Monday, May 4, 2009

Ask Busca: Turning a breech baby?

Tiffany asked:
I am 36 weeks and currently my baby is breech. The doc said if he doesn't move by next week I need to either schedule an external reposition of the baby or a c-section. This is my first and I was going to try to have a natural vaginal delivery but it might not be possible now. I was wondering if you had done any research or pro and cons of repositioning the baby. Thanks!
Busca's babble:

Great to "meet" you, Tiffany! I hadn't actually done much research into handling breech babies, but I'm always thrilled to learn something new. First of all, I think it's worth your while to try anything and everything (within reason) to try to encourage your baby to turn. While not all turning methods have high success rates, most of them are not harmful.

1) External Version
Based on what I've read, external version is safe for most women. There are some risks, but they are reported to be very minimal. These include: premature labor, premature rupture of the membranes, bleeding, and fetal distress leading to an emergency cesarean delivery (source). The procedure is also apparently quite uncomfortable (one woman described it as the worst pain she's felt besides childbirth). You could approach it as a warm-up for childbirth. :-) Practice your pain-coping techniques, work on relaxing all your muscles, and visualize your baby turning. External versions are successful about 60% of the time.

2) The Webster Breech Technique
You may also want to consider visiting a chiropractor skilled in the Webster Breech Technique. This technique is designed to release stress in your pelvis and relax the uterus and surrounding ligaments, making it easier for your baby to turn. This technique has been reported to have a very high success rate--82% according to one study. Excellent odds! And it'd probably ease some of the late-pregnancy discomforts too. :-)

3) At-home techniques
I think it's also worth trying at-home techniques. These include the breech tilt position, using music (at the lower abdomen) and/or ice (at the top of the uterus) to coax baby to turn, etc. The website Spinning Babies is a great resource. I also found another site that listed 17 ways to turn a breech baby.

I hope some of this was helpful. Good luck! Let me know how things turn out. ;-)


emily said...

there was a couple in our hypnobirthing class (who were not granola-hippies at all) who were able to successfully get their baby to turn after a specialized session with a hypnotherapist. I believe she had a successful vbac after that.

good luck to tiffany--if it was me, i'd want to try/know/exhaust all my options!

Drew and Tiffany said...

Thanks for the info, I found that website with 17 things to try and have tried many of them with no luck. I would like to try the Webster breech technique but my chiro doesn't know how to do it and I've been calling around to see if I can find someone that does. So if anybody knows a chiro that is, let me know!

loose button said...

Hi! I would also suggest seeing a DO who practices OMT. He or She may be able also help. There are techniques we learn in school (I'm a third year medical student in an osteopathic school right now) that help in releasing the tension in the pelvis and uterus, which can help stimulate the baby to move. A wife of one of my professors had the technique performed on her and the baby turned the next day! just another suggestion. I wish osteopathic medicine was thought of more in these situations or at all..I think people forget about it or just dont know about it enough..