospitals or areas of the country do not currently have skilled providers, for many, a breech presentation might mean a cesarean birth.  Basic encouragement of baby to rotate as well as an External Cephalic Version (ECV) can be considered.

Spinning Babies has a wonderful resource to help turn your babywhen to do it.

Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (RCOG) article Breech baby at the end of pregnancy is incredibly informative.

Better Birth also has a useful list of options along with a detailed timeline, including a guide explaining your options throughout the pregnancy.

Breech Body Balancing to encourage your baby to turn.

Encouraging Baby to be Head Down

How to get onto a slant board when doing the breech tilt.

Breech Decisions is another way to understand your options with a breech baby.

How the Chiropractic Webster Technique Can Help You Birth Without Fear

Chiropractic Webster Technique demonstration.

Using Pulsatilla to encourage baby to turn.

How to Use Moxibustion to Turn Breech Babies video and article describing the use of moxibustion for turning breech babies.

External Cephalic Version (ECV)

Evidence Based Birth has an illuminating research review describing the evidence for External Cephalic Version, highlighting the average success rate for turning a breech baby as 58%, overall complication rate as 6%, and rate of serious complications as 0.24%.

Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (RCOG) has another review of ECV and reducing the incidence of breech presentation, indicating that all women with a breech presenting baby at term should be offered an ECV with a skilled provider.

Some wonder if babies that have successfully been turned head down have more complications or the mother is more likely to have a cesarean.  However, research shows that after an ECV, mothers’ chances for a cesarean did not increase. Additional research has indicated that “ECV at term is associated with a low rate of serious complications.”

External Cephalic Version (ECV)– 5 Things to Consider Before Having One

External Cephalic Version (ECV) video 1 and video 2  are helpful visuals for understanding what happens during the procedure.

How the Doula Helps During a Breech Version

Emotional Connections

Kim's beautiful belly

There are old midwife adages about breech that may or may not apply to your particular situation. However, it is always worth reviewing the whole woman and situation. These areideas that are meant to refocus awareness of the baby.

One old adage is that the baby goes breech to put its head up next to the mother’s heart to comfort her in pregnancy. Whether a mother has been emotional (many are with the hormones of pregnancy and changes occurring) be it usual or unusual circumstances, it may be useful to let baby know that it would be much more comforting to the mother for the baby to put its head down.

Another saying is that babies put their heads up to get the mother or partner’s attention. It works quite well for a lot of moms! Refocusing attention on baby and this pregnancy can sometimes have its benefits for the whole family.

Mothers can also do this by spending some private time connecting to baby and visualizing the baby head down. A good parenting talk may also be quite useful.

 

Baby Turned

What to do if/when baby turns head down?   Engage them!  Do not go upside down and let gravity assist you with walking, lunges, pelvic circles, pelvic tilts, and belly support!