Turn, baby, turn!

I am thirty seven weeks pregnant now and have spent the last month rather obsessed with getting this baby into a head down position.  I found out at my 32 week ultrasound that the baby was lying transverse.   I immediately came up with a plan of action.  I hear that most babies turn on their own, but I wasn’t taking any chances.  So began Operation Flip This Baby.

I spent most of Christmas finding things to do on my hands and knees at my in-laws place; doing puzzles with my niece, reading, cuddling the cat, etc.  I listened to my hypnosis tape nearly every day.  I just couldn’t stop running the image of a c-section through my mind.  It really freaked me out that I might not even get a chance to attempt labour.  I felt the baby kicking a lot but I couldn’t tell if anything had changed.  At my 34 weeks appointment, my doctor confirmed that I was still transverse.  I was definitely feeling nervous now.  I still heard from helpful and hopeful friends and family that there was plenty of time (and room) for the baby to turn.  I just had a hard time believing it.

At a family New Year’s eve dinner, I discussed my predicament with my husband’s cousin.  She is also pregnant and due two weeks before me.  She highly recommended her chiropractor to help get the baby in the right position.  I have never been to a chiropractor before and even though I had read that it is one of the many theories to turn a baby, I hadn’t really considered it.  But now I had a phone number and a recommendation, so off I went!

This chiropractor specializes in prenatal and pediatric care.  During her initial assessment, the doctor palpated my belly (feeling my abdomen to determine how the baby is lying).  She said with about 70% confidence, that the baby was head down!  I may also have been breech.  Because she wasn’t entirely sure and there was obvious imbalance in my pelvic bone, she performed the Webster technique. I came out of the office with new hope.  I wouldn’t let myself get too excited though.  I left that up to my husband who was down right giddy.

The next day I had a doctor’s appointment and he also felt that the baby had turned!  To be sure, he took me over to the ER and we did a quick ultrasound.  It’s official, this baby has gone south in preparation for his big trip.

So was it the inversion, hypnosis, the cold pack of peas I put on the top of my belly a few times?  I will never know exactly when this baby turned, but I am very relieved! You can see more on riversidefamchiro.com

Did you have a breech or transverse lying baby?  What did you do to encourage them to turn?





4 thoughts on “Turn, baby, turn!”

  1. I’m so glad that your baby has decided to turn! I realize that a transverse-lying baby is a whole different issue from a breech one, so it’s very good news that the baby has chosen to ‘head towards the light’!

    I tried everything except the Webster technique to get our little breechling to turn: knee-to-chest positions, inversions & techniques from the spinningbabies website, massage, cold packs, moxibustion, accupuncture, self hypnosis, one attempted (unsuccessful) external cephalic version, and just plain begging baby to turn – but to no avail. Baby stubbornly remained in the complete breech position, no matter what we did.

    I was extremely well supported by my husband and my midwife, and we were referred to a breech-friendly OB-Gyn, who allowed me to attempt to birth our breechling vaginally. I had done a lot of research, and although this was our first baby, I was confident that my body and my baby would know what was best for the birth.

    We had several consultations with the OB, and after many discussions of the potential risks (from his perspective) and rewards (from our perspective and the midwife’s), we decided to go ahead with an attempt at a vaginal birth. In Canada, vaginal breech births have only been ‘allowed’ recently since 2009. For at least the last 10 years or more all breech babies were automatically delivered by C-section, so there aren’t many OBs who are trained to assist a vaginal breech birth, and Ontario midwives are not allowed to deliver breech babies (not sure what procedures are in other provinces).

    Luckily our midwife was able to refer us to one of the few OBs in our city who had been trained in breeches, simply because he has been practicing for so long, since before breech births were considered abnormal/risky and needed automatic sectioning.

    Our healthy, happy breech baby girl was born at the end of August 2011. We made history as the first vaginal breech birth to a first-time mom at our local hospital in at least 15-20 years!
    As it turned out, the umbilical cord had been wrapped twice around her neck while in utero, which explains why all of our efforts to turn her were unsuccessful. I believe that the cord being around her neck actually made her breech presentation safer, because it meant that the cord couldn’t precede the baby into the birth canal and get compressed and cut off the supply of oxygen to the baby, which is one of the risks with a vaginal breech birth. In hindsight, it feels as though every aspect of our daughter’s birth happened exactly the way it needed to happen.

    1. Wow, Karyn! Thanks so much for sharing your story. It’s so nice to hear of successful vaginal breech births! Congratulations on making history:) Your education and determination are admirable. I’m so glad you were able to find an OB that had experience with breech births. Let’s hope they start training the new batch of doctors that it doesn’t have to mean automatic c-section.

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