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Breech Birth
Alternative techniques

In recent times, women have been experimenting with different techniques to turn the baby themselves at home. These turning techniques are collectively known as spontaneous cephalic version. However, trials are still being conducted to determine the effectiveness and safety of these methods so they should not be attempted without first consulting your obstetrician.

The knee-chest position. To do this, kneel with your hips flexed at slightly more than 90 degrees (but do not let your thigh press against your abdomen) and try to keep your head, shoulders, and upper chest flat on your mattress. Maintain the position for 15 minutes every two waking hours for five consecutive days. 

Pelvic rocking. To do pelvic rocking get down on your hands and knees and gently tilt your pelvis as you arch your back, then return your back to a flat position and relax your pelvis. Do thirty to forty of these 3 times every day. 

Slantboard tilt. This exercise should be begun between the 32nd and 35th week of the gestation period. Preferably it should be done after a bath to increase the amount of amniotic fluid and to relax the woman and on an empty stomach. Prop one end of an ironing board securely on a sofa or chair. You can also use pillows on a flat surface to raise your hips 12 to 18 inches above the ground. Lie down, bend your knees but keep your feet flat on the board. Relax, breathe deeply and avoid tenseness. Do this exercise 3 times daily for 10-15 minutes each time. The idea is that in this position gravity pushes the baby's head into the fundus, it tucks its head in and somersaults into a vertex position. 

Swimming. Often the crouching and stretching associated with swimming helps the baby to turn. Ideally, the water in the pool should be warm enough so that you can relax. You should just paddle around for about 15 minutes, which will relax your abdominal muscles and increase your amniotic fluid making it easier for the baby to turn. Some women suggest doing a headstand in the swimming pool for this technique to be really successful. The idea behind this technique is that the mother and the baby are de-weighted and the heavy part of the baby (the head) will turn around. It also lets the baby decide which way to turn. Of course your mom needs to know how to swim. 

Hypnosis. Hypnosis can result in turning the baby both as a result of the visualization involved and the deep relaxation induced in the woman. But it is most effective for women who believe in it and are motivated to try it out. 

Turning a breech with cold things, music or light. Many women claim that they have successful turned their babies by placing something cold like a bag of frozen peas or an ice pack on the fundus based on the assumption that the baby will move away from the cold. Similarly, based on the premise that the baby will react to external stimuli, mothers have placed a flashlight near their vaginas or placed headphones playing soothing music on their lower abdomens with the idea of attracting the baby towards the light and the music. And some say that it has worked!

Moxibustion. This is a form of acupuncture that involves burning herbs to stimulate acupuncture points. In the case of breech babies, moxa herb sticks are uses to stimulate acupoint BL 67 located beside the outer corner of the fifth toenail. You can also apply finger pressure on the same point to achieve the same effect. However, before trying this you should check with a qualified acupuncturist. 

Homeopathic remedy. Pulsatilla is a homeopathy remedy that causes the muscle fibres in the uterus to even out, thus making it easier for the baby to turn. 

Flower essences. A Bach flower remedy practitioner in Belgium claims to have made a baby turn using bougainvillea flower essence. 

The Webster Technique. This is a non-invasive, gentle adjusting technique developed by Larry Webster, a chiropractor. It is not an acupressure technique. It has to be performed by a trained chiropractor. 

Back to Part 1 - Breech Birth

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