While most babies in the womb turn head-down during the last two months of pregnancy, a small percentage remain in some other position, a complication called breech. Breech babies can be identified on ultrasound or during a physical examination by your doctor. While most babies spend some time in early pregnancy in a breech position, many health care providers will suggest attempting to turn the baby in the womb if he is still in that position at 37 weeks gestation.
Do postural inversion exercises three times each day. Lie on your back and use pillows to prop your hips up eight to 12 inches higher than your head. Remain in this position for 10 to 20 minutes. You also can try getting on all fours with your knees and forearms supporting your weight and lift the buttocks and pelvis higher than the head. Remain in this position for 10 to 15 minutes.
Consult a Chinese traditional medicine practitioner or acupuncturist to try moxibustion. This technique involves burning the herb mugwort so that the smoke suffuses onto a pressure point on the little toe. Chinese medicine tradition maintains that moxibustion stimulates the baby to move and possibly change position on her own. Moxibustion has not been extensively studied, so its effectiveness remains unknown. You should consult your health care provider before trying alternative medicines.
Ask your doctor or midwife to perform an external cephalic version. In this procedure, your health care practitioner presses the abdomen and attempts to manually shift the baby into a head-down position. According to Baby Center, an ECV is successful about 58 percent of the time.
If your baby won't turn, don't despair. Some babies don't flip to a head-down position until the mother goes into labor.
Even if the baby is not head down at the time of delivery, doctors and midwives may still be able to successfully deliver the baby breech as long as there are no other complications.
Women who are carrying twins, have low levels of amniotic fluid in the womb or who have had problems with bleeding during the pregnancy are not candidates for using ECV to turn the baby.
Some women whose babies are breech may be required to have a Cesarean section if the baby does not turn.
Women who are undergoing ECV may experience complications, such as fetal distress or premature rupture of the membranes, making an emergency Cesarean necessary.