Menu

What is a breech baby? (and how to turn them, mama)

Everything you need to know.

breech-baby

About 3-4% of babies are breech during pregnancy. If your little bundle is breech or transverse [insert “she's already stubborn and she hasn't even been born yet!" joke here], you are probably filled with questions about what this means for your pregnancy and birth.

Let's spend a moment talking about exactly what this means, and then we'll go over some ways to nudge your little one in the right direction.

What is a breech baby?

A breech baby is essentially upside down, with either their bottom, knees or feet pointing toward your vagina. A transverse baby is in a side-to-side, or horizontal position.

Being breech isn't actually a problem in and of itself. In fact, we used to deliver breech babies vaginally all the time. Unfortunately, it is becoming a lost art as there is a small concern for increased risk of birth complications (which you can read more about here).

Should I be worried that my baby is breech?

We don't start to worry about the baby's position until about halfway through your third trimester. Babies spend the majority of the pregnancy moving all over the place, so if your little bean isn't head down, and you still have a little while to go before your due date, you don't have to worry yet. Although It's not a bad idea to help check out the tips below to help encourage them to “lock-in" in a good position when the time comes.

How can I turn a breech baby?

As you approach 33-34 weeks, it's a good idea to start to actively try to flip your baby. Here are some ways how:

Exercises and positioning

By moving your body around and changing the space in your belly and pelvis, your baby may get the opportunity they need to flip. Spending time in a hands-and-knees position, or an elbows-and-knees position can help. Spend some time in this position a few times/day. Also, check out Spinning Babies. They have lots of ideas.

Chiropractic care

Many chiropractors are trained in a special called the Webster Technique, which involves very gentle adjustments to release the tension in the pelvis, and allow your baby to flip.

Acupuncture

Research has found that an acupuncture technique called moxibustion, where a burning herb is held next to your toe. can help turn breech and transverse babies. Seek out a practitioner that is trained to work with breech babies.

Old wives tales that can't hurt

Some say that shining a light above your pubic bone can make your baby move, since they'll be curious to check out this new sight. And when my baby was breech, I played music by my pubic bone to encourage her to move her head down—who knows if this did the trick, but she did turn!

What is an external cephalic versions, or ECV?

An ECV is a non-surgical procedure usually done in the hospital that is meant to manually turn a breech and transverse baby. This is done with the provider's hand manipulating the baby by pressing on your belly. This isn't without its risks—sometimes this stresses the baby out, which can make their heart rate drop, and if that happens it's possible to need an emergency C-section. Women also report that this can be an uncomfortable or even painful process.

Can you have a vaginal birth if your baby is breech?

It's important to note that if your baby stays breech, there are certainly providers out there who will attend vaginal breech births! There are some risks though, so finding a provider with expertise is key. You can start by asking your provider for a recommendation, or asking in local mom groups if anyone has had a positive experience with someone.

You might also like:

They say necessity is the mother of invention—and nothing makes you more inventive than motherhood.

Sometimes that means fashioning a diaper out of paper towels and your older child's underpants (true story). Sometimes that means creating an innovative and life-changing weighted baby sleep sack and totally crushing it on Shark Tank. Tara Williams is the latter.

Keep reading Show less
Shop

5 brilliant products that encourage toddler independence

Help your little one help themselves.

One of our main goals as mothers is to encourage our children to learn, grow and play. They start out as our tiny, adorable babies who need us for everything, and somehow, before you know it, they grow into toddlers with ideas and opinions and desires of their own.

You may be hearing a lot more of "I do it!" or maybe they're pushing your hand away as a signal to let you know, I don't need your help, Mama. That's okay. They're just telling you they're ready for more independence. They want to be in charge of their bodies, and any little bit of control their lives and abilities allow.

So, instead of challenging your toddler's desire for autonomy, we found five of our favorite products to help encourage independence—and eliminate frustration in the process.

EKOBO Bamboo 4-piece kid set

EKOBO bamboo 4-piece kid set

This colorful set includes a plate, cup, bowl and spoon and is just right for your child's meal experience. Keep them in an easy-to-reach cabinet so they'll feel encouraged (and excited!) to get their own place setting each time they eat.

$25

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Before you know it, your little one will be asking (okay, maybe demanding) to fill their own water cups. This amazing 4-pack of cups attaches directly to the fridge (or any glass, metal, tile or fiberglass surface) making it easier for your child to grab a cup themselves. Just be sure a water pitcher or dispenser is nearby, and—boom!—one task off your plate.

$29

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

These beautiful blocks, made from sustainably-sourced wood and water-based, non-toxic, lead-free paint, will keep your little one focused on their creation while they're also busy working on their fine-motor skills. The puzzle design will encourage patience as your kiddo creates their own building, fitting one block in after the next.

$18

Lorena Canals basket

Lorena Canals Basket

This *gorgeous* braided cotton basket is the perfect, accessible home for their blocks (and whatever else you want to hide away!) so your kiddo can grab them (and clean them up) whenever their heart desires.

$29

BABYBJÖRN step stool

BABYBJ\u00d6RN Step Stool

Your kiddo might be ready to take on the world, but they might need an extra boost to do so—cue, a step stool! An easy-to-move lightweight stool is the must-have confidence-boosting tool you need in your home so your growing tot can reach, well... the world.

$20

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Shop

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have kids—so here’s what I did

We asked our three most pessimistic friends who have kids whether it's worth it or not

As told to Liz Tenety.

Around the time my husband and I were turning 30, we had a genuine conversation about whether or not we wanted kids. I was the hesitant one because I was like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Let's just hold on. Okay, let's talk about this. Because we love our life. We like traveling. Is this what we want?"

My husband said, "Let's ask our three most pessimistic, crabby friends who have kids whether or not it's worth it."

And every single one of them was like, "Oh, it's unmissable on planet earth."

So when I got pregnant, I was—and I'm not ashamed to say this and I don't think you should be—I was as connected with the baby in my belly as if it were a water bottle. I was like, I don't know you. I don't know what you are, but you can be some gas pain sometimes, but other than that, we're going to have to meet each other and suss this relationship out.

But all the cliches are true that you just know what to do when the baby comes out. Some of the times are hard, some of them are easier, but you just gotta use your gut.

Keep reading Show less
Life