How to Turn a Breech Baby

natural pregnancy wellnessmama

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 homebirth,  so it became a high priority to get little one 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!

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.
  • 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, but the techniques do work! For anyone interested, 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:

Ever had a pregnancy where the baby was breach? What did you do to help it turn?

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Reader Comments

  1. Another great resource for Webster Technique and chiropractic care during pregnancy is the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) website, http://www.icpa4kids.org. More research is currently being done on the Webster Technique and the success rate associated with it- most recent statistics show it to be around 70% effective in reducing tension associated with the pelvic & uterine ligaments allowing the baby to find a more ideal birth position.

  2. Hi, my second baby was breech, and although I tried all of the posted methods as well as 2 failed external versions, she didn’t turn…because she was tangled in her cord. I felt her move to a certain extent and then no further. Thankfully, she was born healthy, via emergency c/sec and my husband says when the doctor told him, “You don’t want to miss this,” (he had looked away for my incision,) “then he started unwinding her.” The cord was wrapped around her body twice and her neck once. If I had gone into labor on my own or had she turned, she could have died. I was induced with my first b/c of low amniotic fluid, and my third was completely natural and unmedicated, yea! (Even if I did discover my Amazon Tribal Woman yell involuntarily came out when I was pushing…)

  3. What breech position was your baby in? I think I remember reading that another of your babies was breech as well. This is our third, and he/she is tranverse. It’s very painful. I’ve started doing the spinning babies inversion methods and got my chiropractor to do the Webster technique for the first time today. I’m almost 32 weeks, but since we are planning a homebirth, our midwife said the baby being breech would become an issue at 34 weeks. I would like to get the baby to turn before then. From what I’ve read, tranverse breeches are harder to turn is the reason I ask what position your’s were in. Thanks in advance.

    • Mine were frank breech and footling breech. This one (my third) was footling and turned naturally (but was still a c-section). My fifth was frank breech when I delivered her vaginally.

    • Hi my baby is in traverse breech. I’m 36 weeks and 2 days just seen by my Dr and she is sending me to a wellness center /chiropractor to help.
      They wouldn’t have known if I didn’t get this ultrasound today. I asked for it because I wanted husband to see the baby since it’s been awhile and I’m so glad we did.
      I’m just curious how yours turned out. Thanks

      • He ended up turning at 37 or 38 weeks. I did the spinning babies and had my chiro do the Webster maneuvers. I was able to have my home birth. He ended up having the cord wrapped around his neck twice and his body once. I think that was because he turned so late in the game, but he was perfectly healthy.

  4. This is my 7th child he is Frank breech and my first breech child I am almost 37 wks I am gonna try these positions and see what I get Will update