Q: My best friend is getting ready to have her fourth child. She is just in her 35 week and found out the baby is breech. She sees an ob and has had hospital birth. They are going to try to turn the baby in 2 weeks if it doesn’t turn. What are her options? If she switches to a midwife will they legally be able to try to let her have the baby breech, or wait longer to see of the baby turns. She lives in KC (so could go to a Kansas or Missouri practice). What steps should she take from here to try and have a vaginal birth?
A: Hi Danae, I am sure that you and your friend have done a lot of google searches, however, I’ll list a few things that can be done.
Version: This is what your friend is having done. Hands are placed on the belly to try to externally turn the fetus.
Exercises: Your friend can lay on her back with her hips raised in the air. I recommend using a few pillows. Some people used to recommend placing an ironing board on the 2nd to bottom step and laying with head lower than hips. I think using pillows is the better, safer, way to go.
Moxibustion: Research has been done about using this Chinese herb. The results have been positive. Here is a link to the research article:
If these do not work, your friend’s options are very limited. I do not know of too many midwives who would knowingly take on a new patient because of the breech presentation. I think that she should speak with midwives now as frankly and openly as possible about her situation. As for legality, every state has different laws but I don’t think there is a law about breech deliveries be it with an ob or a midwife.
The best hope for a vaginal birth is obviously for the baby to turn.