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A member asked:

My baby is in the breech position, what can i do to get my baby to turn? im 30 weeks pregnant and my baby is in the breech position. i really want to have a vaginal birth. is there anything i can do to help my baby turn?

3 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Melissa Rankin
Obstetrics and Gynecology 31 years experience
At : At 30 weeks, chances are still good that your baby will turn spontaneously. Babies don’t usually choose their final positions until about 36-37 weeks, and even then, they may flip at the last minute. If you don’t feel like waiting and feel strongly that you wish to avoid c-section, you may try a few tricks which, while they lack rigorous scientific proof to support their efficacy, are often used by midwives and chinese medicine doctors to encourage a baby to flip. 1. Relax! if the muscles in the pelvis are tight, it’s harder for the baby to move. Get pregnancy massages, see a chiropractor to loosen pelvic muscle tension, do guided imagery and visualize your baby turning spontaneously, meditate, pray, and avoid the tendency to stress out about your baby’s position. Babies want to be head down. Trust that the baby will find its way into the right position. 2. Chill your baby into place. Place a bag of frozen corn or peas on your belly over the baby’s head. Babies like to be warm, and theoretically, the baby may move it’s head away from the cold pack at the top of your belly, down into the warm pelvis, where it’s supposed to be. Be sure to protect your skin by putting a cloth between your skin and the frozen veggies. 3. Try moxibustion. See a chinese medicine practitioner, who will burn a moxi stick (a type of chinese herb) around the little toe in order to encourage the baby to flip. 4. Tilt your pelvis. Spend time in positions that allow your pelvis to be higher than your head. Try propping your hips up on pillows to let gravity bring your baby’s butt out of the pelvis, so the baby is more mobile and can turn. You can lay an ironing board on the sofa as a way to create a platform on which to rest in this head-down, hips-up position. 5. Try baby-whispering. Have someone (like dad or grandma) speak right above the pubic bone in gentle tones to encourage the baby to move towards the voice. You can also try encouraging the baby to move down by playing soothing music or shining a flashlight over the pubic bone. While the data to support these techniques is sketchy, they’re harmless, and many patients and practitioners swear by them. If all else fails, ask your doctor to talk to you about the risks and benefits of external cephalic version, a procedure performed in the hospital in which the doctor tries to manually flip the baby from the outside, often with the assistance of a medication like terbutaline, designed to relax the uterus and allow the baby to move into the vertex (head first) position.
Dr. Miguel Cano
Dr. Miguel Cano commented
Obstetrics and Gynecology 30 years experience
Nice summary! Do you cut & paste to enable a longer answer than most of us??
Apr 4, 2013
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Moxibustion: Wow, dr. Ranklin provided an excellent response. I just wanted to reinforce the information she presented about moxibustion. You can check this site for more information: http://www.Pregnancy.Com.Au/birth-choices/breech-birth/moxibustion-for-breech-presentation.Shtml.
Dr. Brian Nguyen
Obstetrics and Gynecology 11 years experience
Yes: Among breech babies, >50% switch to cephalic at 32wks, and it even happens at 38wks spontaneously. OBGYNs can perform a VERSION to flip baby at term, but DON'T TRY @ HOME. Doctors can do this at 37 weeks and even at the time you plan to have a C-Section they can try one last time under anesthesia. Moxibustion/acupuncture may also help.

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Last updated Feb 10, 2017

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