Oh, hello there Third Trimester. I am not exactly sure how time is flying by so quickly, but I think it has something to do with this STUBBORN baby I’m growing. Are you in a similar position? Is pregnancy ticking down, but your baby is still in a VERY unfavorable birthing position? Is your baby breech (butt or feet down)? Transverse (sideways)? Let’s try not to stress out together – although, I’m understanding your panic!
After 4 amazingly peaceful, beautiful, natural births, I am currently weeks away from birthing a baby who has yet to move from a side-lying position. As you know, this is not okay, and it will result in a c-section if baby does not turn head down. Cue my natural-minded research mind (and all the emotions). If you are in the same situation of a possible c-section, but with a breech baby, I completely understand. Before scheduling a surgical birth -ELECTIVELY- there is time to try everything possible to turn that baby! If you still end up with a c-section, at least you will know that you tried everything and did not just electively sign up for surgery.
Most midwives and OB’s will give you until 36 weeks before discussing a c-section. Even at this point, there are weeks left to work with… Only 3% of all babies are still breech at 37 weeks gestation, and with each passing week, the percentage drops.
9 Ways to Help Baby Turn Head Down
#1 Wait for labor to start naturally
Baby can turn during labor. Allowing baby to choose her birthdate ensures that she was ready to be born, and gives her every last opportunity to move into a better position.
The most well-known practice of turning babies in utero is the site SpinningBabies.com. There are step by step instructions for proper exercises to utilize to spin that baby! These are most effective if done exactly as directed.
Pulsatilla is known to encourage a breech baby to turn. This windflower is one of the great homeopathic ‘drugs.’ “This herb has long been used to change unfavorable presentations prior to the onset of labor. The remedy is most effective when administered before the onset of labor.”
#7 Ice and Heat
Placing an ice pack near baby’s head and a heating pad toward the bottom of the uterus can help the baby reposition. The cold will make the baby uncomfortable, and she should seek out the warmer area.
#8 Exercise and Correct Posture
Sitting, slouched (think: couch position) is one of the reasons babies find themselves in the ‘wrong’ position. Make sure to do pelvic rocks, child’s pose, and squats daily. Also, sit on an exercise ball to rock those hips and encourage baby to move!
This occurs in a hospital or birth center setting, and it involves an ultrasound being used while the birth care provider manual pushes baby into a better position. ECV known to be painful, but it has a 50-70% success rate.