Position a Breech Baby Naturally When Nine Months Pregnant

Summary

A baby in breech position can wreak havoc on a woman in her third trimester of pregnancy, posing issues with a natural vaginal delivery. We were determined to avoid a Cesarean section and decided to try to turn the breech baby naturally. You won't believe the outlandish things we tried! This humorous article shows how a crazy pregnant mom can do anything she sets her heart on, with a little help from her friends and a babbling toddler.

Normal Baby Position

From the MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia Online
From the MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia Online

Baby in Breech Position

My Obstetrician Must Have Seen the Humor, But I Was Nine Months Pregnant

Last week, a few days before my visit to the OB (Obstetrician), I noticed something peculiar going on in my stomach. My stomach started to wobble and undulate like a stormy sea. Baby was inside there doing water aerobics! I didn't think much more of it until my visit to the doctor, which went something like this:

Doctor: So, how are you feeling?

Me: You mean besides having a bowling ball sitting on my pelvis? I'm not running the Boston Marathon anytime soon, if that's what you think...

Doctor: Umm, ok then. Let's just take a look at your stomach to see how things are going.

(I lift up my shirt)

Doctor: Everything looks great, there's a baby inside there for sure!

Me: Great! Can I go to the restroom now?

Doctor: Wait! What's this? I think I feel your baby's head....Uh oh! It's not where it's supposed to be!

Me: Oh? Is that bad?

Doctor: Your baby is breech. Her feet are in your pelvis, instead of her head.

Me: So that's why it feels like the baby's been kicking me down there...

Doctor: Yes, she probably has! We're going to have to wait and see if she turns around by next week, or we're going to have to arrange a procedure AT THE HOSPITAL called a "version"

Me: Sounds like it might hurt. Does it hurt doctor?

Doctor: (Reluctantly) Why yes, it can be quite painful...And IF the procedure is successful, and nothing goes wrong, then you can have the baby naturally.

Me: What do you mean IF?

Doctor: Well, the procedure only has a 60% success rate. It's expensive and it's painful, and well, sometimes the baby turns right back into breech position. Babies don't like to be forced, you know. But we can always do it again.

Me: Why can't I just have the baby vaginally with her in breech position?

Doctor: Oh, we can't do THAT, it's much too dangerous. Too many things could go wrong. Don't worry, though. We'll just check you back next week during your next apppointment.

Me: Worry? Why worry? So, is there anything I can do to turn the baby around on my own?

Doctor: Why yes, just get down on the floor on your hands and knees, face down. Place your face and chest on the floor, and keep your bottom in the air for 10 minutes, three times a day.

Me: (Laughing out loud) That's precious! What do I really do?

Doctor: No, I'm serious, that's what you're supposed to do. Gravity will do the work.

Me: Oh...

Doctor: It's worth a try. It's a lot cheaper than what they're going to charge you at the hospital.

Me: Thanks a lot!

I leave the doctor's appointment feeling anxious and dejected. They really want me to do that?

There on the floor of my living room, with my bottom poking into the air, I think, there MUST be a better way! I sit up slowly, waiting for the blood to rush back into the correct places, and go online to search for some answers.

On the midwives' web site, here are some of the suggestions I read:

Suggestion #1: Sit in a bathtub of warm water...(Ok, doesn't sound too bad)...then get a bag of freezer-burned frozen vegetables and place it on the location of the baby's head. Babies have an aversion to the cold, so they will turn away from the cold toward the heat. I have an aversion to the version, so what the heck, I try it. Five minutes later my skin is developing a case of frostbite. The baby twitches a bit, but doesn't move. I have an aversion to the cold, too. Who was the sadistic *#%$! that thought that one up? Maybe I'll try something else.

My husband wants you to know that I used "A LITTLE" poetic license while writing this hub. But he did make me hold the flashlight myself.

Go to the light, baby, go to the light!

Suggestion #2: Go to the light, baby, go to the light! Get a powerful flashlight, and point it toward your pelvis, placing the end of the light right against your skin. I've just finished my bath and have toweled off. My husband graciously offers to grab the flashlight for me and goes into the garage. He gets the biggest, heaviest Mag flashlight we own--it's about 14 inches long and weighs 4 or 5 pounds. We figure that it might help to have "gravity do the work" again, so my husband props my hips up onto 4 pillows, all stacked together, hands me the flashlight, and walks over to the sink in our bathroom to brush his teeth.

"What are you doing?"

"Brushing my teeth? What does it look like I'm doing?"

"Aren't YOU going to hold the flashlight for me."

"Sorry babe, I'm getting ready for church. Can you do it?"

I sigh one of those ancient, older-than-time-put-out-woman sighs, and do my best to hold the immense and heavy flashlight against my lower pelvis. My toddler son walks into the room.

"Uggh, Ughh, Uggh" He isn't really a talker. But he's saying "I want that flashlight mom, give me the flashlight.

"Mommy's using the flashlight right now, honey. You can use it when Mommy's done."

Toddler boy throws himself to the floor, screaming in self-styled agony. Thump! All that thrashing around causes him to smack his head on the edge of the dresser. Now he's screaming in pain.

My husband comes over to soothe him.

"So, is it working?"

"No it isn't working" I spit out the answer in a fit of venom.

"OH...Well, ok, I need to finish getting ready for church now. Maybe you need to hold it a little lower"

I lay on the bed with an enormous red phallus-like object pointed at the bottom of my pelvis, and we all know what that looks like.

My 10-year old daughter wanders back into the bedroom.

"Uh, mom, what are you doing?"

"Nevermind."

"No, seriously, what are you doing?"

"I'm holding a flashlight against my stomach."

"Oh....Why?"

"We're trying to turn the baby."

"Uh huh. Do you think that's really going to work?"

"I don't know, it's just one of the things you can try if the baby's breech."

My daughter gets a dark, clouded look on her face. "What does breech mean?"

"It means the baby's head is where her feet should be."

"Oh." She wanders out the room, muttering something.

My husband comes back into the bedroom, completely dressed and shaved. He is finishing the knot on his tie. "Um, are you about ready to go?"

"NO! I'm NOT ready to go!" I scream, flinging the 5-pound flashlight in his direction.

"So should I just resign myself to being half an hour late to church again?"

My toddler son wanders over to his father, picks up the flashlight, and walks out the room with it.

Clearly the flashlight idea isn't working.

Back on the midwives' website, I read a few more suggestions. One is to hold a hot cigar against the appropriate acupressure point until mom starts to feel the burning sensation, then quickly pull the cigar away. Nope, I'm not trying that one. Singeing mom with a hot cigar sounds worse than freezing me with frozen peas.

Another suggestion is to have Daddy talk to the baby from "down there" Daddy speaks into mother's pubic area would sound something like this:

"Baby? BA-BY. Are you there?"

"Come to Daddy!"

"Mommy would be much more comfortable if you would just turn AROUND."

"It's time to be born baby, let's get you in position."

"Come on, baby..."

"I'm talking to YOU baby, get over here!"

After no response...

"I'm counting to three, and if you're not here by three, I'm coming in to get you"

"Don't make me come in there!"

Yeah, I have other children. I know the power of idle threats...

The best suggestion I saw, by far, was to go swimming and DIVE into the water Seems plausible, though I haven't tried it yet. Maybe that's why I still think it might work. But I'll try anything once or twice...except for that cigar thing. The alternative medical profession may be sadistic, but I'm not masochist myself.

More by this Author


Comments 48 comments

Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

LOL and ouch for you at the same time! I commend you for keeping sense of humor in such a difficult situation, this is definitely fun reading.

I hope your baby turns before it's time to get out. Good luck! :)


jacobworld profile image

jacobworld 8 years ago from Ireland

good reading mate . Great fun


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 8 years ago from The Land of Tractors Author

Thank you for your positive comments, Misha and jacobworld! Humor is the ONLY way to deal with pregnancy.


Annette Rozen profile image

Annette Rozen 8 years ago

absolutley hilarious. I can't believe you actually tried those things out!


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 8 years ago from The Land of Tractors Author

Annette, I didn't try the cigar thing, but I did try the frozen vegetables and the flashlight trick. They seemed less complicated than doing the yoga thing on the floor. I'm looking forward to going swimming sometime this week! With the high cost of health care, I'm willing to try some different things if it means avoiding time at the hospital.


kerryg profile image

kerryg 8 years ago from USA

This is hilarious. Good luck with getting that baby turned!


In The Doghouse profile image

In The Doghouse 8 years ago from California

western,

Oh my goodness! I hope that baby gets headed in the right direction soon! Good luck...


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 8 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

I knew there was an advantage in being of the male species! Well said, wannabwestern, and good luck.


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 8 years ago from The Land of Tractors Author

Thanks all! I am keeping positive and doing everything I can to help the situation along. :)


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Good luck to you wannabwestern! You have the right attitude. You haven't tried head-stands have you? (I had a portugese neighbor and she kept suggesting headstands to my other neighbor to turn the baby. It wasn't quite what Jess wanted to do either but she tried anyway, just in case) I have a feeling that the baby would have turned anyway but ....

Great hub regards Zsuzsy


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 8 years ago from The Land of Tractors Author

Thanks, Zsuzsy,

I haven't tried head-stands, but I'm hoping my friend will allow me to use her pool. I think I would try that while in the water. Friday I'll find out if all these crazy schemes have helped the baby to turn.


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 8 years ago from The Land of Tractors Author

The baby turned! I am really relieved! No VERSION at the hospital, and for now, no c-section! Just wanted to share my good news with anyone reading the comments!


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

Wow! These are good news! Conratulations - and we keep fingers crossed for you! :)


glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 8 years ago from Northern California

Thanks for keeping us up-to-date... such an interesting situation that I knew nothing about but now do!


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 8 years ago from The Land of Tractors Author

Thanks, glassvisage and Misha! I was ecstatic to learn I didn't need the expensive and uncomfortable procedure! Your well-wishes mean a lot!


MasonsMom profile image

MasonsMom 8 years ago from U.S.A.

Although I'm not a nurse, I work at a women's hospital in the Labor & Delivery dept. External versions are semi-common around there. I had no idea they even did such a thing until I started working there. Many times it works, so don't lose faith! Best of luck to you!


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 8 years ago from The Land of Tractors Author

Thanks, MasonsMom. I'm hoping the baby stays in head-down position now. We are self-paying for our delivery and I have a toddler at home. A C-Section would drastically complicate my life. We are counting our blessings that the baby turned last week.


RUTHIE17 8 years ago

Great Hub! Love your writing style. Chuckled all the way through it!

Best of luck with your new little one--hope everything stays where it's supposed to!


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

ouch! you are a very funny writer.


Davinagirl3 profile image

Davinagirl3 7 years ago

Wonderful hub. Isn't pregnancy interesting? I wish I could just get a baby. I want to have another one, but AM NOT looking forward to the pregnancy "thing".


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 7 years ago from The Land of Tractors Author

Well, I suppose there are illegal ways to do it your way, but I think the obnoxious pain and suffering are nature's insurance policy against, you know, getting tired of the little person when they arrive. LOL!

Cheers, and thanks.


LVM profile image

LVM 7 years ago

I enjoyed reading the hub, humorous yet informative. Thanks for a great hub.


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 7 years ago from The Land of Tractors Author

Thank you!


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 7 years ago from Tucson, Az

oh my this one is fantastic!! our baby girl (now 26) was double footling breech and dorcacephalic and I am CPD cervical pelvic disproportionate...I was so pissed at the OB...wasn't it his fault after all? hes the one who diagnosed it! that i refused to let him set the c section date :) and Katie Baby...yes she is katherine Elizabeth...came in a blizzard on 022783/rather I went into labor and the MD took her out on 022783... :( but she was worth it! and now your Evie is too isn't she!!! hey wannabwestern ok with you if I write out my story on a hubpage? stirred some memories :)


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 7 years ago from The Land of Tractors Author

I'm glad I jogged your memory and look forward to reading your hub, RN! In my case, I'm so grateful we finally got her turned around and was able to deliver without a c-section, and it wasn't too bad of a delivery. Did you have to drive through the blizzard to get to the hospital? I am intrigued!


OTmommy profile image

OTmommy 7 years ago from Southern USA

Cute story! Glad you didn't need any extra procedures. It does seem that anything done during the last month of pregnancy is difficult, much less some of things you were asked to do to help the baby turn.


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 7 years ago from The Land of Tractors Author

Thanks OTmommy, I was very very fortunate not to experience the version procedure at the hospital. That procedure can cause harm to the baby in rare instances, and babies frequently turn around after the procedure is performed. If I have any more children (it's not in the stars), I will probably use a midwife.


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 7 years ago from Great Britain

Oh thank you for sharing that.!!!I have tears running down my face from laughing. You must be what we British would call a real good sport. I can remember feeling like a hippopotamus before my daughter was born . You did well to even TRY some of the suggestions. I wish you well


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 7 years ago from The Land of Tractors Author

There's something perversely satisfying to know that my pain and suffering could be so hysterically funny. But it is. I always have a laugh when I look at this. After I went swimming and tried all those other strange things, the baby turned on her on. I am so thankful to have avoided a C-section. We didn't have maternity insurance at the time. My baby is now a toddler and she is oddly attracted to frozen vegetables and flashlights.


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 7 years ago from Rocky Mountains

Loved your hub - so did the baby come out alright or did you have to C-section? I hope you write books because you are a natural.


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 7 years ago from The Land of Tractors Author

Elayne, she turned on her own after I went swimming! I was overjoyed. The baby is now actually 15 months old. I wrote most of my pregnancy stuff close to when I joined HP. Thanks for the very flattering compliment. The only books I have published are a cookbook I did for my grandmother and some technical manuals I wrote before 1999 when I worked at Intel for 5 years. I'd love to publish, though. It is a worthy dream.


abcd1111 profile image

abcd1111 7 years ago from Glen Ellyn, IL (Chicago suburb)

Congrats on turning and delivering your baby! This was nicely written and simply amusing. Keep it up!

If you find yourself getting blocked, just have another baby.

Thanks for the fun.


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 7 years ago from The Land of Tractors Author

Thanks. That's a pricey way to pay for writer's block, though. I assume that's the kind of blockage you meant.


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

This was an interesting and amusing post!


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 6 years ago from The Land of Tractors Author

Carolina, thanks. It was grotesquely comical at the time, and I still look back and have a laugh. But isn't it a sad statement about healthcare? At least I didn't try voodoo. Though I might have, if I thought it would work.


denraya profile image

denraya 6 years ago from GA

Completely hillarious...glad your baby turned out fine...they tried to stick a probe in my mom just before I was born...she had the foresight (like you) not to let them touch her...sometimes I think doctor's are just in there playing around


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 6 years ago from The Land of Tractors Author

Thank you denraya. Baby not only turned out fine, but is now a thriving and mischievous toddler. Still, sometimes she seems to enjoy being upside down. I think the version procedure sounded extremely uncomfortable and potentially dangerous for the baby. The big issue for me was that if the baby didn't turn around, the doc said I would have to get a C-Section. That was a really big deal for me because I was footing all of the costs for that pregnancy. Many midwives disagree with doctors about this--it is a controversial topic. Everything turned out great though, and the flips in the swimming pool helped me to avoid a C-Section.


aguasilver profile image

aguasilver 6 years ago from Malaga, Spain

This is a very humorous hub, loved it, and glad it all turned out fine!

John


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 6 years ago from The Land of Tractors Author

Thank you John, I'm glad you enjoyed the humor. I like your profile pic too!


Dixie W profile image

Dixie W 6 years ago from Odessa, Texas

My daughter was breech for eight and a half months and the worst aspect of that was she kicked me in the bladder each and every time she kicked. Had to carry extra clothes everywhere. When she turned she didn't go the short route but the long one all the way around. I was sleeping (2a.m.) and she woke me. Kind of funny now but wasn't then. Dixie W


Dewey Cheatem profile image

Dewey Cheatem 6 years ago

I also enjoyed this Hub. Your sense of humor had me sitting here reading and outright laughing. Especially funny to me was your toddler son wanting the flashlight right then and now. I have to hide flashlights around this house so when I actually need one the batteries haven't been drained from kids leaving them on after playing with them.

Good luck to your family.


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 6 years ago from The Land of Tractors Author

Thanks Dixie W and Dewey, I appreciate your thoughtful comments. Dixie, did your baby turn on his or her own, or did you go swimming, too? That was actually very effective for me.

Dewey, life and flashlights have never been the same after three children. They have a way of disappearing here too. But then if I could hide away all the things I wish my children would leave alone, I'd have to build a secret wing in my house! Oh, and I'm so glad to give you something to laugh about. Glad you liked it.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 6 years ago from London

Ouch, ouch! I'm impressed you could do any of that stuff - when i was 9 months pregnant, I couldn't have done the hands-knees thing, i reckon (-:


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 6 years ago from The Land of Tractors Author

That was then...Somehow during that pregnancy I was very active. This time (baby number 4) I've slowed down quite a bit. The hands-knees thing WAS uncomfortable.


ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 6 years ago

Well I'm VERY late to this hub, but new to hubpages, that's my excuse. I'm an L&D RN, when performed correctly, and consistently, there's been reasonable success with turning breech babies with acupuncture. CHEAPER than a version, less painful, less risk. Great writing, BTW.


jite profile image

jite 6 years ago from delhi

Wannabweatern ,You are a very good writer.It is very interesting.i am saying interesting bcoz ,today everything is fine.please tell what's the name of baby.


Kamran100 profile image

Kamran100 6 years ago

baby name is "jite"...hahahah


Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 6 years ago from Philippines

My second baby girl took that breech position and I thought normal delivery was impossible. I was bundled by my tummy with a big cloth belt after each pre-natal checkup but the baby kept on returning to that breech.

But when my labor pains started, my doctor "timed" my labor intervals and with a big push from me and with both his hands on my bulge, he gave it a good turn around and lo and behold! My baby was out! It was risky, I was operated on after 1 month from delivery for blood clots that affected my appendix. It was removed along with the mass of blackened fat clots around my womb.

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