Updated: Jun 8
As pregnancy yoga specialists in Perth, we understand how movement and mindfulness can help babies achieve optimal positioning in the womb by helping to create more space in the body and in particular the pelvis.
First of all, it’s important to understand that each pregnancy is unique - and that not all yoga postures are suited to everyone, so please consult with a suitably qualified Prenatal Yoga Teacher for your own pregnancy. We offer private one-on-one consults with our Prenatal Specialist, Sara Evans to help turn your breech baby.
What is a BREECH baby?
A baby that is BREECH is a variation of normal; ideally, we want a baby to be head down, bum up in the lead up to birth. And there are many reasons why babies are breech - sometimes they run out of room to move, it can also be due to the shape of your pelvis, lifestyle factors, and or the movement patterns of the mother can also play a role. Learning the most common variations of baby positions and movements that assist in correcting less than optimal positioning - commonly referred to recently as OPTIMAL MATERNAL POSITIONING.
Good to know!
Towards the end of the second trimester, the baby’s head and back are the heaviest part of their body. These parts of their body will naturally gravitate towards the lowest side of the mother’s abdomen. So if your tummy is lower than your back, for example, you are sitting on a chair leaning forward, then the baby’s back and head will tend to swing towards your tummy. If your back is lower than your tummy, for example, you are lying on your back or leaning on an armchair, then the baby’s back may swing towards your back.
Prior to 34 weeks, babies have plenty of room to move around the womb, so encourage postures that can change positioning before this time - be proactive from 30 weeks onwards; you’ll want to be practicing the tips and postures included below.
Try to avoid:
Avoid positions that encourage your baby to face your tummy. The cause of this is said to be lounging back on the sofa and sitting in car seats where you are leaning or lying back, or anything where your shoulders are laying back from the hips and the knees are higher than your pelvis.
What to do:
The best way to do this is to spend lots of time kneeling upright, or sitting upright, or on hands and knees. As a minimum guideline, spend 30 minutes each day with your belly facing the ground. Keep in mind you can do this in 5 or 10-minute blocks - it doesn’t need to be all at once! With your forward-facing belly - allow the muscles of your belly to soften and relax - this will give your baby a little bit more space to move!
Watch TV while kneeling on the floor leaning over a fit ball, ottoman or lean forward onto the seat of a dining chair.
Sit on a dining chair facing the back of the chair with the shoulders forward of the hips
Use yoga positions while reading, resting, or watching TV – for example, baddha konasana
Sit on a wedge or cushion in the car, place a cushion behind your back when you are driving to tilt yourself forward; keep the seat back upright
Avoid crossing your legs! This reduces the space for the baby at the front of the pelvis and opens it up at the back of the pelvis; the baby needs lots of space at the FRONT.
Don’t put your feet up! Avoid lying back with your feet up as this will encourage the posterior presentation.
Sleep on your left side, not on your back.
Avoid deep squatting, which opens up the pelvis and encourages the baby to move down, until you know he/she is the right way around, use a low stool or support if you must do a squat.
Swimming with your belly facing down is also said to help turn breech babies, breast stroke is said to help open up the pelvis, however, this can aggravate Pubic Symphysis, so use freestyle or a kickboard if this is the case.
Invest in a birth ball (or fit ball) which can encourage good positioning, both before and during labour and birth.
Movements done on all fours can help, eg pelvic rocking, swaying hips from side to side, or practicing cat/cow - using a birth ball to do so will take pressure off the hands and upper body.
If your baby is already breech or posterior:
First of all, don't panic! Most babies can and will turn - but some babies will also turn back - so once they do move, you’ll still want to keep practicing these movements consistently until their birth day with at least 30 minutes of belly ‘down’ time each day. Be patient - it takes time. It can also help to visualize your baby in your womb - head down and bum up! A breech baby doesn’t have to be an automatic cesarean birth; birthing a breech baby IS POSSIBLE, we have had many students and teachers vaginally birth their breech baby’s - some more than once! So it’s worth exploring your options beyond a scheduled cesarean if your baby insists on staying breech!
CONSISTENCY is KEY
As with everything, the greatest benefits come from commitment! Our 5-week prenatal yoga series is offered online and in-studio with a wealth of information, techniques, and resources for pregnant mothers to practice, plan and prepare both physically and emotionally for the birth of their baby, whether your a beginner or an experienced practitioner - pregnancy yoga is so much more than just a modified yoga practice! Give yourself and your baby the gift of connection.
For more detailed tips and information, visit Spinning Babies