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Baby's Breech at 38 Weeks

Jerri Colonero, RN, BS


Q. I am now 38 weeks and was told at my last ultra sound that the baby still has not turned. I may have to have a c-section if he dosn't turn. The doctor said baby may be to big at this point to turn. I am scared to death -- what should I do? Maybe there are some exercises to help the baby to turn!

A. You are 38 weeks and your baby is breech. You asked if there are any exercises to encourage your baby to turn. There are a few things you can do, per consult of a respected CNM. However, you did not mention whether or not the doctor is going to attempt an external version.

For an external version, your amniotic fluid sac must be intact. Vein access is usually established and a medication is given to you by injection to relax your uterus. After waiting a short amount of time the obstetrician attempts to manually turn the baby. There are contraindications to this procedure, however it doesn't hurt to ask if you qualify for an external version.

The midwife I consulted suggested that you attempt the knee chest position for short periods of time. If this is uncomfortable, lay down on your left side and elevate your hips and legs up on pillows. Both of these positions attempt to get the baby to move up toward your chest allowing the baby extra room to turn. You can also play soft music down near your pubic bone. Some babies will turn toward the music. Others will turn their heads away from a covered ice pack placed for 10 to 20 minutes on the very top (fundus)of your uterus (up by your ribs). Note: never leave ice packs on your skin uncovered or for more than 20 minutes at a time.

Don't be afraid of a cesarean section. Read up on this alternative way to celebrate your baby's birth. That way you will be prepared and less anxious if that is what is needed.

Jerri Colonero RN

Click here to Ask Jerri your questions.


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joanne Jun 23, 2011 11:40:08 AM ET

I had a breech birth 21 yrs ago i so wanted a c-section but then was told if my baby was not more than 8lbs i would be fine my advice i would have the c-section my baby was breech and i would totally not like anybody to go through what i did then .but they wouldnt allow wishes to you listen to the doc they will guide you xx

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