When you get close to the end of your pregnancy, there's a chance you'll get news that your baby is breech. Presenting in this position, where the feet or bottom of your baby are aligned to exit the birth canal first, means your doctor will likely suggest you deliver via C-section. But if you have your heart set on a vaginal birth, should you try to turn a breech baby? Well that is an option, and working with your doctor or midwife may help you pull it off and spin that baby into a head first position.
So what are the chances that this will even happen to you? According to the website for What To Expect, 3 to 4 percent of babies are in a breech position by the time a pregnancy has reached full term, although the baby is usually in a pretty permanent position by the time you reach 36 weeks gestation. Although your baby rotates many times throughout your pregnancy, if you reach 37 weeks and your little one is in the breech position, your health care provider may offer to use a procedure that's been used to turn babies head down.
As Baby Center reported, doctors can perform an external cephalic version (ECV) to turn a breech baby, if you are an appropriate candidate. To do this, the doctor uses her hands to manually turn the baby head down by applying pressure to your stomach. Aside from this common method, there are alternative solutions to try if you want to move your baby out of breech. Moxibustion, the Webster Technique, and the Breech Tilt Exercise are other ways woman have had success in spinning their babies, according to the website for Very Well. If you're considering turning your breech baby, make sure that anyone administering these procedures has been adequately trained in the technique.
Although these methods for turning babies are known to have good success rates, you may still be wondering if there are any risks involved. As the American Pregnancy Association reported, it is safe to try to turn breech baby during the preferred period of 32 and 37 weeks. This leaves you in control of decision whether to keep your baby breech, or attempt to turn it bottoms up. But you'll want to make up your mind sooner than later.
As Fit Pregnancy magazine pointed out, the longer you wait to decide, the greater chance that your baby won't flip. Since your baby is growing bigger and bigger — even up to the last days — you're running out of real estate for that bambino. Having less room to move around makes it more difficult for your baby to spin around to the head first position.
Having your baby in breech position may come as a surprise, but knowing the facts and talking with your doctor can help you make an informed decision about whether or not you want to try and flip junior around. With so many low risk options, if you want to try and deliver vaginally, it may be worth a try.