I’m certainly no expert on turning breach babies. Oh, how I tried.
I failed, but I tried.
At 28 weeks pregnant, it was confirmed that Olivia was frank breech. We decided not to worry too much, figuring she would turn over on her own. And when I say, “we,” I mean my doctors and my husband, Solomon. I sprung right into action doing whatever I could to get her head down.
At 32 weeks, when she was still tushy down, I kicked it up a notch and devoted so much time to trying to turn her around. I desperately wanted to avoid a C-section, mainly because I didn’t want to spend the beginning of my summer recovering from major abdominal surgery. Things didn’t go as planned for me (and my C-section and recovery were really not that horrible), but some of these ideas may help you!
I stretched, I relaxed, and I moved my body. Every. Single. Day. I did everything I could to help relax my muscles. I did cat stretch and downward dog, I brought my knees into my chest. I calmed my mind and visualized her turning. I spoke to her. I did breech tilts (like bridges) with my hips higher than my shoulders. My girlfriend swears yoga helped turn her baby — maybe it can work for you!
Hot and cold
The idea is that putting something cold at the top of your belly, by the baby’s head, and something warm by your pelvis will make your baby cold and want to warm up, thus turning head down. The bag of frozen peas didn’t do the trick for me — Olivia liked being cold, apparently!
Just like with hot and cold, your baby might want to head toward the brightness. Shining a flashlight on the lower half of your belly may help draw your baby head down.
Acupuncture helps correct the flow of energy in your body and stimulate certain points on the body to both relax the uterus, allowing the baby to turn, and stimulate movement of the baby itself. Find an acupuncturist who is familiar with breech babies. If nothing else, enjoy a little time by yourself relaxing on a table while you are covered in needles.
One of my girlfriends loaned me a set of ear buds that you attach to your belly. Putting them low toward the pubic bone and playing classical music is said to help move the baby. Classical seemed to make Olivia snooze. Techno and hip hop got her dancing in my belly. Just not in the right direction.
The Webster technique is a chiropractic practice that helps your pelvic and uterine tissues align to lead the baby to turn more effectively. This is definitely a commitment, since you will go three times a week, but it does truly work for most woman. In fact, mine was one of the few babies my chiropractor wasn’t able to turn.
Burning a dried herb called mugwort at the outer corner of your pinky toe is said to be an incredibly effective way to relax the uterus, which can help baby turn. All it did was make me look like a college student when I ashed the mugwort into a red Solo cup… while wearing tie-dyed pants.
I went upside down any chance I got. Playing in the pool with Aaron I would work on my handstand. I would lay on the floor with my feet up on the couch. I stopped in the middle of Crossfit on more than one occasion to do handstands against the wall. Gravity has a way of doing tricky things.
This was absolutely a last resort. Your doctor gives you a medicine to help relax your uterus and uses ultrasound to try and manually turn your baby from the outside. Sounds pleasant, doesn’t it? Imagine getting an Indian burn on your whole stomach.
Hopefully you’ll have more luck with these than I did! Many of them really and truly do work.