What IS a “breech-presentation?
Breech births occur in approximately 1 out of 25 full-term births. Between the 32nd &
37th week of pregnancy, the baby usually turns into a head-down, or “vertex” position to
prepare for birth. When the baby does not turn, or only partially turns, the baby’s buttocks
(or another part of the body) are at the lower part of the cervix instead of the head, called
“breech-presentation”. (In rare cases, a baby will be sideways in the uterus with his
shoulder, back, or arm presenting first — this is called a transverse lie.) There are several
types of breech presentations, including frank breech (bottom first with feet up near the
head), complete breech (bottom first with legs crossed Indian-style), or footling breech
(one or both feet are poised to come out first).
All of these presentations are something to pay close attention to. There are several
methods that you can try to help your baby turn on their own. Some health care providers
will not deliver a breech baby vaginally, and will insist on a c-section.
Natural & Effective Techniques to Turn Baby
1) The Breech Tilt:
Using large, firm pillows, raise the hips 12ʺ″ or 30cm off the floor for 10-15 minutes, three
times a day. It is best to do this on an empty stomach when your baby is active. In this
technique, try to concentrate on the baby without tensing your body, especially in the
abdominal area. Breathe.
2) Using Music:
We know that babies can hear sounds outside the womb. Consequently, many women
have used music or taped recordings of their voice to try to get their baby to move
towards the sound! Placing headphones on the lower part of your abdomen and playing
either music or sounds of your voice can encourage babies to move towards the sounds
and out of a breech position.
Some homeopathic remedies have also been found to be successful in correcting breech
positions. Pulsatilla is one such remedy. How does it work? Pulsatilla is essentially soft
and changeable. On the physical plane, the uterus grows asymmetrically, and the baby fits
in there any way it can. Given in potency (a pharmaceutical process which progressively
dilutes natural substances and then vigorously shakes them, thereby releasing dormant
energy), pulsatilla stimulates the uterine muscle to grow more evenly. In. response to a
change in shape, the baby willingly and naturally assumes the most advantageous
position—a gentle intervention.
A very successful “do it yourself” technique with a proven high success rate is to use
locally applied heat treatment. The heat from burning moxa sticks can be used to
stimulate the baby’s movements and encourage it to turn. These sticks, shaped like cigars,
are available from herbalists, Chinese medicine stockists and some acupuncturists (who
use moxa sticks for other purposes) and they contain tightly rolled dried leaves of the
mugwort plant. They are very inexpensive and two sticks will be needed – they can be
used several times.
How? See this website for pictures & how-to’s.
3) Check-In With Yourself:
Are you experiencing fear, tension or other emotions? Any emotion that you have the
baby also feels. The baby may be reluctant to be born if it does not feel it is being birthed
into a safe, secure environment. Journal. Draw. Breathe. Cry. Take the afternoon in
nature. Talk with a supportive person who can actively listen.
If you feel you need assistance in identifying or clearing emotions, Dr. Paez specializes in
a very effective method called the “NeuroEmotional Technique” or NET.
4) Check-In With Your Baby:
When was the last time you talked to your baby? Use the methods in #3 above to
communicate with your baby and to ask what he/she needs in order to be born. Talk to
your baby every day and keep sending him/her to message about how joyous an occasion
it is that they are being born!
4) Myrrh Essential Oil:
A lesser known technique to coerce the baby to turn is to use myrrh essential oil on your
belly. Myrrh is a warm, earthy oil that affects hormonal and nervous systems. The oil has
a ‘righting’ effect, so it may adjust hormones or calm elements of the nervous system, or
otherwise help your body to help the baby right itself. A few drops diluted in oil has been
shown to be very effective in repositioning the baby, sometimes in as little as minutes!
Dilute 5-10 drops in 2-4 Tbs. of oil (try sesame, olive or almond oil) and rub directly on
your belly in a clockwise direction. It is important to get a high quality oil, as you are
especially sensitive right now, and do not need the fillers & often toxic ingredients in
certain brands of oils! Dr. Paez recommends Young Living Essential Oils –
5) Chiropractic Care:
Regular chiropractic care throughout your pregnancy is essential to maintaining good
nerve flow to your growing baby, as well as making sure your pelvis is properly aligned
to give birth. In addition, moms that are adjusted regularly have less ‘breechpresentation’
babies. The late Larry Webster, D.C., of the International Chiropractic
Pediatric Association, developed a technique that enabled chiropractors to reduce stress
on the pregnant woman’s pelvis leading to the relaxation of the uterus and surrounding
ligaments. A more relaxed uterus makes it easier for a breech baby to turn naturally. His
technique is known as the Webster Breech Technique. Dr. Paez specializes in this
technique, which he has had great success with!