Most babies are in a vertex anterior or head down position at term or rather at the thirty seventh week of pregnancy. This allows an ease in the birthing process as the baby’s head is the largest part of their bodies. So once the head and shoulders have moved out, the rest of the body can be delivered quickly.
However in certain cases the baby might still be in a breech position. In fact at 38 weeks around seven percent of pregnant women have babies in breech position. This drops to around three to four percent as the day of the delivery draws near.
A breech position or presentation simply refers to the baby who has not yet “turned” or rather is not head down. It either sits on its buttocks or is feet first either facing the mother’s front or back. The factors that lead to a breech presentation in pregnancy are multiple births, excess or less of amniotic fluid, certain fetal or uterine abnormalities or a prior C section.
There are essentially three types of breech positions that the baby assumes. In a Frank Breech, the baby’s buttocks are down and the legs straight up, while in a Complete Breech the baby sits cross legged. Footing Breech refers to the position wherein one or both the feet of the baby are down. While vaginal breech birth is a possibility, most doctors today recommend a cesarean birth to avoid any complications. However if you want to avoid that then there are certain ways of turning a breech baby.
Exercises such as the Breech Tilt help in turning the baby. Lie on the floor and elevate your hips using firm pillows. Bend your leg upwards to allow the gravity to push the baby into the fundus and then move into the breech position. Swimming and water exercises like handstands also help in reversing the position of the baby.
Placing a pack of frozen peas or a cold pack at the top of the uterus helps in turning the baby. This is because babies like to be warm and comfortable so they will automatically want to move away from the cold. Shining a flashlight or playing music at the public bone also helps the baby in spinning towards the source.
Massage your belly in the direction in which you want the baby to turn. Start with your left hand at the bottom and right hand above. Move your hands in a clockwise direction, massaging your belly for around ten minutes or so. Yoga, meditation and visualization are also powerful techniques to turn breech babies.
In addition to this there are a number of ways that require professional or medical assistance like the External Cephalic Version or the Webster’s chiropractic technique. Chinese acupuncture done by an experienced acupuncturist who is conversant with the pressure points for turning the baby is also quite effective.