During early pregnancy, a fetus will move around often and be in several positions. Somewhere between 28 and 32 weeks' gestation, a baby should turn head down in the uterus in preparation for birth, called vertex position. When a baby does not turn and has his head up and feet down, it is referred to as "breech position" and can lead to a cesarean section or difficult birth. Certain exercises might encourage the baby to turn into vertex positioning. Consult your doctor or midwife before attempting these exercises.
For this pelvic tilt, use a large sturdy board such as an ironing board. Place one end of the board on a couch and the other side on the ground. Position yourself so that you are lying with your head on the lower end with your legs and pelvis above you. Pillows can be used in place of a board as long as your pelvis is at least 12 inches higher than your head. Pelvic tilts can be performed between 10 and 20 minutes a day, two or three times a day.
Swimming while pregnant is a relief to your larger pregnant body because the water makes you feel lighter and you will be able to reach poses or stretches you might not be able to on dry land. While swimming, try a few exercises that might encourage your baby to turn from breech. Walk around on your hands and do head stands. Do not stay underwater longer than you feel comfortable. Do flips and somersaults in the water.
Crawling to Forward Lying
Start on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Your hands should be flat and the top of your feet should be on the floor. Make sure your back is straight and your head is comfortable. Crawl slowly and don't forget to breathe. Focus on feeling your baby rock as you crawl. After 10 minutes of crawling, spread your legs a bit farther apart and bring your chest and head to the floor. Rest in this position for around three minutes, focusing your mental energy on your baby turning.
Tailor sitting can help turn a breech baby and can keep a baby that already is turned in the proper vertex position in place. Try tailor sitting twice a day for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Sit with the soles of your feet touching in front of you, with your knees as close to touching the floor as feels comfortable. Lean forward slowly, again making sure not to lean farther than feels comfortable.
- Birthways: Natural Measures for Turning a Breech Baby
- "The Alexander Technique Birth Book"; Ilana Machover and Angela & Jonathan Drake; 1993
- Gentle Birth: Prenatal Breech Issues