It is normal, up until week 36 of pregnancy, for the baby to be in a head-up or breech position. At this 36 week point, any position other than vertex or head down may challenge the possibility of a vaginal birth. Research shows that approximately 4% of full-term (38-42 week) pregnancies are breech presentations. Causes of breech presentations include: structural or functional pelvic compromise, rickets, poor bone and joint development, uterine abnormalities, placenta previa, multiple births and excessive amniotic fluid.
Throughout the 1990's breech babies were occasionally still delivered vaginally. However, beginning in 2003, most hospitals put a stop to this and c-sections became the standard of care by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
Although c-sections are common place for breech babies, there are many conservation options for mommas with breech presentation babies that are recommended by OB's and Midwives around the country.
Chiropractors can be specifically trained in the Webster technique - which I am! This technique is defined as "a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment that restores balance to maternal pelvic bones, muscles and ligaments. By restoring normal motion to the pelvis, stress in the attached ligaments and muscles is reduced. This in turn may reduce undue tension in the uterus. A pelvis in state of balance offers the optimal environment for the developing baby. With this optimized space, the baby has a greater chance of getting into the best possible position for birth - head down." Optimal fetal positioning leads to a safer, easier birth. The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics ( JMPT ) reports an 82 percent success rate of babies turning head-down when doctors of chiropractic utilized the Webster technique. Chiropractic experts have also seen babies flip even at 40-41 weeks gestation!
Keep in mind that getting adjusted early in your pregnancy can help with baby position right from the beginning!
Similar to chiropractic, needling specific acupuncture points in the back, arms, hands, legs and feet can help to open pelvic joints and release tension in the sacrum, uterine ligaments and related muscles. In addition to needling, moxabustion can be used at certain points to encourage fetal movement.
There are a number of different movements and exercises that can be found on the SpinningBabies.com website that are beneficial with a breech presentation. Some of these include: the Forward-Leaning Inversion and the Breech Tilt.
External Cephalic Version (ECV)
An ECV is performed by an OB by placing their hands on the mother's abdomen. Firm pressure is then applied so that the baby moves into the vertex position. Occasionally 2 providers are needed to perform the version. Ultrasound and fetal monitoring is used to monitor the baby during the procedure. If any issues arise during the ECV, a c-section can be performed immediately.
Please give Pinnacle Hill Chiropractic a call if you are interested in learning more about how chiropractic care can help with your pregnancy!
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