Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Turning A Breech Baby

Yesterday I had a dr. appointment and was brought to tears when I was told that my baby was breech.
Noooooooo!  All I could think was C-section.  Ernesto made me [and the dr.] laugh by saying, "Well, now you don't have to make a decision about delivering without drugs or not." 

Touche, mi amor, Touche

My smile only lasted a few seconds and the tears continued to roll.  My dr. said not to worry, there is still time for baby to turn on it's own, but she will be making an appointment for me with a ultrasound specialist to see if there is enough room to turn the baby by external version.

External version only takes 5-10 minutes and has roughly a 65% success rate.  Using ultrasound scans and a baby heart rate monitor, the dr. presses and pushes on baby through the abdomin wall, encouraging it to turn into a head down position.

If this process works, my dr. said they would most likely induce labor right afterwards.
No, I don't like that idea.
If turning isn't possible  and the baby is still breech in a week they will probably schedule a c-section at week 39.
No, I don't like that either. 

With only 2 weeks left till my September 22nd due date, and a baby that is moving like crazy, I feel like there is still time to turn.  In the past 24 hours, I have heard many stories from other women of how it happened for them at the end.  It is encouraging and it is why I don't want to do anything ahead of my due date.   No inducing please, and no c-section!  Let's see what will happen naturally.

(Understand, that whatever I have to do to have this baby safely, I will do, no problem.  That is most important to me.) 

I have a great book called Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn and last night I read everything about breech and having a c-section (I had skipped over reading this section....surely I wouldn't be having a c-section-ha!) and I feel more confident about the whole process.  Yes there can be complications, but it doesn't seem so scary to me.

What I am upset about is that my surprise factor could be ruined.    I know some people actually elect to have a c-section because they can't stand that they don't know what is going to happen.  I am the opposite.  I am excited to see when and where I will be when my water breaks.  I want to know how long my body will labor and what the contractions feel like.  Could I manage the pain or would I need an epidural?  I have had such a wonderful pregnancy, I would like to finish the whole process naturally and see what my body has in store for me.  I want the surprise!!
(So glad we left the sex a surprise! At least we have that!)

Now, don't laugh, but there are some "self-help techniques" one can try to help turn the baby.  The effectiveness of these have not been proven, but they pose few (if any) risks, so I gave them a try.
(I have nothing but time on my hands guys.)

Here, the Breech Tilt Position - raise your pelvis and place enough firm cushions beneath your butt so your hips are 10-15 inches higher than your head.  Do this for 10 minutes a couple times a day while your baby is most active.
It seems counter intuitive, but here is the idea:  Gravity. First, gravity moves the baby onto his or her head. The weight of the baby's body now bends the neck to help the chin to tuck on the baby's chest. Tucking the chin helps baby flip, just as it helps a gymnast flip. After the chin tucks, the baby is ready to move head down.  hmm

The next technique I tried is using hot and cold.  This one seem silly, but again, I thought what the hell?  Place an ice pack (wrapped in a towel) at the top of the uterus, and place a heating pad onthe pelvic bone for about 10 minutes.  (I used a warm computer as I don't have a heating pad)
The idea of this is that the baby will "turn" it's head away from the cold and move towards the heat.  Makes sense, right? hmmm

The third technique I tried was using music.   I am always singing to baby. When I go walking I wear my ipod and sing out loud so I can be heard. Also, Ernesto and I have been playing one song in particular every morning.
It's called Las Mananitas by Pedro Infante.  It is a beautiful song and that Ernesto always plays for me on the morning of my birthday.  It makes me cry every time I hear it.

Today I set my phone on my pelvic bone and played this song as to attract baby down to the soothing familiar song.  Crazy, I know, but I did see a lot of movement then.

Tomorrow I go for the ultrasound to see how big baby is and if the dr. is able to do the turning.

Wish me luck, maybe he will already be in the right position:)  God knows I put enough effort into trying:)


  1. I could have written this post word for word. Just found out this week at 37w that our baby boy is transverse. I've been upside down, had peas on my belly, ipod on my lap all week to no avail. Thank you for documenting your process! I have my version scheduled for next Thursday... hoping baby cooperates so I can have my third unmedicated delivery. But in case it's not meant to be, I have a c/s scheduled for 11/2.

  2. hi jill, thanks for stopping by. good luck with everything. it will all turn out like its supposed to:) i ended up having the version (here is the video: and baby didnt like that new position so he turned back to breech. had a c section and it was better than i expected (still disappointing though) now that i have little mateo though, i am glad how it was a unique experience!

  3. Hi! I went for my ultra sound yesterday & found out that my baby is breached right now. I need to know, did the techniques work? What was the outcome? Thanks!

  4. Hi sunshine! unfortunately the techniques didnt work for me, and neither did the version. see link to post in the above comment. they are all worth a try harm done! good luck!


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