Not Head Down Yet — The Bump
3rd Trimester

Not Head Down Yet

My OB said the baby has until 36 weeks to be head down before there's a concern about delivery and time to discuss options, but I was wondering what those options are besides c-section? Has anyone here had their baby turned? When would the c-section happen? Any info/advice/experiences are greatly appreciated!

Re: Not Head Down Yet

  • some babies turn themselves very late, & some fairly early. i think if you google "flipping babies" you can find some things that you can do to help encourage baby to turn. i know there is a procedure that the doctors do to try & flip baby from the outside to avoid a c-section. i think if that procedure doesn't work & you go into labor with baby still breech, that's when the c-section would happen. 
  • Your OB may decide to attempt a EVC or external cephalic version. This is where they attempt to physically move your child head down from the outside. Meaning the put pressure and push on your abdomen. This has risks and many mother's say it is 'uncomfortable' to 'hurts like a b!tch'. If that fails or a EVC is not an option, they will schedule you for a C/S. Most if today's OB's do not want you to labor with a breech child. Some of the old school ones will attempt a 'double footing breech', but those are far and few in between. As of right now, Medicare and Medicaid are requiring OB's to perform scheduled C/S after 39 weeks. Meaning 39 and 1. And if they are doing it, private insurances are too. The likelihood of a baby turning after 36 weeks (naturally ) is very small.
    This is actually incorrect. Many babies presenting in different position (breech, footling breech, posterior) may turn as late the start or even during active labor. It is harder to turn them later however, so start working on it ASAP.

    To answer your original question on options--Well-trained Certified Nurse Midwives will also deliver breech babies, a few specially trained ones will do footling breech, without a section so that is an option. EVCs can be tried, but I would recommend trying positioning on your own. Lay on your left side to sleep and do the or other complimentary exercises to encourage turning. Most OBs are not trained to deliver breech babies and c-section is safer if they are attending, but you can ask the practice if there are any doctors on staff or with rights at your hospital who do breech delivery, sometimes you can find one depending on your baby's specific position and reason for not dropping. These are a few of the options you may discuss at 36wks with your OB if baby hasn't turned. Good luck!
  • My chiropractor said there is an adjustment they can do to help with this. I'd look into it.
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  • My baby was undiagnosed breech, I laboured for about 10 hours before the doctor realised! I was given the option to carry on and deliver vaginally or to opt for an emergency c-section. I don't know if all hospitals/doctors would give the same choice however as most seem to push for a c-section straight away. If your baby doesn't turn before you go into labour you can at least discuss your options and plan in advance. I opted for a c-section by the way as at the time it seemed like the safest option for both me and the baby (her heart rate was dropping and I was told they had to get her out as quick as possible). I was quite emotional afterwards as all my plans for my 'natural' birth just went out the window, however now I realise that it really doesn't matter how baby gets here, as long as she gets here safe and well. Good luck with whatever happens and just remember at the end of it all you will still have a beautiful baby however he or she arrived. 
  • I agree with checking out a chiro. As well, there are yoga poses and movements you can do if you go to a (certified) prenatal yoga instructor. 
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  • There are programs for this. Check out "Spinning Babies". Also, some chiropractors focus on spinning them as well.
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  • My baby was breech. We decided to attempt an ECV (flip) 2 days before my due date. I had 2 doctors, one on each side, do the flip. The first attempt didn't budge her at all then they tried spinning her the other direction, which worked. My doctor recommended an epidural and thank God I got it because the first attempt was extremely painful, the epidural took affect for the second attempt. Unfortunately when they flipped my daughter her arm got caught up in her umbilical cord trapping it above her head, she was unable to move it so I ended up with a c-section. I was also already naturall in labor the morning I went in to the hospital. We had planned to induce immediately if the ECV worked or go ahead with the c-section if it didn't so at least we were prepared for the birth that day. Just a side note, if you are having a girl and she remains breech, the pediatrician will check for hip dysplasia. For some reason it is common in little girls that were breech. My daughter had an ultrasound to rule it out, I just wish someone would have told me about the possibility of hip dysplasia before she was born so I wouldn't have felt so blindsided. 
  • lindscnn1 said:

    Just a side note, if you are having a girl and she remains breech, the pediatrician will check for hip dysplasia. For some reason it is common in little girls that were breech. My daughter had an ultrasound to rule it out, I just wish someone would have told me about the possibility of hip dysplasia before she was born so I wouldn't have felt so blindsided. 
    I think they check all breech babies for hip dysplasia whatever the sex but it is a lot more common in girls than boys however. My little girl was breech and had hip dysplasia aswell! 
  • @mollypuss1  yes, you're right. I should have said they will likely check the baby's hips with an ultrasound when the baby is 6 weeks+ if it's a girl. I was caught off guard since nobody told me about the higher possibility of hip dysplasia with breech babies. I hope your baby girl is doing well. 
  • Options for breech babies other than c/s do exist. If you're interested in delivering a breech baby vaginally there are still some OBs who are willing to do it. I'm not sure about midwives. My birthing center doesn't deliver breech and we'd risk out if our baby is breech after a certain point. They would however refer us to the hospital next door with an extremely experienced OB who delivers breech, footling breech, and twins vaginally. If I were you and my baby were breech but I wanted to avoid c/s or attempt vaginal delivery, I would call every hospital, OB, and CNM I could find a number for. Odds are there are a couple docs/ midwives in your area who have the training and are willing to consider a breech delivery. Good luck!
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