My Baby is Breech: What To Do?

 What is a breech baby, and what are some ways to encourage the baby to turn?

You just came back from your prenatal visit, and the doctor mentioned that your baby is breech. What does this mean for your labor? Should you be concerned?

When a baby is in this position, the baby has his or her bottom or feet towards the birth canal, instead of the head down position. Head down is the method for vaginal deliveries preferred by practitioners. Don’t fret right away – as many as 25% of babies can be in breech presentation at 30 weeks. If a mother delivers at full term, the number reduces to just three percent of deliveries – so that’s good news!

Many women are concerned with their baby being breech if they are trying to avoid surgery, as almost all doctors will deliver the baby via cesarean section. There are some really good reasons why you may be in the 3% of breech births if you carry to full term. Some of the reasons your baby may be breech are:

  • Too much or too little amniotic fluid
  • Unusual shaped uterus or fibroids
  • Carrying twins or multiples
  • If you have placenta previa

Here are some ways that may encourage a breech baby to turn:

  • Webster Technique is a gentle procedure used by chiropractors to release stress and reduce tension in the vagina and surrounding ligaments.
  • Acupuncture – some expectant moms swear that their babies turned after acupuncture treatments before the 37th week of pregnancy.
  • External Cephalic Version (ECV) is a medical procedure performed by a doctor in a hospital setting to manually turn the baby.
  • Prenatal Swimming – it is suggested to do somersaults or simple handstands in the water to encourage a breech baby to turn.

Know that with any of these suggestions, a baby may just not turn, or the baby may turn initially, only to flip back around again! It’s one of our first lessons of motherhood – that sometimes no matter what we learn, no matter what we do – things turn out a bit differently than what we had planned, and the only way to move forward is to let go and surrender.

As soon as our eyes meet our little one that very first time as we welcome him or her into the world, thoughts about how they got here begin to fade, and we celebrate all that is to come. Good Luck!


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Expert: Renee Sullivan

Renee Sullivan, parent coach and Founding Director of Mommybites support groups, works with moms each week to create their own personal parenting plan that is right for them, while making sure that each mom gets the support, resources, and community they need for their parenting journey. Drawing from her experience as an birth coach and educator, she guides moms – new, seasoned and expectant through the never – ending array of decisions that come with having a child. Weekly sessions that are “nurturing, informative, and fun” and her “calm-laid back personality” has made her a “dynamic resource” to the parenting community since 2006. Renee’s positive, warm and enthusiastic personality relaxes and guides new and expectant moms to enjoy the journey and her personal attention to detail allows all parents that work with her to quickly get the resources they need to feel at ease to make informed and educated decisions. Before joining Mommybites, she narrowly escaped the trenches of Corporate America where she was a Senior Project Manager for The New York Times, Morgan Stanley and Pfizer. She lives in New York City and is the mom of one happy kindergartener.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog contributor’s. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Writers may have conflicts of interest, and their opinions are their own.

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