An Overview of Breech Babies: What You Can Do To Prevent It, The Risks, and Your Options

breech babies ecv Jan 16, 2024

Show Notes:

[2:14] Our Reviewer of the Week is NAHYCNIL, and she says: "So grateful for this podcast for making my unmedicated birth possible. I first heard of the My Essential Birth Podcast through someone's TikTok post and started listening to it on my commute to work around the end of second trimester/start of third trimester. It was going to be my first birth, and I knew I wanted to do it unmedicated if possible, but I had no idea what to do to prepare myself. I listened to all of the episodes that mentioned unmedicated births, and it gave me hope that not only could it be possible, but it can be a positive experience as well. I got the unmedicated birth that I wanted, and my daughter was born exactly on her due date. I absolutely love sharing my birth experience with others. Thank you, Stephanie, for your wonderful podcast."

[4:33] What is a breech baby? Early on in pregnancy, your baby has the room to flip, turn around, spin around, and somersault in your belly. Around 33 weeks is probably when you want to start paying attention to baby's position.

[7:03] What are the different positions that baby can be in? Left occiput anterior is the ideal position for a baby, when they are head down and their body is leaning to that left side. Transverse means that your baby is laying sideways in your belly.

[8:00] Are there different types of breech positions? Complete breech, which is the bottom coming down and the knees bent, putting their little feet next to their bottom. Frank breech is where the baby is bottom down, but the legs are sticking straight up with the feet right by the face. Footling breech, which is a baby's foot or feet that are presenting first and during labor would actually come out first before anything else.


[14:26] I think it's really helpful to trust our babies, trust our bodies and also realize that we do have a certain amount of help that we can encourage them one direction or another. There are some things that we can absolutely do, but when we've exhausted all of those options, we can feel really calm and confident that for some reason, baby's sitting pretty, and I just have to trust that in this moment, they know best because we can't see inside and they're just going off of what's going to be best for them

[15:05] How to prevent a breech baby:

  • #1: Download our three free exercises right now! It doesn't matter how early you are in pregnancy or how late you are. You can do them every single one of them right now. The forward leaning inversion helps to create room in the pelvis by releasing certain ligaments. It allows your baby the right amount of space in the uterus to be in a good position.
  • #2: Have good body mechanics. Don't slouch in your chair all day. Bring a yoga ball with you to work. If you can get into a hands and knees position, do some of those pelvic tilts. 

[18:47] If you find out that your baby is breech, and you are in that early third trimester, take a deep breath. You absolutely have time to do some things that are going to encourage baby to turn.

[23:32] Natural ways to encourage baby to flip down: find a Webster certified prenatal chiropractor. See them regularly about two to three times a week until baby flips. In between your visits with that chiropractor, do your forward leaning inversion every single day for three breaths. You can also try rebozo sifting. Your birth partner is going to place a sheet or a rebozo from the top of your belly to the bottom of your belly, and you're going to wrap that all around. While you're on your hands and knees, they're going to have their hands on either side of the sheet, and they're just going to sift it like they were sifting apples.

[32:02] ECV: external cephalic version is that manual manipulation of the baby from the outside of your belly. Your provider is going to want to do it in a hospital setting because there is a risk of the placenta coming off of the uterine wall. The doctor will put jelly on your belly and then gently but firmly manipulate your baby to move into a better position. Find a provider that has a very high success rate.

[36:02] The risks of ECV include the premature rupture of membranes. There can also be changes in the baby's heart rate or placental abruption. 

[37:04] How does this affect your birth plan? If baby flips, you're all good. Go and have the birth that you planned for. If they don't flip or your ECV was not successful, then you have to wait it out, see if baby's going to flip during labor. And that's if you have a provider that's willing to deliver breach, you can plan a scheduled cesarean if that is what you feel best between yourself, your baby, and your provider.

[38:35] Breech births risks include mom not dilating all the way. Your cervix may not stretch enough for the head to pass through easily. There can also be the risk of umbilical cord prolapse. If the breech birth gets going and then the umbilical cord shoots down and is side by side with baby's body, that can be a concern because as the baby descends, eventually that head is going to push against that cord and cut off the oxygen to the baby as you are pushing them out.

With breech, it's similar to any kind of vaginal delivery. You allow mom and baby to work together, let intuition do its thing and have an excellent, carefree birth in the safety of a good provider.

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