Having a breech baby can be a rollercoaster of emotions. While most babies settle into the head-down position by 32 weeks, about 3-4% remain bottom-first, causing understandable concerns for expecting parents. But before you assume you’ll need surgery for a breech baby, here are some tips for turning a breech baby naturally.

First things first: This blog post is not intended to replace professional medical advice. Always consult your healthcare provider to discuss the best course of action. Some babies are in the breech position to accomodate their unique situation, such as a short cord. These techniques do not force the baby into a position they can’t or shouldn’t be in.

Now, let’s explore some natural approaches that may help encourage your little one to flip:

  1.  Embrace the Breech Tilt: This seemingly simple exercise can be surprisingly effective. Lie on your back with your hips elevated above your heart using pillows or an inclined board. This position creates more space for your baby to move and can encourage them to tuck their chin, a crucial step in turning head-down. Aim for 10-15 minutes, three times a day. (Source: Spinning Babies: [https://www.spinningbabies.com/pregnancy-birth/baby-position/breech/flip-a-breech/\]
  2. Get Creative with Positions: Gravity can be your friend! Spend time on your hands and knees, kneel forward on a chair, or try lunges. These positions create space in your pelvis, potentially making it easier for your baby to move into the optimal position. (Source: Cleveland Clinic: [https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21848-breech-baby\]
  3. Play the Sound Game: Did you know your baby can hear in the womb as early as 18 weeks? Use this to your advantage! Play calming music or a recording of your voice near the bottom of your belly to attract your baby’s attention and encourage them to move towards the sound. (Source: Verywell Family: [https://www.verywellfamily.com/how-to-turn-a-breech-baby-2758443\]
  4. Explore the Temperature Trick: Babies, like most of us, tend to move towards warmth. Try placing a warm compress (not hot!) on your lower abdomen and a cool cloth on your upper belly. This temperature difference might entice your little one to explore the warmer “downstairs.” You can also sit in a warm bath with the lower part of your abdomen immersed in the warm water and put an ice pack at the top of your abdomen. The ice pack should be wrapped or placed on top of a cloth so it’s not too cold!
  5. Consider Complementary Therapies: While research is ongoing, some pregnant women find relief and success with acupuncture, moxibustion, or chiropractic care specifically focused on pelvic alignment. Remember, discuss these options with your healthcare provider beforehand to ensure they’re safe and appropriate for you. Many of my clients have had great success with these techniques and none have had any negative outcomes, although not every baby turned.

Remember: Turning a breech baby naturally isn’t always successful, and that’s okay. Your healthcare provider will guide you through the best options based on your individual circumstances. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and express your concerns.

Ultimately, trust your body and your baby. By staying informed, exploring natural options, and working closely with your healthcare team, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate this journey and welcome your little one into the world, head-down or bottom-first, with love and excitement.

Keep in mind that there ARE doctors and midwives who will gladly work with you to catch a breech baby. The main reasons most doctors aren’t willing to do it are that they their training doesn’t focus on how to catch a breech baby so they may have little or no experience doing it and hospital policies are dictated by insurance carriers who believe that it is a risky procedure. I’ve personally seen wonderful breech births! If you want your breech baby born vaginally, ask your doula for recommendations to a care provider who will accommodate your wishes.

One last thought … it’s BREECH, not breach, unless you’re a whale!