Breech birth occurs when your baby is lying bottom first instead of the head-first position. In the US, about 4% of babies are born breech. Before 1954, these babies were delivered vaginally. But as of now, breech babies are mostly delivered through C-section, as doctors presume greater safety in this method.
The Complicated Affair
The road to birth is a straight one, but sometimes, things can get a little bit more complicated. This is because of the remarkable gymnastics that your baby is capable of in spite of the small space that she/he is in. There are three different kinds of breech positions:
1. Frank Breech
Also called the contortion act, this is a common breech position where the baby’s bottom is down with the feet up near the head.
2. Complete Breech
Also known as the Yogi pose, here, the baby sits cross-legged with the head high up.
3. Footling Breech
Also known as the dipping leg, the baby’s head is up with one or both legs hanging down.
Note that it’s important to remember that a breech position even days before delivery does not assure a breech position during delivery. But if your D-day is here and your baby remains in the breech position, you need to talk to your doctor.
Flipping The Baby Back
Multiple pregnancy web sites such as betterbirthblog, todaysparent, and wellnessmama suggest poses and methods to try at home to help flip a baby. Here are some DIY tips you can try to get your baby back in position:
Yoga To The Rescue
Upside-down poses such as handstands can help influence your baby to move. The poses also help you calm yourself and relax. Do the poses for short periods and repeatedly throughout the day. Know what your body’s limits are before holding the poses for too long.
Hot And Cold
Place something really cold near the baby’s head and something warm near your pelvic area. Babies like warmth, but don’t be surprised if your baby doesn’t fall for it. Also, make sure you do not affect the baby’s or your health by doing this for too long. You can hold this for a few minutes, twice a day.
The Guiding Light
Babies are attracted to light. Shine a flashlight at the lower half of your belly when your baby is active and moving. She/he might find the light interesting.
A Musical Touch
Play the music that makes your baby groove (in your womb) near your belly. Make sure that it’s in the right direction and do this when the baby is active. Keep the volume just right.
If you’re a little worried about trying any of these or if your baby doesn’t respond, it’s time to consult your healthcare provider. There are multiple techniques that doctors may use to flip the baby back into the correct position.
Given here is a video of how doctors conduct an external cephalic version to reposition a baby.
There have been instances of doctors delivering breech babies vaginally. What you need to understand is that while it is natural to be worried, it is also important to be informed so that you can take the right decisions. After all, the sole intent is to get your baby delivered safely, right?