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).

FEATURED VIDEO

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:

In This Article

    These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

    It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

    When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

    But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

    I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

    So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

    It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

    But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.


    Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin


    Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

    Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

    Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

    Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


    This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

    Our Partners

    The one thing your family needs to practice gratitude

    And a tradition you'll want to keep for years.

    Gracious Gobbler

    I think I can speak for well, basically everyone on planet earth when I say things have been a bit stressful lately. Juggling virtual school, work and the weight of worry about all the things, it's increasingly difficult to take even a moment to be grateful and positive these days. It's far easier to fall into a grump cycle, nagging my kids for all the things they didn't do (after being asked nine times), snapping at their bickering and never really acknowledging the good stuff.

    But the truth is, gratitude and appreciation is the kind of medicine we need now more than ever—and not just because the season is upon us. For one thing, practicing gratitude is a scientifically proven way to boost our happiness, health and relationships. More importantly, we need to ensure we're cultivating it in our children even when things are challenging. Especially when things are challenging.

    I'm ready to crank the thankfulness up a few dozen notches and reboot our family's gratitude game so we can usher out 2020 on a fresh note. So, I've called in some reinforcements.

    Enter: the Gracious Gobbler.

    Keep reading Show less
    Shop

    If the feeling you get when you snuggle a baby could be bottled and sold, this world would probably be a better place—research basically proves. Between the way those snuggles release heartwarming oxytocin to the benefits they have on babies’ growing brains, let’s all agree there really is no such thing as loving on your baby too much.

    Keep reading Show less
    News