Many women describe finding out their baby is breech and the subsequent period of time as they try and decide what to do as really difficult. Some say its distressing and other frustrating. Many women are not able to enjoy the last part of their pregnancy through worry and indecision. And most women ask ‘Can I do anything about my breech baby?‘.
Much of this pressure is linked to the thought that breech is risky or bad (see why does breech occur and what’s the story about breech), a problem that needs to be solved and quickly. Breech is not a bad thing; its just different. This is likely not something you planned for or want but it doesn’t take away your choices. You do have a right to information on which to make your decisions and that your individual situation and wishes are taken into account.
There are 3 main things you can consider:
- If you are over 36 weeks you can think about getting your baby turned by a midwife or obstetrician (External Cephalic Version). This should be offered to you by your local maternity unit but you don’t have to have it – this is a choice. It is worth asking about their success rate (they should have statistics) and on how and where they do the procedure as each unit differs slightly.
- You can try to encourage the baby to turn yourself using spinning, inversions (these are better in a swimming pool; big movements from you help baby move out of the pelvis and around), acupuncture, chiropractic techniques, and moxibustion.
- You can accept the baby is breech and start thinking about your birth preferences. Breech isn’t a bad thing, its just different and needs you to consider things such as where and how is best for you to have your baby. It doesn’t mean you must have a caesarean – you should be given the risks and benefits of both caesarean section and vaginal birth and supported in your decision. Some baby’s will turn naturally even during late pregnancy and early labour but this is more common when the baby is not well engaged (low down) in the pelvis. If you do decide to have a caesarean they should scan you prior to surgery just to check the baby is still breech.