How to Turn a Breech Baby

Tips for Getting Your Baby to Flip

Most babies settle into a head-down position by week 37, but some stubborn little ones stick to the feet-down position, which is referred to as a “breech” position. While some doctors deliver babies in the breech position, it’s still common to do a Caesarean section if your baby doesn’t flip by delivery day. You have some options that may work to get your little one in the preferred head-down position.

Tilting Exercises

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Let gravity do the work with a pelvic-tilting exercise. Find a comfy spot and pile pillows under your hips, so they’re about a foot higher than your head. Stay in this position for about 10 to 15 minutes, and repeat the exercise three times daily at the times when your baby seems most active.

Webster Technique

If you’re a fan of chiropractic care, the Webster Technique may appeal to you. This method is generally safe to use starting at around 32 weeks. Your chiropractor focuses on the pelvis and sacrum during the adjustment to balance muscles and reduce uterine torsion, which makes it easier for your baby to get into position. Many moms need at least four adjustments, and some take up to 10. Others see results after just one adjustment.

Handstands in a Pool

cropped shot of doctor writing down while pregnant woman holding stomach

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Love spending time in the swimming pool? Get in a little low-impact exercise, and try to persuade your baby to turn by doing handstands in the pool. There’s not much evidence that it works, but as long as you can safely do the handstand while holding your breath, there’s really nothing to lose. If you’re not a fan of holding your head under water, you may want to skip this one.

See an Acupuncturist

Some women enlist the help of an acupuncturist for moxibustion, although the success rate for it is mixed. The acupuncturist uses a burning herb called “mugwort” on an acupuncture point on the outside of your little toe. This stimulation is thought to cause increased fetal movement, which may result in your little one turning head-down. This method is recommended for pregnant moms who are 37 weeks or more, because it could stimulate labor.

Sound and Temperature

Some moms try to convince their babies that head-down is much more appealing with the use of sound or temperature. Try playing music near your pubic bone. Your baby may turn toward it and end up in the head-down position.

Another technique some moms use is to put a cold pack at the top of the belly and a heating pad near the pubic bone. The theory is that the baby will turn toward the warmth. But, the fluid surrounding your baby means he probably won’t actually feel the temperature change, so this option may not be as effective as you hope.

External Cephalic Version

Not having any luck getting your baby to flip? Your doctor may give you the option of a medical procedure called “external cephalic version.” It’s usually done at the hospital since it’s possible for you to go into labor during it. Your doctor manually turns the baby from the outside of your tummy using her hands. Even if the version is successful, it’s possible for your little one to move back into the feet-down position. But it may be worth a try if you want to avoid a C-section.

Working With Your Doctor

Your doctor checks your baby’s position at each prenatal appointment, so you should know if your baby is breech by the third trimester. Talk through the options with your doctor if your baby doesn’t turn on his own. It’s always a good idea to check with your doctor before trying home methods or receiving care from a chiropractor or acupuncturist.