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5 Ways to Turn a Breech Baby


Updated May 16, 2014

Pregnant woman arching back on yoga mat, side view.
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Breech means that your baby is head up instead of head down. This at term or the 37th week of pregnancy. One of the things that you might try to do is to turn a breech baby prior to the beginning of labor. There are things you can do including:

  • Breech Tilt Exercise
    The breech tilt exercise is simply taking your hips above your heart. Some women do this with pillows stacked under their hips. It's probably easier and more stable to actually lean an ironing board on your couch and lay with your head towards the floor. This works by encouraging your baby to leave the pelvis and flip. Remember, babies want to be head down. It's all physics.

  • Cold at the Top of the Uterus
    Using something cold at the top of the uterus of fundus, you can encourage your baby to move away from it. Since babies want to be warm and snuggled, this means they will often move away from the cold sensation. A bag of frozen peas works well. Be sure to do this with at least a thin layer of fabric between you and the peas.

  • Heat or Music at the Pubic Bone
    A positive spin on getting the baby to move, is to play music at your pubic bone or even shine a flash light. Babies have been reported to move towards the sound or light. You might even combine it with the above tip.

  • Moxibustion
    This is a form of Ancient Chinese medicine that involves burning a Moxi stick near a special point on your baby toe (Bladder 67). This should be performed by a practitioner of Moxibustion. Moxibustion has been studied and proven helpful at turning breech babies.

  • Webster Technique
    This is performed by a qualified chiropractor. It involves adjusting the body to help relax any tension that may be holding the pelvis in a weird manner, thus creating a tense environment making it hard for the baby to maneuver around.

  • External Cephalic Version (ECV)
    This procedure is performed usually by a doctor or midwife in a hospital setting. It is most commonly done with a shot of Brethine to relax the uterus. An ultrasound is used to guide the practitioner at physically turning the baby from the outside. (One mother's story.)

All of these procedures are not available for everyone. Some can be done at home and require no medical support while others need to be performed with your practitioners. Increasing the chance that your baby will turn head down (vertex) increases your chance of a vaginal birth. While some practitioners will do breech vaginal births for some babies, some will ask you to have a cesarean, either once labor has started or planned at the end of pregnancy.

Readers Respond: How did you try to turn your breech baby?

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