If your baby’s head is located at the top of your uterus, your baby is in the breech position. Most babies will get into a head down position before the birth, allowing them to be born head first, thus more easily. Babies continue to change position in the womb until they run out of room. Most babies who are in the breech position around week 33 will get themselves into the optimal head down position by week 37. This is not always the case, however, and some babies remain in the breech position until the end of the pregnancy.
If your baby is in a breech position, there are things you can do to encourage him to move into a head-down position. The following exercises are thought to give baby more room to maneuver inside the womb:
1. Pelvic rotations – belly dancing was traditionally a birth and fertility dance, used during pregnancy childbirth for generations. Rotating the hips allows the pelvis to open up, creating more room for the baby to change position. You can perform these exercises standing or while sitting on a birthing ball. Rotate your hips in a circular movement 10 times in each direction. Repeat this exercise three times a day. Alternatively, put your favourite Shakira or Britney track on and belly dance around the room.
2. Breech tilts – a breech tilt is another exercise used for turning breech babies. For this, you should lie on the floor with your feet resting on a chair or sofa. Yes, this position is easier said than done when you’re heavily pregnant. If you find it uncomfortable (or impossible), skip this exercise and try the next one instead. Lift your bum off the ground, and support yourself with pillows placed underneath. You should be at a 45 degree angle. Stay in position for a maximum of 15 minutes, or until you feel uncomfortable.
3. Kneel lean or knee-chest position – for this exercise, you may wish to place pillows under your knees and head for comfort. Kneel up with your knees shoulder width apart. Lean forward on your arms, so that your forehead is touching the floor. Hold this position for up to 15 minutes at a time, and repeat three times a day.
4. Back and forth – get into position on your hands and knees, you may wish to use pillows for comfort. Rock back and forth gently for up to 15 minutes, and repeat this up to three times a day. You could also try crawling forward on your hands and knees as a way of opening up your pelvis. If you’ve got the nesting instinct, wash your floors by hand.
5. Walking – walking is a great exercise during pregnancy, and can help to encourage the baby to shift position. Try to walk for 30 minutes each day throughout the pregnancy.
To encourage your baby to change position, these exercises are thought to work best during periods of fetal activity. So whenever your little one starts prodding and kicking you, it’s probably a good time to try a couple of these exercises.
If you experience any pain or feel lightheaded while exercising, stop immediately. Sit down carefully and stay seated until you are feeling better. Speak to your healthcare provider before continuing with the exercises to turn a breech baby.
Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2018. All rights reserved.