Breech Position

What Is Breech?

“Breech” means the position of a baby in mother’s uterus. Babies can lie in mother’s uterus in any position during pregnancy. They can lie with their shoulders, legs, head or even buttocks closest to the vagina. If the baby’s feet or buttocks are closest to the vagina, we will call it “Breech”.

It is common, if the baby is in a breech position in earlier pregnancy. Normally, most of the babies will turn down their heads to the vagina near the end of pregnancy. The head –down position will be the safest position if you choose a vaginal birth.

If the baby is still lying in the breech position toward the end of pregnancy, it will be called breech pregnancy.

What may cause a breech baby?

Breech pregnancies are mostly happened by chance. But there are still some reasons can affect such as: early labor; abnormally shaped uterus; the amount of amniotic fluid; twins or more babies in mother’s uterus; placenta problem, etc.

How will I know if I have a breech baby?

During the last 3 months’ pregnancy, your doctor or midwife will check your baby’s position at each visit by pressing on your belly. If there is any suspicion of a breech pregnancy, they may suggest you to do an ultrasound to clarify, especially towards the end of the pregnancy

Can I turn my baby if I want to choose vaginal delivery?

Most of the breech babies can turn down by themselves before labor. And from many researches and articles, there are some methods may help you to turn your breech baby to head-down position.

 1. External Version

 If your baby is still in a breech position after your 36th week, your health provider can explain you the choices and risks to help you decide what steps to take next. They might recommend trying to turn your baby around to a head-down position which is called external version.

They will press on your belly and try to move your baby, which may cause uncomfortable. Normally this procedure should be given by an experienced doctor  under ultrasound to evaluate the baby’s health condition and the placenta position. And your baby’s heartbeat needs to be monitored during and afterwards

Normally the procedure can be done between 35 and37weeks, because your baby is a little smaller and the amino fluid is at a bigger amount. And also your baby is near mature, so if there is any emergency case during or right after the procedure, you can be delivered. There are some risks such as, the part of your placenta tears away from the lining of your uterus or baby’s heartbeat drops too low, although rare, ifsuch case happens; an emergency cesarean will be carried out right away.. If this works, and your baby turns to a head-down position, you can try to have a vaginal delivery. If it doesn’t work, your doctor may recommend you to have a c-section. You can discuss with your care provider for the risks and possibilities.

2. Moxibustion

Some of the research shows that moxibustion can also help turn a breech baby to head-down. And you can consult with the TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) doctor.  They will use the burning moxa heating the particular acupoint to increase the baby’s movement to encourage your baby to turn. You can consult your doctor or midwife for any referral to TCM doctor who is good at this.

3. Postural Exercise

Postural exercise can begin at 32-35weeks pregnancy. You can ask your partner or a friend to present at the first few times to help you get in and out of the position. This exercise should do 3times daily for 10-15 minutes. Try to choose times when the baby is active and concentrating on your baby, relaxing, avoiding tensing your abdomen. There are some postural exercises for your choice. But if there is any uncomfortable, you should stop it right away. And if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, a heart condition or other medical problems, you should probably not do the postural exercises.

  • Raise hips 12 or 30cm off a firm surface, using large solid pillows or towels.
  • Lie on the floor with your back, and let your bottom be away from the wall. Put your feet high on the  wall for support, lift your hips high. Have pillows or a firmly rolled towel behind your back for support. Your hips need to be higher than your shoulders.
  • Another alternative is to adopt a “knee-chest” position, with your bottom high in the air and your head and chest on the floor.

4. Visualization

Some women may use visualization to encourage baby move head down by itself. This is a way to enlist your mental powers to help turn the baby. You can combine the visualization together with postural exercise.

First you should relax your body while in the breech tilt position, even though you may feel blood rushing to your head and may not feel comfortable. A nicely relaxed abdominal wall gives the baby more room to turn.

It will be helpful if the atmosphere is quiet peaceful for the exercise. You can image what you want to happen. Try to talk with your baby or let your partner talk to your baby about your willing of her/his turning over and head to your vaginal. Tell your baby you are welcome her/him to come out in the near future. Ask him/her to turn around, you are trust her/him.

Also you can use your voice and music to help. You and your partner can record your willing and lovely visualization and play it to the baby through earphones placed on your lower abdomen where you want the baby’s head to go. Babies can hear, they know their parents’ voice, especially their mother’s.

You can also play music such as baroque music, not rock music which will be a little disturbing.