Want to know the secret to getting your baby to turn head-down in the womb? Time. By the time you’re ready to deliver, 97% of babies who are abnormally positioned will turn head-down on their own. However, there are still going to be those stubborn babies who won’t cooperate. Maybe the issue is the shape of your uterus, or maybe they’re just comfortable how they are.
The longer you are pregnant, the lower your chance of delivering a baby that is in the wrong position or having a cesarean delivery because your baby didn’t turn. Even though it is likely your baby will turn on its own when it’s ready, trying these techniques to turn your baby can’t hurt.
2 Ways You Can Try to Change Your Baby’s Position
By the time your baby is two, you won’t be able to change their position on anything. It’ll be their way or the highway. This is your last chance, so you might as well make the most of it by following these tips.
To turn your baby using the forward-leaning inversion technique, you’ll need to rest in child’s pose. As you are doing this, you can gently rock back and forth on your hands and knees to relax your pelvic muscles. There is no medical evidence that this works, but some women swear by it. This is a true case of “it can’t hurt to try.” Your baby will not be harmed by this in any way.
Acupuncture and Moxibustion
Moxibustion is a technique that is used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). It involves a practitioner applying a warm stick of mugwort to a pressure point on your toe. Even if it sounds strange, you still might want to give it a try.
This is another technique that is not proven by science, but for many of us when we’re pregnant and worried we’ll try anything. It feels better than the helplessness of doing nothing and gives you something to focus on besides worrying.
What Are the Options if Your Baby Won’t Turn?
If a baby is in a position that isn’t safe to attempt delivery, your obstetrician will order a cesarean section, which is also known as a C-section. During this procedure, the doctor makes an incision in your uterus to deliver the baby.
In most cases, you will remain awake and be able to see and hold your baby afterward. I’ve done it three times and it’s amazing. I was even able to nurse the baby shortly after delivery. If your doctor orders this, you’ll be fine.
One exception to this is an emergency C-section. In an emergency, you may need to be anesthetized quickly, which will likely mean general anesthesia. You will also likely have a vertical incision as it’s faster to get the baby out that way.
External Cephalic Version (ECV)
If you’re 37 weeks pregnant and despite your best efforts, the baby still is not head-down, your obstetrician or midwife may attempt an external cephalic version (ECV). The first thing you need to know about ECV is that it isn’t painful, but it’s not fun. And that’s putting it mildly.
During an ECV you’ll be given a medication that will relax your uterus, and then the practitioner gently attempts to reposition your baby by using their hands to slowly and gently turn the baby in the head-down position.
If Your Baby Is Injured
If your baby is injured due to their abnormal position and you feel like your doctor made a mistake during delivery, you have legal and medical options. With early intervention, many birth injuries can be resolved quickly. Even babies with serious birth injuries can grow up with an improved quality of life with early interventions.
According to one birth injury law firm, labor and delivery personnel have to live up to the highest professional standards and to uphold a high standard of care. When a medical professional fails to live up to these high standards, the result can be a preventable labor and delivery injury.
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