Welcome to my blog dedicated to sharing my experience of trying to get my son, who was frank breech, to turn. The methods that I used consisted of acupuncture, physiotherapy, chiropractic, and the External version method (a non-surgical method in which a doctor can help move the baby within the uterus). I hope that you enjoy your visit on my blog and please feel free to post comments!
When I found out that I was pregnant I was determined to have natural labor with absolutely no drugs what-so-ever. I knew I could handle it. I've always had a high pain tolerance and I'm very stubborn. I didn't want my baby being exposed to any drugs. At the time I thought a C-section was the easy way out. You get a spinal or epidural and your baby's cut out. Easy....Or so I thought.
During my pregnancy I was very careful and healthy. I cut coffee (my favorite drink) out of my diet because I didn't want my baby to be affected by the caffeine. I ate extremely well, had no contact with any drugs or alcohol and walked for an hour every day. When I walked I would tighten my stomach muscles so that when I went into labor my built up ab muscles would make it easy to push my baby out.
The worst news imaginable, considering I wanted to have natural child birth, came on week 34 of my pregnancy. I found out my baby was Frank breech. I was told there may be a possibility of him turning and I was determined to make it happen. I did not want to have a C-section!! And so the turning journey began...
First Attempt: Pelvic Tilt and Hand Stands in Warm Water
My first attempt at turning my breech baby started off very mild with the tilt. I would lay down with pillows under my bottom so that my bottom was elevated. I would also put my knees and elbows on the ground so that my tummy was slanted. I did this frequently throughout the day for about 20 minutes at a time. I also tried head and hand stands. I took it up a notch and went to public swimming pools and did hand stands submerged in water because I had heard that the buoyancy could help the baby move inside the womb. When I found that these methods were not working I kicked it up a notch and tried a new method!
Second Attempt: Acupuncture
My next attempt was acupuncture. My doctor suggested this technique to me. Apparently acupuncture is a technique that is quite successful at turning babies. There is a point at the edge of your pinkie toe that, when it is focused on, can cause your uterus muscles to loosen and gives your baby room to move. My acupuncturist would burn moxi (moxibustion) sticks and prick needles into my pinkie toes. Sounds painful...and it was. During this procedure the baby would move quite a bit, as he did when we went swimming, however, it did not work in our situation.
Third Attempt: Physiotherapy
My third attempt was Physiotherapy. I thought it may help to loosen the muscles in my back and stomach thus making more room for my baby to turn. I was not told to do this by a physician. I went two or three times, but the scheduled C-section was getting closer and closer so I didn't have time to continue seeing my physiotherapist. I don't know if this technique would have worked had I stuck with it. I am glad that I tried it because even if it wasn't successful it was very relaxing and enjoyable.
Fourth Attempt: Chiropractor
I went to the chiropractor to try Webster's Technique. With this technique the chiropractor safely cracks your back in order to loosen up the muscles in your stomach. My one leg came down lower than the other so the chiropractor suspected that the misalignment in my posture may have been creating less room for one side of my womb and that is why my son was breech. I went about five times. The chiropractor was very nice and helped align my back. This was another enjoyable and relaxing technique. The baby moved while I was at the chiropractor and after I left but he still did not do the flip.
For my final attempt the doctor tried to manipulate the babies position. I went to the hospital, to the ER room, for this procedure. They set up an ultra sound machine. The doctor put his hands on my belly and pulled and pushed my son, trying to get him to flip. He didn't. This procedure is painful. At this point I gave up, obviously my son is as stubborn as I am!
My C-section was scheduled for May 16th. I went into labor on the night of mothers day, May 14. I was four centimeters dilated and dealing with contractions very well when I went in for the operation. One of the doctors told me that "it would have been a perfect and easy delivery if he wasn't breech" (that's nice to hear since I DID NOT want a C-section) I had my son, Kolby, at 3:50am on May 15th. It turns out that all the ab clenching I did while I was walking worked against me. Here I was trying to build up stomach muscles so that I could easily push my son out when what I did was strengthen my abs so that my sons head got stuck in them. I not only had a C-section but they had to cut open my ab muscles in order to get his head out of them. The doctors told me they had never seen anything like that before. I was "famous" during my stay at the hospital!
I felt like I wouldn't have the same connection with my son as I would have if I had him vaginally. It was almost as if I felt like since I wouldn't be doing the work to get him out, by pushing, that he wouldn't be mine and it would be harder to bond with him. I couldn't have been more wrong. He is mine as much as any other baby is his or her mothers. I have the scar to prove it! In the end, after all the work I had done, I realized that it doesn't matter how you deliver your child; Whether they are born naturally or by cesarean they are still your precious baby.
C-sections are hard to recover from. I was going for walks again two weeks after the surgery but that's only because I had walked so much before. Most women recover and can walk eight weeks after. Anyway you choose to, or have to, deliver your child isn't easy. The recovery takes awhile but in the end it's all worth it.