Here are 12 things to try and flip your breech. Even if your baby does not change to head down, you can still deliver vaginally. The trick is finding a doctor who will do it. Not many doctors are trained in it anymore and because they lack the skills, they opt for c-sections for the moms.
So, they told you your baby is breech and you need a c-section.... But, you still want a vaginal birth. Do you have any options? I am here to testify that you do. I had a vaginal breech birth myself. To have one yourself will require some hard work and dedication. I am sorry you feel trapped due to lack of training with your doctor or midwife.
I have listed some options below to try and help encourage your baby to turn head down. Remember that 96% of breech babies are head down when labor begins. Most of them turn. This is encouraging!
You can hire us for a breech consult. The 2 hour meeting is $80 where we will talk about your options and share with you how to help flip your breech with a rebozo and peanut ball. We will leave you a rebozo to continue to use until your baby is no longer breech which usually take 3-7 days. Contact us to set up a meeting in your home. In the meantime, read all of our tips below.
FYI: 25% of babies are breech prior to 28 weeks, 15% are breech at 32 weeks, Most are head down at 35 weeks of pregnancy.
1. Journal to release your feelings. It is pretty simple to do, but very effective. First, get someone to watch your other kids if you have other kids. Second, fill up your bath. Third, either listen to soothing music with ear buds or play soothing music in the bathroom. Fourth, add a couple of drops of lavender oil to your tub. Fifth, get your journal and pen. Sixth, climb in the tub. Seventh, relax and write in your journal all your thoughts. Don't worry about if they are valid or good thoughts. Write all your worries and hopes. Release it all to the paper. Stay in the tub as long as you like. Take a few moments to close your eyes after you have dumped all your thoughts. Many times, this action alone has caused baby to flip by the next day.
2. See an acupuncturist and get moxibustion treatment. They are listed under Nashville Resources page. Using moxibustion 1 to 2 times a week when you are 33-35 weeks pregnant turns a breech baby head down in 1 of 8 moms. The smoke variety is more effective than smokeless. Lay down and go to sleep after a treatment to give baby a chance to move without gravity.
3. Visit a chiropractor that is trained in prenatal care and the Webster technique. They are listed under Nashville Resources page. Not all chiropractors are trained to work on pregnant women. Check to see if your Chiro is ICPA certified to work on pregnant moms. The Webster's technique effectively turns breech babies 82% of the time.
4. Get educated by visiting some of the following webpages:
5. Find a doula who is trained in rebozo to come and teach you how to use it. Contact us and we will talk to you about it. Start with rebozo sifting, then do the sidelying release followed by the forward leaning inversion. Here is another picture of someone using the rebozo and another page is here.
6. Attend weekly yoga classes to open the hips and allow baby to turn.
7. Spinning Babies has some great info about breeches. Do the inversion daily for 30 seconds and then the breech tilt 2 or 3 times a day. Read the warnings on the inversion page before starting the exercises.
8. Do the Miles Circuit which is a series of stretches. To learn more, click here.
9. Try taking the herb pulstilla. Learn more at this website. Here is another website and some mom's stories about taking the herb. It is 200c at 36 weeks taking just one pellet. Homeopathic Pulsatilla works amazingly on the support - relaxes the mom and enables mother baby connection that supports the baby to stay in optimal position. Many moms take it the night before an ECV and the baby turns on it's own.
10. Find a doctor or midwife who will support a vaginal breech birth. Your options are limited due to doctors not being trained in breech birth, but I do know that Doctor McKnight, Dr. Christopher Sizemore, Dr. Riggan, and Dr. Staggs have vaginal breech birth experience. Also, there is a doctor in Atlanta, GA and one in Lexington, Ky that would do it. Try to get a consult with the doctors. Point out that you know there is no guarantee and is a case by case basis, but you just wanted to talk about the option. Recently, I called the offices and only Dr. Riggan would schedule a consult with a known breech and it would need to be before 40 weeks. The MFM group at St. Thomas (Dr. Connie Graves)has been known to consult with a breech mom, but only per your doctor request. You can not schedule and appointment with them without your doctor contacting them first. Your options are also limited because most hospitals have an anti breech vaginal delivery policy. The hospital can't force you to have a c-section.
Some doctors talk about risk of head entrapment. Remember that a breech baby born by c-section is still delivered through the abdomen breech. That c-section is trickier due to baby position. Also the head entrapment risk for a vaginal breech birth is 7%. The head entrapment risk for a c-section is 5%. Not much different and a c-section is not a lower risk for head entrapment. Please get educated by reading this article.
What makes a good candidate for breech?
1. Mom had a uncomplicated vaginal delivery before.
2. Baby is Frank Breech
3. Baby is under 8.5 pounds
4. Labor progressed rapidly
5. Bag of water remains intact for all of labor
6. Has a OB who has delivered breech before
7. Mom is past 32 weeks gestation
8. Mom feels good about delivering a breech vaginally
11. Change to do a home birth instead. There are home birth midwives that are trained to deliver breech babies vaginally. Sheryl Shafer is one of them. Visit the Home Birth Midwives page for a list of local midwives.
12. Attempt an external version. This is where they turn the baby from the outside. An OB will do it in the hospital in about 10 minutes with the option of c-section if the baby does not seem happy during or after the version. A home birth midwife can do them too, but the approach is slower and gentler. Be aware that the baby might turn back over. Here is a study by AAFP about the success rate of the version. Evidence Based birth also has a great article. Homeopathic Pulsatilla works amazingly on the support - relaxes the mom and enables mother baby connection that supports the baby to stay in optimal position. Take it the night before an ECV. You can choose to do it with nitrous instead of en epidural or nothing at all. Right before the ECV, do side-lying release on each side and put heat (heating pad or hot washcloth) on the lower uterine segments for 15 minutes. If baby is low in the pelvis, do a forward leaning inversion to help baby move higher up in the abdomen. The space created from these stretching options might only last for about 30 minutes, so do it right before the procedure.
Research supports best if done at 35-36 weeks. 55.8% of the versions were successful, 68.0% of people went on to have spontaneous vaginal births (EBB), 44.2% failed versions and 88.2% people went on to have Cesarean births. In a 2017 Australian study only 66% of pregnant people had ever heard of a version, and most of them (87%) had learned about version from books or family/friends—not from care providers.
14. See a pelvic floor specialist. You want to make sure that all ligaments and muscles are in alignment. Seeing a pelvic floor specialist can help your baby have a great chance to turn head down after things are brought into balance.
15. See a CranioSacral therapist. This is a gentle hands on therapy that is light touch. They can assess and work with several body systems to make sure muscles, ligaments, membranes, and fluids are all functioning in harmony. Click here to read more.
16. Choose to have a c-section. After you step back and take an assessment, you might decide that this is the best option for you emotionally and mentally. You might want to wait until you go into labor to decide based upon if baby is still breech. With a first time mom the c-sections are a discussion and not a rush because she has a lot of time in labor work this decision out.