Breech? To turn or not to turn?

Breech? To turn or not to turn?

Welcome to my bloggedy blog blog, and thank you for stopping by to have a snoop. 

If you have visited my website, or my social media pages before – you will know I am rather driven when it comes to all things Breech. (My first born was Breech)

Understanding the feeling you have when you find out your little belly baby is Breech – in a world where Breech is so “Risky” and “Not the right way” – and knowing how lonely it feels, inspired me to write more about breech, normalise breech and talk openly about breech and the options you have.

 

 

You are NOT alone. Breech is more common than you think. 

You have more options than you may think.

Breech is just a variation of normal.

It doesn’t have to be an automatic “Elective Cesarean Birth”

You can have a safe Vaginal Natural Breech Birth with a supportive team!

 

I will say it and say it again – Inform yourself about all your options. Do your research – make an informed choice for your birth. Don’t just make the decision based on Hospital recommendation, as they have to follow their policies and guidelines.

Because of my experience – and the amount of hours I spent Googling –  “How to turn a breech baby”. I wanted to make it easier for those mama’s out there who are faced with the potential challenges and stress/anxiety that breech babies could bring. 

This blog here – is a one stop shop for all things you can do, to try encourage babies into a cephalic (head down) position. 

 

DIY TIPS AND TRICKS!

 

There are quite a few things you can start implementing in your day to day living that will encourage “space” in your womb for babies to shift into a better position. This goes for any pregnancy, not just breech.

Sometimes it is just a matter of our posture, the way we sit, the way we move. Please know that there is no need to stress out about breech, especially if you are still early on in your third trimester.

Take a moment to sit. Take a moment to breathe. Take a moment to visualise how your body posture is RIGHT NOW.

 

Are there any twists in your body? (legs crossed?)

Are there any bends / folds in your body? (slouching?)

Visualise your womb and baby!

Have they got free space to move around? 

Or is your pelvis crowded, is the pelvic area twisted?

 

Easy to do tips at home or in office;

 

  • Keep both feet flat on the ground – squaring off the hips. Don’t cross your legs (This twists your pelvic area)
  • Ensure you are using the right size exercise / yoga / birth ball. When you are sitting on the ball, you want your knees to be either in line with your hips (90 degree angle) or better yet – knees slightly lower than hips.  

 

  

 

  • When sitting – ensure your knees are lower than your hip area. (Avoiding Recliners)
  • Practice visualisation – put photos / pictures around of babies in the “Optimal Position” – head down.
  • Doing forward leaning inversions 3 times a day – when in this position, taking at least 3-5 deep breaths. Hold this position as long as comfortable for you. 

 

 

  • You can walk around with pegs on your little toes. This puts pressure on the acupressure point Bladder 67 (UB67)………………OUCH, great time to practice breathing through intensity.
  • If your car seat is quite low, or a bucket seat – you can buy a foam wedge to sit on. (or utilise a pillow) This will allow your hips to be slightly higher than your knees whilst driving. Being aware how you get in and out of the car is helpful too. Try to keep your hips squared off (visualise the posh ladies riding horses back in the day)
  • Moxa Stick. Traditional Chinese Medicine (looks like a big Cigar) 20 minutes each side (near UB67) for 10 days. Do it outside, and before you have a shower as the smoke is quite pungent.
  • When having a bath put a frozen pack of peas on the top of your belly – it is said to encourage baby to move towards the warmths. Do this whilst listening to “Breech Turn”. It’s very relaxing.
  • Be on all 4’s – whether playing with older siblings / giving the shower grout a clean (My shower was spotless during my first pregnancy haha) – or just watching TV and leaning over birth ball.

 

BODY WORK / COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE!

 

There are quite a few alternative / complementary therapies you can try that have great success rates. 

Ensure the practitioners you go to are trained for the specific request. You want to ensure they have done this treatment for breech presentation before.

 

Chiropractic Care (Webster Technique)

 

Webster Technique focuses on your sacrum and pelvic area, loosening and improving the function of ligaments and surrounding muscles which can help baby get into optimal position.

Below is a list of chiropractors I would recommend with most having also completed the Optimal Maternal Positioning (OMP) Training.

I would recommend seeing a Chiropractor for alignment purposes during any pregnancy.

 

  • Beldon Chiropractors – Dr Ashleigh Bond – 9401 0777
  • Shenton Park Chiropractor – Dr Kyna Hamilton – 6280 1210
  • The Health Shack (Rockingham) – Dr Leanne Toldeski – 0435 443 123
  • Nervana Chiropractor (Palmyra) – Dr Olivia Gleeson & Dr Peta Chien – 9319 2552
  • ABC CHIRO (Malaga) – Dr Bernadette – 9209 1988
  • South Perth Chiropractor – Dr Kaitlyn Dayman – 9474 1955

 

Acupuncture / Traditional Chinese Medicine

 

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine, and treats ailments / conditions by stimulating pressure points with very thin needles. 

It can be slightly uncomfortable in some areas, but in general is quite pain free. Some pressure points are more sensitive. 

Having acupuncture is a great way to practice breathing techniques / relaxation techniques.

You can also listen to Hypnobirthing Tracks for an extra power punch. (visualisation techniques)

 

 

Acupuncture is also a great alternative method to use if you are closing in on your guessed due date / due month – and wanting to avoid fighting the system for induction. 

 

  • East Meets West (Tuart Hill) – Ian and Michelle Russel – 9349 6550
  • East Meets West (Tuart Hill) – Michelle Whittaker – 9349 6550
  • The Healing Point (Fremantle) – Melissa Wilson – 0400 113 212
  • Renew Acupuncture (West Perth) Sarah Brooks – 0409 080 933 (On Maternity Leave)
  • Scarborough Traditional Acupuncture – Dr Melanie Bastian – 9245 1887
  • Ping Ming Health Acupuncture – few different clinics around. www.pingminghealth.com

 

Pregnancy Massage

 

Pregnancy massage is not only about giving yourself a moment of relaxation and self care. It can be an imperative part of preparing your body for birth. 

It is important to loosen muscles and ligaments that don’t usually get much attention=.

Focussing in and around the Psoas Muscles, as well as those around the sitting bone (Ischial Tuberosity) can really help. 

Releasing the tension around the Ischial Tuberosity can play a big role in allowing your pelvis to move more freely. It is also said it can ease pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy. 

If the tension around your pelvis is released, it alleviates tension around your hips and legs, which potentially allows more movement and space in your uterus for baby to move.

 

Amazing right?

 

 

  • Earth Point Energy Centre (Kewdale) – Suzie Becker – 0408 202 788
  • ProCare Remedial Massage (Wangara) – Leandri Van Den Berg – 0433 894 600
  • Yuli Rai Pilates & Massage (Vic Park) – Yuli Rai – 0412 409 117
  • Specialised Massage (Mundaring) – Nicole Scrivener – 0414 295 256
  • I Care Remedial Massage (Morley) – Jenny Yeh – 0481 784 125
  • Manduragh Oedema (Mandurah) – Melinda Horton – 0478 278 888
  • Absolute Body Care (Halls Head) – Carole Woollard – 0455 436 233
  • Elemental Bodywork (Margaret River) – Marcela Voigt-Jackman – 0414 411 975

 

MEDICALISED OPTIONS! (Last resort)

 

37 weeks pregnant and baby still in Breech position? 

 

Right! This is it!

 

This is where you really have to weigh up your different options / choices. 

The first option you may be given is, “Let’s book you in for an Elective Cesarean”.

 

BUT – you still have different choices before having to really decide whether you want a Cesarean or if you want to a VBB (Vaginal Breech Birth) which is another entirely viable option you have. 

Once you are “full term” you have the option of trying an ECV (External Cephalic Version).

An External Cephalic Version is a manual manoeuvre, attempting to move baby into a head down position.

It is usuall done in a hospital setting, preferably completed by a practitioner with previous ECV success rates. 

 

What to expect:

 

  • You will be in hospital.
  • They will do an ultrasound to check position of baby. Position of placenta. Position of the umbilical cord and whether there is a good amount of amniotic fluid to attempt an ECV.
  • You may be offered a uterine relaxer drug – which will be an injection. The drug is called Terbutaline. You can decline. Do your research and chose what is right for you.
  • Some hospitals may ask you to sign a waiver. The waiver is a form to “consent” to a cesarean if the ECV puts you into labour or potentially breaks your water etc. You don’t have to sign this, and if you do – you can still change your mind later.

 

“I DO NOT CONSENT” are the magic words!

 

  • Ultrasound jelly (hopefully warmed) will be lathered onto your beautiful pregnant belly. Some practitioners will use gravity to help – by lowering the head of the bed, whilst your feet are elevated.
  • When they put their hands on your belly they will usually start lower and try and manoeuvre their hands underneath the rump (bum/feet) of baby, and then attempt to slowly move and push baby around. If not successful they may attempt to push baby the opposite way.
  • It is not the most comfortable thing in the world to experience. But it’s also not awful.
  • You are able to attempt multiple ECV’s if you chose too.

 

Tips to improve chances of ECV:

 

  • Book the ECV in the afternoon. So you can have a self care day that whole morning. Book in for pregnancy massage, book in for chiro and acupuncture. This will allow your body to be in the most relaxed, limber and comfortable state prior to the ECV.
  • Be as relaxed as possible. Practice relaxation breathing.
  • Have some earphones and listen to some music / meditation / hypnobirthing tracks – anything that will help you relax.
  • Wear an eye mask – keep it dark.
  • Bring your birth partner, your Doula or someone you know who will be a supportive / some who created calm for you.
  • Ensure the practitioner has had previous success rates with ECV’s.
  • Tell them you want the bed moved to assist gravity. The head end lowered – and feet end elevated.

 

If the ECV is successful – YAY! Congratulations!

 

Keep practicing great body posture, alignment techniques and look forward to your birthing day. 

 

If the ECV is not successful – don’t despair!

 

You still have so many other options!

 

  • You can accept that what will be will be, and baby may still move head down.

 

  • You can ask to try another ECV.

 

  • You can birth your baby breech.

 

  • You can birth your baby via cesarean section.

 

These are your options – and no one can take these choices away from you.

They are yours to make.

Be informed.

Be prepared.

Fill yourself with knowledge about birth.

 

Use your B.R.A.I.N.

 

B – Benefits

R – Risks

A – Alternative

I – Instinct / Intuition

N– Nothing

 

I truely hope this helps some of you mama’s who are going through a beautiful pregnancy and have suddenly been struck with “what do I do, my baby is breech?”

 

I know how it feels!

 

I am now forever grateful I went through what you are going through. I feel it has given me a voice, a reason to share my knowledge / experience with breech birth. 

Had I not been where you are right now, I would never have had to search for what you are searching for right now.

 

I would never have made an informed choice to birth my baby breech. 

 

Quick disclaimer;

 

1st Birth. Booked with private OB. One Unsuccessful ECV at 37 weeks. Told to book elective cesarean. Changed provider at 39 weeks. After changing provider, I went into labour the following day and had a beautiful unmedicated Breech Birth. CLICK HERE to read my breech birth story.

2nd Birth. Was booked for home birth with CMP. Baby breech. TWO unsuccessful ECV’s. I was lazily doing moxi at home but at peace with another Breech Birth. Told there was not enough fluid, I was being pushed to induce. Chose to decline. 39 weeks had been and gone. 40 weeks had been and gone. 41 weeks…………COME ON!!!!!! Finally consented to a stretch and sweep at 41+6, low and behold – baby had turned head down all by himself post dates AND with low fluid. Went into labour at 42 weeks. Beautiful physiological natural HEAD down birth. YAY.

CLICK HERE to read birth story.

 

My name is Jackie O’Neill, I am a Doula and an Independent Birth Educator who is inspired to help and support women through their pregnancy, birth and postpartum period. 

 

“Live your life, Love your body, Birth your way”

 

If you want to know more, feel free to contact me here

For more great information head back to my Blog page by clicking here

If you are interested in the services I offer – please click here

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