At my 32-week appointment, my gynecologist casually mentioned that my baby was in a breech position. He said I shouldn’t read too much into this yet as there was still enough time for my baby to turn and get into the optimal position of the head facing downwards i.e. vertex position. It seemed that my little man had become quite comfortable lying in a transverse breech position across my uterus as this had been the same position he’d presented himself at our previous meeting. My plan was to have a natural birth, I had done the research into the benefits of a natural birth and decided to go this route. I had booked a midwife and doula and done a hypnobirthing course so I felt ready to tackle natural birth. But it seemed my baby had different plans for us and I had to come to terms with the fact that if my baby did not turn down then we would need to do a planned C-Section. It would be too risky to go into labour with a breech presenting baby. The baby could get stuck in the birth canal and the oxygen supply via the umbilical cord could be cut off or the placenta could be compromised. There was also an increased risk to the mother in delivering a breech baby naturally.
I had many questions?
- Why was my baby breech?
- Was there something wrong with him or his umbilical cord?
- What were the chances of him turning?
- What could I do to help him turn?
Ways to turn a breech baby
My care providers suggested seeing a chiropractor and acupuncturist to check on my pelvis alignment and energy flow within my body. I lined up these appointments and also began doing inversion exercises, such as forward leaning inversions off the couch and bed, pelvic rocking and breech tilts. I stumbled across a website called Spinning Babies which had a wealth of information about breech babies and how to turn them. It seemed part of the problem was my sitting position at work. Sitting in the traditional ladylike fashion with crossed legs was totally wrong for the babies’ position. Leaning back and relaxing on couches and recliners was also a no-no. The efficient way to sit was to lean slightly forward and open up my legs to give my uterus space to expand forward and flop into hammock style. Or to sit upright with a straight back. Or to sit on a yoga ball!
Why is my baby breech?
I found another interesting article on theories on why babies are breech. There are many factors which could contribute to this. Some of them include the following:
- Alignment or space-related – Such as an asymmetrical uterus caused by muscles or ligaments being twisted or fibroids.
- Umbilical cord – This could be too short or tangled up not allowing enough space for baby to flip.
- Amniotic fluid – There could be too much or too little fluid.
- Placenta position – This could be in an unusual position preventing baby from turning down. Placenta previa is when the placenta is low lying and may even cover the cervix.
- Too much sitting – Sitting in an incorrect position could restrict space in the pelvic region. Walking, yoga, swimming and doing specific exercises such as cat pose, squats and lunges is good for your alignment.
- Too much stress – This tightens the abdominal muscles and won’t allow your body to soften to give space for baby to turn. Anxious Mom’s have more breech babies!
It seemed there are many reasons on why my baby is breech! Obviously, I want to give him the best opportunity to turn, but I have to let go of the outcome and believe that my baby and body knows best. I recently went for another appointment at my almost 36-week mark and our baby is still in a breech position. I’m not giving up yet as there is still time and space for our baby to turn. However, I am also researching the gentler C-Section option.
A gentler C-Section still involves surgery but with additional requests to create a more relaxing and conducive environment for Mom and baby to bond. For instance, Mom can be wedged up to allow her to see the baby being born, allowing music in the operating theatre, delayed cord clamping, delayed new-born tests, skin-on-skin time immediately as well as breastfeeding immediately. So, our plans are still up in the air and I have to get used to uncertainty and things not going according to plan. Which seems to be my first lesson in parenthood! At the end of it all the best outcome is having a healthy baby and keeping both Mom and baby safe. Soon I will meet my little man and he will be perfect whichever way he ends up being born!