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?

From Danae

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.

Good luck!
Hilary Prager

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My third child was breech and we gave birth at home just fine. She was footling breech and the feet popped out and the rest followed easily. Try not to let them talk her into a section without even trying vaginal.
Good luck.
There are OBs who will allow a woman to have a breech birth vaginally. She might try calling her local area midwives for a referral. Even if there aren't midwives who can/will take her on as a client, they would know the docs that are skilled with breeches.

Having been a breech myself, let me pass on this little greeting to your friend's little one: "Way to go turning everyone's expectations on their head! Many blessings that you will turn our world around for good in your lifetime!"

-Katie McCall
student midwife
Hi Danae,

I'd second the use of Moxa and also hypnosis - both have much higher rates of success than the ECV (manual turning) They are both safe and non-invasive.

Tracy Donegan
Hi Danae:

Your friend has the power to energetically turn the baby on her own. She can utilize her mind and hands (on the belly) to visualize the baby gently turning into the desired direction. She may even take a step further and ask the baby to assist her...it is a partnership! It takes being in a quiet space with a clear mind and intention and doing as often as possible. It is a safe and non-harmful approach worth trying.

All the best.
Hi Danae,
I was formly a midwife in Kansas. If she is going to pick between a midwife in Missouri or Kansas, she should pick Kansas. Missiouri is an illegal state. So no matter what a midwife does in Missouri is illegal. Kansas is not regulated at this time, so there are no "legal" restrictions on breech birth. But a caution would be making sure the midwife in Kansas is skilled at breech birth. Most skilled midwives are more skilled at breech birth than doctors.
The previous person, (Hilary) mentioned the excercise, I would agree with that, but would like to add to it. When I have had a client show up breech, the regiment that we implement is
Excercise: Lying on the floor with hips up ( as in on a ironing board, or bottom of stairs)3x per day for 10 minutes on an empty stomach. Do this for 3 days. Combine this excercise with the homeopathic remedy of Pulsitilla. If you take the dosage of 30c. Take 3x per day, (preferably the same time as the excercise) for 3 days. If you take 200c take only one time.
We have found this combination of excercise and homeopathic remedy to work about 80% of the time.
Good Luck
Wow, this is all wonderful advice. My fourth child was in breech position two weeks before due date. I did the ironing board set up against a large foot stool. I did the imagery, and asking the baby to turn. I did not want a c- section, so I was faithful in doing what my midwife recommended. I also prayed for a safe delivery. By my next appointment the baby had turned. We were all very excited and happy. Best of luck to mom and baby. Remember God doesn't make mistakes.
The most complete list with very detailed instructions on how to turn breech babies is on midwife Ronnie Falcao's website www.gentlebirth.com. I believe something like 26 print out pages of info! All good things to try around 34-36 weeks before considering a version.
If your baby still doesn't turn, know that it is your baby's deeper wisdom that for some reason he/she probably shouldn't turn.
all the best,
Susan Bradford
LVN, CCE, Doula, Birth Ceremonialist
You can also see a chiro. and find one who is able to do the Webster technique. I have sent my of my doula clients there and after about 2-3 sessions, most babies do turn. I must agree with the positive healing thoughts too. A mothers mind is very strong. She needs to become connected to her baby and teach her how to turn. This can be done by visiting a pool and turning flips.

Happy Birthing,
Doula April
Chiropractic is the best method I have found thus far for giving the baby the space to turn around on it's own. I highly recommend it.
This is a neat site for optimal fetal positioning: http://www.spinningbabies.com/

Turn baby, turn! ;0)
Ooops! Someone posted it before me. Sorry!
visit a chiropractor trained in the webster technique!



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