When my husband and I were expecting our third baby, at my 32-week appointment, we found out that our little one was breech. We were planning a natural home birth, so it became a high priority to get baby to rotate (even though at 32 weeks we still had plenty of time).
At the recommendation of my wonderful midwife, I got to try some funny and crazy ideas to turn our baby. Though these suggestions have a high track record of working, they certainly are not easy, fun, or attractive looking in the third trimester of pregnancy.
Of course our bodies are all individual (nothing like pregnancy to remind you of that!) and what worked for me might not work for others, so consult with your own doctor to see which approach makes sense for you.
Breech Baby Turning Techniques
These techniques were my “homework” from my midwife to help my breech baby to turn:
Inversion: I stand (sit?) upside down on the stairs with my arms and head about three steps lower than my legs and butt. Sound ridiculous? You have no idea! Supposedly this works wonders for turning a baby and adjusting pelvic ligaments, though it is not a position I would gladly assume, pregnant or not!
Pelvic Tilt: Almost as fun as inversion… I put one side of the ironing board on the couch and the other side on the ground, creating an angle. I then position myself with my head on the low end and legs/butt up. I hold this position for 20 minutes, three times a day. I don’t find this one so bad, at least since I found out that the alternative is doing a full handstand for 20 minutes a day. Can Olympic gymnasts even do that?
Handstands: This one I get to do in water (because there is nothing quite like putting on a bathing suit in the third trimester and standing on your head repeatedly for an hour at the gym pool). I am supposed to swim and perform handstands in water as much as possible. Oh well, at least I won’t look as crazy as all those people doing arthritis aquatics (who am I kidding, yeah I will!).
Elephant Walk: This is perhaps my favorite. As much as possible during the day I get to walk around on my hands and feet, basically creating an acute angle with my bottom straight up in the air. While this is surprisingly good exercise, my 3 year old and 16 month old find this hilarious and, thinking it a game, chase me around trying to tackle me.
Webster Technique: I will also be trying the Webster Technique tried by a chiropractor and the homeopathic Pulsatilla.
The Spinning Babies website is also a great resource with some good information on turning your breech bambino.
UPDATE: These techniques did work, and baby successfully flipped after trying the above techniques. Unfortunately, we found out the reason he was breech when I hemorrhaged at 35 weeks because of an undetected placenta previa. According to Dr. Betsy, placenta previa is a condition where the placenta occupies the lower part of the uterus over the cervix. This can make it difficult for the baby’s head to settle in place and may increase the risk for having a breech baby.
For anyone interested in the whole story, check out my full birth saga (of all the kids) here.
If you are currently pregnant and looking for pregnancy related resources, these might be helpful:
- Optimal diet for pregnancy and nursing
- Supplements for pregnancy and nursing
- Pregnancy and prenatal care options
This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Betsy Greenleaf, the first board certified female urogynecologist in the United States. She is double board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, as well as Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.
Ever had a pregnancy where the baby was breach? What did you do to help baby turn?