How to get a Breech Baby to Turn before Delivery

A breech baby is one that is positioned with its bottom or feet ready to be delivered. It is a common position throughout the pregnancy and is only considered breech if the baby is born or will be born this way prematurely or if the baby remains in this position after 36 weeks gestation. Most babies move into the correct position with their head down as their growth continues and they prepare for delivery. But not all of them do. Finding out that your baby is breech can be scary, but there are things that can be done to encourage the baby to turn into the correct position before delivery.

Wait and See-

Many babies will turn into the correct position before they are delivered. This can happen completely natural and may just take your little one a little longer. It is possible for you to plan to have a vaginal delivery and for you to wait and see what position your baby is in after delivery has started.

Things You Can Do to Encourage Your Baby to Turn-

While science hasn’t studied at home techniques enough to know if any of these actually work, there are several recommended methods for helping your baby turn. The first is to let gravity help your baby along. To do this you will want to try different gravity positions at least two times a day. The first is to lie flat on your back and raise your hips off the ground 9-12 inches. Prop them up with a pillow and rest there for 15 minutes. The second is to get on your hands and knees. Lean forward and rest your weight on your forearms with your pelvis in the air. You should rest in this position for 15 minutes as well. Neither or these positions should be done without assistance.

Swimming in a pool is also very helpful. The buoyancy takes some of the pressure off of the baby and gives it more room to move around. This can often encourage the baby to move around more and end up in the correct position.

Another option is to have someone talk to your baby from the bottom of your pelvis. They can also use a flash light to shine it on and off of the baby. This can encourage the baby to move toward the environmental changes and check it out.

External Cephalic Version (ECV)-

This is a medical procedure where the doctor will try to physically manipulate the baby into position. He does this by putting pressure on the baby from the outside and trying to move them. It is successful as much as 70%, but success rates are probably closer to 50-60%. It is also possible for a successful ECV to be reversed by the movement of the baby. The ECV also carries risks and is uncomfortable to the mother. For more information on it see What is external cephalic version.

Chiropractic Techniques-

There are also a couple of different chiropractic techniques where a chiropractor will maneuver the body to accomplish balance of the pelvic ligaments. This often helps get the baby into the right position and is effective as much as 80%, but isn’t recommended by all physicians.


Moxibustion is an ancient Chinese technique where an acupuncturist burns mug wort near pressure points to stimulate them. This is said to get the baby to move around and hopefully end up in the right position. While there hasn’t been much research done in this area, some studies suggest it may actually work.


One study suggests that hypnosis may also help. In a relaxed hypnosis state the body relaxes more and it is possible that the uterus also relaxes allowing the baby to move. This can get the baby into position with no pain and not a lot of work as well.

While it isn’t always easy to get a baby to turn, there are a few things that can be tried. Getting the baby to turn can make for a natural vaginal childbirth and avoid a Cesarean Section. This can save a lot of stress and recovery time for both mom and baby.