Breech - Will continuing to do at-home methods to turn backfire if baby has already turned?

Cynthia Flynn's picture
Experts: 

QUESTION

I will be 32 weeks pregnant in a couple of days. My last baby was breech at 34 weeks and flipped a lot in the last weeks, but was in the head-down position at birth after I used a lot of at-home turning methods.

At my appointment yesterday, I was told my baby was not yet head-down, but seemed to be sideways. I know it is still a little early but also know that the later it gets, the harder it is for the baby to go head-down if he/she is not already.

I am considering starting the at-home methods for getting the baby head-down but am wondering if the baby does turn to head-down, will continuing to do the methods for turning backfire and cause a baby that has turned head-down to turn back to sideways or head-up. Or will they just re-inforce the head-down position? I can't often tell the position the baby is in.

Thanks!

ANSWER

As you know from experience, most babies figure it out by the time of labor and settle down into a head-first position. And many are not in that position at 32 weeks.

We don't think that the techniques that are usually suggested to encourage a vertex position of the baby will turn the baby back to breech.

The reason it is hard to design the experiment to tell is that some babies just have an "unstable lie," whether we do anything or not, until just before -- or even during--labor. It has even been documented with an ultrasound that a baby can flip and flip back and flip back again during labor before it comes out right!
~Cynthia