Is it possible?
At 34 weeks, the doctor told me that baby girl was heads-up. This wasn’t a surprise because I can feel her episodes of hiccups down low, up high and on the side. She is a little small, so I guess she still has room for all of these gymnastic feats.
What was unwelcome was the suggestion that very soon (usually by 36 weeks), the baby settles into its delivery position and we would need to talk c-section schedules. Vaginal breech birth is no longer regularly practiced by OBGYNs, nor taught in medical school. The possible complications are numerous (shoulder dystocia, vaginal tearing, placental abruption, cord prolapse, and on and on). The first two are not as serious, while the latter can lead to maternal hemorrhaging and oxygen deprivation for the baby.
There is a movement among midwives to bring vaginal breech birth back into practice, however. I think it is noble, but for me, labor is scary enough without all of the extra worry.
So, I set about researching ways to get this girl into position. There are two paths that these natural remedies take. They are uterine relaxation (to give baby room to turn) and gravity. The general list is as follows:
Webster Technique: This is a chiropractic maneuver that helps loosen the uterus.
Breech Tilt (I was able to skip this one, thankfully.)
Acupuncture/Moxibustion (This can get expensive as multiple sessions are required.)
External Cephalic Version, ECV (This is probably a last resort as it is not 100% effective and can be painful.)
There are others, but these seem to be the most common ones. I tried to two easiest first: the side-lying release and the forward-leaning inversion. Luckily, they worked and I didn’t need to go beyond these two free and at-home techniques. Don’t get me wrong, hanging upside-down from the couch with constant pregnancy reflux even for 3 minutes is no picnic, but it sure beats the alternative!
SpinningBabies.com is an incredible resource for all sorts of natural and at-home techniques for getting your fetus to cooperate. Check it out.
In the weeks since, Baby Girl has remained head down and I have been lucky to remain head-up. Now I’ll just keep my fingers crossed that she stays in position. Good luck out there!
(Website for the illustration is http://alternativehealthsolutionsofnj.blogspot.com/)