So just to simplify, breech is when your baby is bum down and not head down which is the way you want them pointing come show time. Almost all babies reach this head down (cephalic presentation) in the last few weeks of pregnancy but some babies are stubborn little buggers and they don’t want to move.
Here are a few ways I found to *encourage* them to get moving and seeing how every technique seems to have a name, I’ve assigned a few of my own.
How to turn a breech baby naturally
Drink plenty of fluids.
Seriously? Is there anything on the planet that this isn’t a tip for?!
The Drunken Turtle:
Lie on your back, elevate your hips with a pillow or cushion, and rock gently side to side. Do this a few times a day for around 10-15 minutes each time.
The Down Down Dog:
Get down on all fours and then lean down onto the lower half of your arms, so your bottom is sticking up in the air. Stay like this for around 10 minutes or until someone comes in the room to make fun of you.
The Brazilian Beetle:
Lie flat on your back stick a pillow under your bum so that it’s 9 to 12 inches off the floor. Stay in this position for five to 15 minutes.
The Sweaty Vampire (Breech Tilt):
Get an ironing board or a large piece of wood and prop it at an angle against the couch. Stick a pillow under your neck and lie on the board with your head down and feet resting on either side of the board on the couch. Try it for up to 20 minutes, 3 times a day.
The Gullible Maid:
Cleaning floors on your hands and knees was offered up on many sites although, I think a better idea would be to open a bag of M&Ms, throw them around the room, then spend an hour or so crawling around the floor eating them. (We could call it The Hungry Hippo!)
The Gritty Kitty:
Start with all fours, then lay your head and chest flat on the floor with your bum in the air, as you round your back and return to all fours. Try to hiss, “My precious” when you come up.
The Ice Ice Baby:
Stick a frozen bag of peas on top of your belly for about 10 minutes. The cold on the head may encourage the poppet to swim to the bottom.
The Crotch Song:
Play nice music at the bottom of your belly or have someone with a nice soothing voice talk around there (like that guy that looks like Jason Momoa at the grocery store). The thinking is that the baby will follow the sound.
The Nickelback Effect:
Play abrasive music at the top of your belly and the thinking is the baby might move away. I don’t know why I think this one is kind of mean, plus, what makes anyone think they know the taste of this baby – they may love thrash metal and Barry Manilow.
The Chill and Thrill:
Try a combination of Ice Ice Baby and Crotch song, “Damn, my head is cold, wait….is that Daddy’s voice I hear? I’m gonna check that out”
The Underwater Piñata:
Do handstands in a pool or dive in repeatedly.
The Big Lebowski:
Place a sheet or towel under your bum as you lay on the floor. Have someone (preferably Jason Momoa again) lift up on the corners of the sheet and shimmy you from side to side. Do this for about 5 minutes. Then you kneel on the stairway landing. Walk your hands down 2 or 3 stairs into an all fours position. Remain in this position for about 5-10 minutes or as long as comfortable and try not to fall down the stairs.
The Sugar Rush:
Have a glass of juice or something high in sugar to get your baby jumpin’ and lie on your side with your hips raised higher than your feet. Note: While this may be a good idea to combine with some of the other moves, keep in mind that you might be upside down and what goes down might come back up.
The Happy Moth:
Move a flashlight slowly down from the top of your stomach toward your pubic bone while you are in a Sweaty Vampire position.
The I Belieeeeeeeve:
Visualize your baby moving into the correct position while doing the badass moves listed above.
The Mind Bender:
One small study found that women who are regularly hypnotized into a state of deep relaxation at 37 to 40 weeks are more likely to have their baby turn than other women. Find a skilled hypnotherapist for this one though and not creepy Uncle Eddie.
The Hippy Herb:
Some sites recommend homeopathic pulsatilla in 200C potency or higher taken every day for three days. It’s made from a fuzzy herb called wind flower. Check with a doctor for this one though.
The Bug Rub:
Starting at the bottom of your tummy, move your hands clockwise around the side of your bump. Continuing clockwise, go all the way around until you’ve come full circle. Massage gently as you would to apply lotion. Massage for ten minutes or more up to several times each day or until your belly shines so you can see your reflection.
The Poor Man’s Acupuncture:
Place a clothespin on the baby toe of each foot at the outside corner of the toenail so that the toenail and toepad are stimulated for 30 minutes per day. You can also do this with just finger pressure.
You need a trained chiropractor for this one. The back cracking technique relieves pressure from the pelvis and help loosen the ligaments and muscles around the uterus to encourage the baby to turn. Some people have had really good results with this.
Practiced in Eastern medicine by trained acupuncturists, this technique burns mugwort near the acupressure point of your pinky toes to help turn a breech baby. Again, this one sounds like it has an impressive success rate.
External Cephalic Version (ECV):
This is when a qualified doctor or midwife tries to turn you baby by manually manipulating your belly to spin your baby to face down. It is typically done after the 37 week mark when the likelihood of your baby turning decreases. This one doesn’t sound very comfortable but it looks like it works fairly well if you have someone that knows what they’re doing.
A reader passed along this excellent site called Spinning Babies that goes into many of these moves in further detail and with diagrams, videos and pictures.
Having a baby in a breech position used to mean an automatic c-section for you. However, the medical establishment seems to be changing their mind on that one. The trouble is that there is a whole generation of doctors that don’t know how to deliver a breech baby so you may have to poke around to find someone qualified if you want to go for a vaginal breech birth.
That said, it is still ideal for your baby to be bottoms up for delivery so good luck on getting those kiddos upside down!
Have you had any luck with turning a breech baby naturally?
Let me know in the comments!