Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Is there still time to flip my breech baby?

Spinning Babies helps flip a breech 
The look that says, "I did it myself!"

At 36 weeks the midwives were adamant there was a less than 3% chance of my baby turning from the frank breech position and had never heard of any exercises to do. 
I was recommended to have ECV [external cephalic version is when a doctor (or occasionally a midwife) tries to turn the baby by pushing on the abdomen in a very specific way] or a C-section, and told my homebirth was out of the question.
I did the exercises you outlined. And at my 37-week scan little Pearl was head down. The Sonographer [ultrasound specialist] said she had never seen it before and said she had thought it was anatomically impossible for a baby to have turned that late?!
She was born in the pool in our sitting room while her 2-year-old big sister slept upstairs.

"Spinning Babies empowered me to have 
the most perfect birth for my family."


Spinning Babies offers hope for women who want a vaginal birth. Many women will succeed in improving baby's position with self care techniques. Others will find interventions are less taxing. The sooner you begin, the more likely you will find the "balance" you need for more comfort in pregnancy and more ease in birth.


Typical timeline for breech position 

10-24 Weeks Gestation

Baby is often transverse or a bit oblique. Few babies are vertical now.
By adding body balancing now, the baby has an increased chance of ideal positioning later at 34 weeks and beyond.

24- 30 weeks

Babies are moving towards a vertical  Routine good posture with walking and exercise will help most babies be head down as the third trimester gets under way.

30-34 Weeks Gestation

Chiropractors  may add specific maneuvers for fetal positioning, sacral and symphysis alignment, Webster Maneuver, and other soft tissue work. 
The best time to flip a breech is now. Oxorn and Foote recommend external version at 34 weeks, but most doctors want to wait for baby's lungs and suck reflex to be more developed in case the maneuver goes wrong and starts labor or compromises the placenta.
There is often enough amniotic fluid for an easy flip before 35 weeks.

34-35 Weeks Gestation

A study showed this is the most effective period for moxibustion to help babies flip head down. We suggest doing moxibustion as part of a complete routine for helping baby head down.

36 -37 Weeks Gestation

An external cephalic version may be recommended about this time for the doctor or midwife to manually turn the baby head down. It's about a 50-50 success rate. We wonder if preceding the maneuver with body balancing will increase the success or ease of moving baby. Less tension or torsion in the path of the baby seems like a goal to me.

38 Weeks to Birth

A small number of babies will turn head down in late pregnancy. It may be that up to 1% of breech babies flip head down during labor. That's not a big chance, but it shows it's possible and does happen.
An external cephalic version might be appropriate to try even up to and including early labor.
You can work with your body to prepare and work with your care provider to turn baby safely, if possible, until either your water releases or contractions are regular.


Dr. Michel Odent in his book "Cesarean" suggests waiting for labor even if you plan for a cesarean birth for a breech baby. It's a bit challenging to pull together a surgical team in the middle of the night, but helps baby establish the brain changing catecholamine and other changes for living in air.

Gail and a pregnant couple show a short version of advice for helping the breech baby get head down, Spinning Babies Parent Class.

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Changing the Earth by supporting Birth

Mothers bring forth life; medical corporations do not. Birth can be simple, powerful and loving. Fetal positioning, natural birthing and practical help for normal birth.