Breech Baby and now what?

This week, I had the pleasure of meeting a soon-to-be mother to her second child.
At 37 weeks pregnant, she reached out to me, hoping that Watsu session could help her baby turn from the breech position. Unfortunately, the pool was closed for renovation, but I offered her shiatsu and moxibustion instead.

With little knowledge about these techniques on her part and nothing to lose, only the hope of relaxation and trying everything possible, she visited me the next day.
Typically, I focus on spinning babies earlier in pregnancy, around 33-36 weeks, but I decided to tailor our session to her needs.

During our session, we incorporated reflexology, shiatsu, and moxa without needles ( as I m not Accupuncturist) to guide the baby’s positioning. We also discussed any obstacles and stagnation she might have been experiencing, especially considering this was her second child after a challenging first birth, in a new country where she doesn’t speak the language, among other stressors.

The following day, she went to the hospital for a check-up and an external inversion procedure. To the surprise of everyone in the room, the baby had turned! While we can’t pinpoint exactly what contributed to the successful turn, it’s likely that the combination of techniques we used played a role.

Both the mother and the baby were overjoyed, as the baby wouldn’t have turned if it didn’t feel comfortable and willing to do so.

Are you nearing the end of your pregnancy, only to discover that your baby is in the breech position? Like her?

While this news can be concerning for many expecting mothers, there are several alternative methods that may help encourage your baby to turn head-down before birth ( babies also may turn during the birth itself)
One such method is moxibustion, a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves burning a herb called mugwort (bijvoegkruid) near certain acupuncture points.

Moxibustion has been used for centuries to promote the flow of energy, or qi, in the body and address various health issues, including turning breech babies. By applying heat to specific acupuncture points on the mothers body, particularly on the little toe, moxibustion aims to stimulate the uterus and encourage the baby to reposition itself.

In addition to moxibustion, there are other alternative methods that can be used in combination to increase the chances of turning a breech baby. These may include:

  1. Acupuncture: Similar to moxibustion, acupuncture targets specific points on the body to promote relaxation and encourage the baby to move into the head-down position.
  2. Chiropractic Care: Gentle chiropractic adjustments can help align the pelvis and sacrum, creating more space for the baby to turn.
  3. Spinning Babies Techniques: Specifically, the “3 Sisters” technique, which can be explored further on the spinning babies website for demonstrations.
  4. Pelvic Tilts and Exercises: Engaging in pelvic tilts and other exercises recommended by a qualified prenatal instructor or doula can help encourage the baby to shift positions.
  5. Visualization and Relaxation Techniques: Practicing visualization and relaxation techniques, such as guided imagery, can help reduce stress and tension in the body, creating a more conducive environment for the baby to turn.
  6. Maternity Shiatsu: This involves applying suitable pressure to specific acupuncture points and energy Channels, releasing blockages and tension in the body, while the therapist also holding with the hands a connection between mother and baby.
  7. Reflexology: As the body reflects on the feet, it’s possible to touch the cervix/womb and other body parts on the feet. Combined with acupuncture points on the leg and the weight the mother carries on her feet, this treatment is very soothing.

It’s essential to consult with a qualified healthcare provider, such as a midwife, or experienced doula, before attempting any alternative methods to turn a breech baby. They can provide guidance tailored to your specific situation and ensure that you’re using safe and effective techniques.

While alternative methods like moxibustion and others may offer promising results for some women, it’s important to remember that every pregnancy is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. Additionally, some babies may naturally turn head-down closer to the due date, so it’s essential to remain patient and open-minded throughout the process. Sometimes, certain factors such as cord length or the baby’s preference may prevent them from turning, and in such cases, discussing alternatives with your midwife, such as vaginal breech or c-section, may be necessary.

Ultimately, the goal is to create a supportive and nurturing environment for both you and your baby, regardless of their position. By exploring alternative methods and working closely with your healthcare team, you can feel empowered and informed as you prepare for the birth of your child, and yourself as a mother (once again).