The Breech Baby
Hi all, Jen here from The Birth Boutique. I wanted to share my personal experience with having a breech baby with all of you and provide some of the information and options that are available to mothers who are in similar situations.
My first-born daughter was breech just about the entire pregnancy. At first, I didn’t think too much about it but as time went on and she didn’t budge, I went into high gear in my third trimester searching for ways to help her shift head down.
If you’re 30 weeks or beyond in your pregnancy and a breech presentation has been confirmed (via ultrasound) or you suspect a breech position we recommend researching methods to help get baby head down and in the optimal position. Here are some options to consider:
1. Spinning Babies. This website it a great resource for various at-home techniques/exercises to help encourage a breech baby into the optimal head down position.
2. Moxibustion and Acupuncture. There is evidence that supports the benefits of Moxibustion and Acupuncture for flipping a breech baby. Moxibustion is a type of Chinese medicine where you burn an herb (Artemesia vulgaria) close to the skin of the fifth toes of both feet. Evidence suggests that Moxibustion—when combined with either acupuncture or postural techniques (see Spinning Babies)—is safe and increases your chances of turning a breech baby. Find an acupuncturist who specializes in prenatal care.
3. Chiropractic Care. If your baby isn’t in the optimal head down position it’s worth it to research Chiropractic providers who are certified in the Webster technique. A chiropractic adjustment called the Webster technique is a specific sacral adjustment to help facilitate the mother’s pelvic alignment and nerve system function. This in turn balances pelvic muscles and ligaments, reduces torsion to the uterus. This may offer a greater potential for optimal fetal positioning.
The methods described above may be worth a try before talking to your provider about an external cephalic version.
4. External Cephalic Version. This procedure is when a care provider puts his or her hands on the outside of the mother’s belly and turns the baby into a head-down position. This is also called an ECV, version, or “hands to belly” procedure.
According to the CDC, in 2016, 11,158 people underwent an external cephalic version procedure, or about 0.3% of all people who gave birth. Approximately 6,221 (55.8%) of the versions were successful. Of these successful versions, 4,229 (68.0%) of people went on to have spontaneous vaginal births. On the other hand, there were 4,937 (44.2%) failed versions in 2016, and the majority of those people went on to have Cesarean births (4,356 or 88.2%). There are pros and cons to the procedure and it’s important to understand the risks and benefits. Read more info here about this procedure and talk to your provider.
It was important to me that I try almost everything to flip my breech baby but in the end my little girl never did flip head down despite my exhaustive attempts. At the time, I didn’t try the ECV and it’s something I still wonder about to this day. I wonder what would have been the outcome?
One of the reasons why I became a doula is because I felt unsure about what to do during this time when I was obsessed with flipping her head down and I wanted to help support other women as they navigated similar situations no matter what their story. During this time, I was getting conflicting advice about the ECV and the homeopathic methods that I was trying. I didn’t really know where to go for additional resources and support so I could be confident in my decisions but I did the best I could with the information I had. At The Birth Boutique, we love supporting moms and families and are committed to helping all moms feel confident in their decisions throughout pregnancy, birth and beyond.
Practices we love for Acupuncture:
Practices we love for Chiropractic care: