Baby Alternates Between Head Down and Breech

My baby has been alternating between breech and head down, but seemed to settle in the head down position around 36 weeks. Then, at 39 weeks, she was breech again. My midwife scheduled an external version and in the meantime I tried spending time on all fours with my shoulders lower than my hips. This seemed to do the trick, because after two 15-minute stints, she was head down again. At that point some of the midwives thought I should wait things out, while others seemed to think I should try to induce labor while she was head down. I tried prostaglandin gel but nothing happened. The baby is still head down, but I'm very anxious that she might switch to breech again. Should I be concerned?


Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

I guess I would be in the 'wait and see' camp because it is difficult to ripen a cervix that is not ready. Also once you are in the hospital, it is just too tempting to intervene when it would probably not be the very best idea.

As long as the baby is head down, I would have faith in the baby's good sense and your uterus' ability to keep her head down. A version can always be done if the baby turns to a breech -- check the protocols at your clinic to see if this can be done, even in early labor. If the head is not engaged and there is enough fluid and all is well, they may be able to do this.

Some traditional midwives bind the womans' abdomen securing the relaxed uterus up into a more longitudinal position if the muscles seem weak. A light abdominal binder or control top panty might do the same job.

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