You may have been told that your baby is breech. Stay calm, babies can be breech right up until labour, especially if it’s not your first baby. I’ve even seen mum’s told their babies are breech, fretted about it for weeks then at a scan find their baby is head down after all. Why babies are breech is a mystery, some people believe that they get settled upright and are comfortable, it may be down to the individually physiology of the mother’s womb. Others believe that sometimes the reason a baby is positioned that way is because it’s the best way to be born. There is even a school of belief that suggests some fears about birth can have an impact.
For whatever reason your baby is breech, the best thing you can do is to find ways to stay relaxed and trusting in your body. If you are calm and your muscles are soft, it may be harder for baby to turn. There are quite a few things you can try to turn a breech baby, from shining torches at the bottom of your womb, to doing handstands in a swimming pool.
If your baby is going to turn, they are most likely to do it when you have released tension from your body, importantly in your pelvis area. Think about when you are stressed or tense? Do you hold tension in your jaw? If so you will hold tension in your pelvis. When mother’s are in deep hypnotic relaxation I have seen babies wriggling like mad and I have seen babies turn during a session or shortly afterwards.
To create the right environment for your baby to turn you need to consider your internal environment, staying mindfully connected with your baby through meditation, using hypnosis exercises to relax your abdomen will all contribute to create the perfect environment for your baby to turn.
How to turn a breech baby the Mindful Hypnobirthing way
Great positioning helps and is your friend! Being slumped all over your desk, slouched in your sofa at night is going to do you no favours. Get down on your hands and knees, and when I say right down I mean with your bum higher than your chest. Check out the amazing spinning babies website to find out about optimal positioning and some great tricks to help with this.
See a hypnotherapist, relexologist or acupuncturist who is specialised in this field
Get nice and relaxed, using your self-hypnosis step 1 (321 relax, relax, relax) and talk to your baby. Talk to them about how it’s time to move into the position to be born. Even better get your partner or any of your children to talk to your baby telling them about how ready you are for them, and how much they are looking forward to meeting them.
See a chiropractor or an osteopath who specialises in pregnancy. Read Naomi McKay’s article on about how it can work for pregnancy.
Get in touch with a local doula who may know some great repositioning techniques, some use something called a Rebozo which can be used to help baby get into a better position for birth.
Print out a picture of a baby with their head down, or draw your baby with their head down and stick it up somewhere that you can see it all the time.
Remember that depending on the type of breech you can birth a breech baby. Some midwives are having more training in breech births now.
There is even something called an ‘in labour’ caesarean, so if you decide you don’t want a breech birth you can wait until you are in labour to go into hospital. Just be aware your caesarean may be classed an an emergency , rather than as an elective in this case. It is thought this approach has the benefit of allowing baby more time in utero, sometimes a couple of weeks, and allows them to be born when they are ready. This is covered in more details in Michel Odent’s book, the ‘Unnecaesarean’. Interestingly I’ve seen a few mothers choose this option only for baby to run just before birth, but a days or even weeks after what would have been a scheduled caesarean.
Reading and Resources
Mary Cronk, a specialist in breech birth, now in her 80’s lectures. Read her article for AIMS here.
Spinning babies and their page on breech position
A story of a breech birth at home
The Royal College of Midwives, Campaign for normal birth article on breech
If you are set on a caesarean, read our section on a gentle caesarean.