What to Do When Your Baby Is in Breech Position

Although breech positioning and breech births are variations of normal, most care providers will advise birthing parents to take some steps in encouraging their baby to change positions to cephalic or head down position. Some care providers will perform vaginal breech births but finding one of these providers can be challenging to do. Like cephalic birth, breech birth has risks, which is why most care providers try to support the fetus to get its head down. It is usual for babies to go back and forth between cephalic and breech positions up until 36 weeks of pregnancy, so if you are earlier in pregnancy than that, don't be shocked if your care provider lets you know that baby's position is breech for the week. After 36 weeks, if your baby is still breech, it might be a good idea to start trying to encourage a positional change. Here are a few ways to do that.

Spinning Babies

One of the more popular resources for encouraging prime positioning for babies is called Spinning Babies. Their website has instructions for all types of fetus positions, including breech. The primary way that Spinning Babies says to encourage a breech baby to turn cephalic is by doing the Breech Tilt, which is an inversion technique. Many individuals like starting with less invasive procedures first, and the Breech Tilt is a great place to begin. Check out the Spinning Babies website for images and well-written instructions to see how this technique is performed.

Forward-leaning Inversion

Another great, non-invasive technique is called Forward-leaning inversion. This position is excellent for all pregnant individuals, specifically for breech babies. For 10-15 minutes each day, rest in the child's pose or hands and knees position. You can try some gentle pelvic rocking in these positions to encourage babies to move their head down.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is becoming more common during pregnancy, and there is even a technique that some chiropractors are taught, which is designed to encourage better positioning for babies. This technique is called the Webster Technique and focuses on the birthing parent's pelvis and hip bones alignment. However, it is essential to note that only some chiropractors are trained in this technique, so it is crucial to ask for their certification beforehand.

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On a similar line of thinking, Acupuncture and, more specifically, Moxibustion has been known to encourage babies to turn head down. Moxibustion is when the practitioner applies some heat from a stick of Mugwort on the pregnant person's toe, specifically, the baby toe. Acupuncture and Moxibustion can sound scary if you haven't done them, but they are incredibly gentle techniques and can help with many pregnancy symptoms.


Swimming is another technique that some swear by. Many birth workers encourage water diving for breech parents, which is going to the bottom of the pool and doing a handstand for as long as you can as many times as you can. Whether you do some water diving or just get in the pool and swim around for a while, there can be benefits, and it could help your baby turn. Between the buoyancy of the water with pregnant bellies and the relaxation of abdominal muscles, swimming can sometimes help breech babies turn.

External Cephalic Version (ECV)

If none of these less invasive techniques are doing the trick, an External Cephalic Version (ECV) can be performed. Both midwives and OBGYNs can perform these, and they can be done both in and out of hospital settings. During this procedure, care providers will use their hands to gently rotate the baby from a breech position to a cephalic position. This option is not something every pregnant person can do, so consulting with your care provider is recommended. ECVs have the best success when performed at 37 weeks gestation. The risks of ECVs are premature rupture of membranes, placental abruption, preterm labor, fetal distress, and vaginal bleeding. It is vital to understand the possible risks and weigh them against the benefits and vaginal breech birth and its potential risks. You can make the best possible decision for you and your baby by weighing out your options. Remember that breech positioning is a variation of normal and that, ultimately, it is up to the parents to decide how they want to proceed with their breech baby.

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