Breech baby
birth,  breech,  c-section,  home birth,  hospital birth,  Midwifery

Breech babies!

Breech babies are a variation of normal. Up until the 1970’s, they were usually delivered vaginally. Obstetricians trained in delivering breech babies. This skill is no longer taught to obstetricians. Some homebirth midwives are skilled in breech birth, however.

A couple of weeks ago, I was chatting with my chiropractor. He commented, “What’s up with all the breech babies I’m seeing?”. Yes, my chiropractor supports me so I can support my clients. He also provides therapy that helps breech babies turn!

Why more breech babies?

Labor and birth were really affected in 2020. A mother needs to feel safe in order to freely let her baby out. She is not going to easily release her baby in a world where she senses danger! And, mothers were very much feeling the world and hospitals were dangerous places in which to birth their babies for a while.

During those 2-3 years, labor changed. Labors were much longer and more challenging for mothers. Being locked down with movement restricted affected the position babies were in. I saw my second breech presentation after 11 years of being a doula during this time.

This year, mothers are feeling safer and birth is returning to normal … if labor begins on its own. Mothers are not afraid to let their babies out this year! Some labors have been really speedy, but none of my clients have had a long, hard birth unless it was an induction.

What has increased is the number of breech presentations! The number I have seen has gone from one in 10 years as a doula to about 4 or 5 in the last year!

Stress is held in the hips and pelvic floor. So are babies. The pelvic floor can have tightness and be imbalanced. What can expectant mothers do to maximize the space for baby to be head down and encourage anterior positions of the baby?

fetal positions

What can a mother do?

  • Is this a particularly stressful time for you? Have you experienced trauma of any kind including sexual trauma? Pregnancy is a good time to address these issues. Look for a trauma-informed therapist.
  • Have you been an avid exerciser? Dancing, running, hot yoga, lifting heavy weights? Now is a good time to seek out an experienced pelvic floor physical therapist to work through any tension in the pelvic floor.
  • Regular chiropractic care helps release tightness and reduces the aches and pains of pregnancy. Sciatic nerve pain ligament pain and round ligament pain are calls for support. Webster certified chiropractors work especially with pregnant women to help with these issues and to help with optimal fetal positioning. Here is a link to find one in your area.
  • Spinning Babies has daily activities to encourage optimal fetal positioning. Here is a link to their activities:
  • Take deep breaths and enjoy this season with the family you presently have as you look forward to meeting your baby.

Persistent breech baby

What if your baby is still in a breech position? Spinning babies has a Breech Protocol. I will be glad to help with this. Chiropractic care can do the trick for many babies. If baby persists in the breech position, your care provider can perform an External Cephalic Version – manually turn your baby – usually around 39 weeks of gestation.

If baby still prefers in the breech position after trying all of these things, it may be time to trust the wisdom of your baby. You can still plan a peaceful c-section experience. I help clients plan and provide support before, during, and after their c-section birth. You can also consult with a homebirth midwife who is skilled in breech delivery, if you prefer.

After a c-section delivery, your breech baby will stick their feet up! It’s so cute! Breech babies and c-section babies benefit from chiropractic care. Webster certified chiropractors are trained to work with newborns.

Finding out your baby persists in a breech position is stressful. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

Marcie Hadley, CD(DONA), PCD(DONA), CLC, and LCCE(LAMAZE), has been serving families since 2010. She especially enjoys getting to know her families, meeting their unique needs, and sharing evidence-based care information. Marcie has worked with unmedicated, medicated, C-section, family friendly C-Section, and VBAC labors, Her postpartum experience includes working with families of first children to families of 10. She has worked with mothers who have experienced postpartum depression and illness following birth. Her goal is to empower mothers in their own mothering wisdom.