Getting a diagnosis of a breech presentation is not fun. I have had two myself, one frank and one transverse, so I am no stranger to the news. I had done everything under the sun to get my baby to turn and both did ultimately-but with two totally different births.
It’s healthy to encourage a baby to turn but there is a point when we need to trust that some things are beyond our understanding.
There are so many suggestions for turning a breech baby:
- Laying inverted on an ironing board (this can become really uncomfortable fast).
- Hanging around the house on all fours doing continuous cat/cows (yoga moves where you gently rock your pelvis).
- Frozen peas on the top of your abdomen or wherever the baby’s head is.
- Playing music into your pubic bone with headphones etc.
- Moxibustion, otherwise known as mugwort, burned over the mother’s small toe.
- Chiropractic -namely the Webster technique.
- Clothespins on the baby toes.
- Handstands in the pool.
- Homeopathic remedy pulsatilla.
- External cephalic version.
As a practitioner I use moxibustion and acupuncture to help turn babies. I am always honest when dealing with a patient with a breech. Sometimes there are reasons way beyond our understanding that lead to a baby’s position.
My treatment usually consists of a systemic treatment to help address what is going on. This could include; stress (obviously), reflux, back pain, sciatica, tight muscles, insomnia. I often open the Dai Mai which is a meridian called “the Girdle Vessel”. This extraordinary meridian runs transversely across the belly and its main function is to hold up the other meridians. Opening the Dai Mai can often help the baby find a little room to flip dropdown.
A lot of times I find that babies are breech because the hip-flexors and pelvic floor needs to loosen up. People who are typically quite tight include runners, pilates aficionados, athletes, etc. Other times babies are breech because the patient has too much water or the uterus is stretched and weak and isn’t holding the baby as tightly at term. In this case, I use treatments to help strengthen their Qi.
I do burn the moxa of the little toe in a few different ways. Occasionally I use a warming needle (moxa attached to a needle) and other times direct moxa placed on cream and other times I use pole moxa. I provide patients with moxa sticks and tell them to go home and continue treatment for ten consecutive days. If the baby has not turned by then to come back for another treatment.
The one thing I feel that I must urge continuously is that you must trust that the baby and your body know what to do. Let go, relax, and try not to become obsessive. This may be your first interaction with the will of your little one!
I have found the greatest success is before 36 weeks but many babies still turn past then. I have even seen a baby flip at 41 weeks.