It’s said that “most” babies are head-down by around 36 weeks (I’ve read as much as 96-97% of ’em), getting ready to make the journey from womb to world.
Of course, Baby H had other plans and remained comfortably in a
stubborn “sweet little breech ball,” according one ultrasound technician.
My doctor first broached the topic around 32 weeks, but when our little nugget still hadn’t budged by 34 weeks, I took matters into my own hands to try to facilitate a flip naturally.
Maybe it’s because I haven’t run in a few months. Or maybe it’s because I’m not following any kind of training schedule. But either way, my inner Type A-proactive-planner took over and I enjoyed researching, laying out a game plan and getting to work on the following options for encouraging a breech baby to turn:
Moxibustion: A Chinese medicine practice of burning mugwort on or near the outermost point of your pinkie toes. Apparently there’s an energy channel located there, and getting things flowing in a downward direction may help baby’s head to do the same.
Inversions: Whenever I’d feel Baby H get particularly active, I’d try out different inversions to see if I could give him/her more room in my belly to move around. A number of people recommended SpinningBabies.com, so I tried a bunch of the moves on the site (again, much to Ben’s amusement).
Acupuncture: Similar to moxa with the energy channel hypothesis, this uses needles to balance your “Chi” and get baby to turn. It’s been shown to have a decent success rate in studies such as this one, and I found it to be a great way to relax for an hour, as well.
Swimming: Whether it’s the change in pressure, buoyancy or body position, some people think that getting in the pool can help get baby re-oriented in the right direction. There are no official studies on this, but being in the water once a week definitely felt good and, I think, decreased swelling.
Chiropractic: The theory here is that if your skeletal structure is out of whack, it could affect your inside organs (i.e. uterus) and baby’s positioning or ability to move. Chiropractors use a special move called the Webster Technique, which is supposed to restore proper pelvic balance and function.
Old Wives’ Tales: Other suggestions for turning a breech baby include things using cold packs, talking, music or light to incite movement. Again, none are proven to be particularly effective or supported by studies, but they’re something to consider nevertheless.
Although ultimately unsuccessful for us, I do feel these techniques are well worth a shot if you find yourself (and your baby) in a similar situation. But — and I probably sound like a broken record with this — pregnancy really is a total crap-shoot, so don’t go into anything expecting guaranteed results.
The only thing I can guarantee? A laugh about the whole predicament, if you read this post from Pregnant Chicken.
And as for me, I’m learning that this process — along with expecting the unexpected and just going with it — is all a part of preparing for the next adventure: parenthood.
Disclaimer: I’m not a health professional, so be sure to consult yours first before trying anything new!