A few weeks before giving birth, 35 weeks to be exact, I was a bit worried after hearing that my baby was in breech presentation (head on the upper part of my tummy while his feet are positioned downward). To confirm this, my OB requested for an ultrasound, and I saw my baby was in transverse position, meaning he was lying sideways, with his head on my right side. “But that won’t be a problem since you’re going to have CS anyway,” the sonographer said as she was doing her thing, completely oblivious of the impact of her words. Of course I didn’t argue or even defend myself. I won’t start telling her my VBAC story just there, but her words made all the more worried of having to face another CS.
All along, I thought this won’t be any of my concern since I’m already in the advanced stage of my pregnancy. If I’m not mistaken, I had this situation with my first baby when he was in his 25-26th weeks; hence I didn’t really worry since I still had plenty of time to turn him around.
With my fourth baby, however, I only have a few more weeks. That didn’t worry my husband one bit though. He researched on how to make the baby turn and align his head with my birth canal. Here are some of the suggestions we got from different sites online:
One of the ways to put the baby to its optimal position is to walk and move daily. This can encourage the baby to move and find its natural orientation due to gravity. Compared with the kind of determination I had with my third baby (my VBA2C baby), I must admit that I have been quite lazy during this pregnancy, always sleeping and sitting down. So I found out that my baby was transverse, I asked my family’s support to help me wake up earlier every day. My son will set the alarm at 6:00 a.m., and he will wake me up for my walking. In the evening, I will go another round, and I must admit that it helped me a lot to have my family as my support system. Before I can even start my morning/evening walk, there will be a lot of skirmishes whether or not he (my third child) will bring his Ben10 toy/slippers, whether my daughter will ride her bike or not, but in the end, I appreciated their contribution to this one goal—that is, to turn the baby’s head down.
2. Sleeping Position.
Since my baby’s head is on the right side, the best sleeping position for me was on my left side. Based on study, this is the also best for all pregnant women since it helps the flow of blood. On the other hand, lying on the right side will put the weight on the liver. At the same time, lying on one’s back will lead to shortness of breath due to the heavy uterus and poor circulation. So for weeks after the ultrasound, I became very conscious with my lying position. This was particularly challenging especially having a toddler whose sole comfort when sleeping is to hold your breast. He would cling to me like a koala with his hand finding where my breast is, and mind you, he doesn’t take no for an answer. He would find the best position for HIM to be able to hold my breast, even if he will lie on my butt or my tummy. But I was very determined to sleep on my left side, so we sometimes have arguments. I sometimes give in and face him while lying on my right side once in awhile.
3. Breech Tilt.
Based on my research, I found out that reverse lying can also encourage my baby to turn from a breech/transverse lying position. In order to do this, I have to do it at least three times a day for 10-15 minutes. I have to put some pillows under me and put my feet up on the wall in the morning and in the evening. Since I can’t do this during lunchtime, I extend my time in the evening up to 30 minutes or until I become tired and sleepy. I did this exercise for 2 weeks before I went back to my OB.
4. Pelvic Circles.
Another video I found in YouTube suggested that I do pelvic circles using an exercise ball. Since my husband has this ball, I do this every morning for 5-10 minutes before taking a bath. This encouraged movement of the baby in the uterus.
5. Leaning Forward While Sitting.
When I found out that leaning is one way to turn the baby, I consciously did just that even while eating or while sitting in the office. It’s a bit challenging, but I’m willing to do it and have natural childbirth.
6. Talking to the baby.
I do believe that unborn babies can hear even while in the tummy. One of the suggestions I got from other mothers is to talk to the baby. For a time I somehow didn’t take the effort to talk to my baby. Because of his transverse position, I felt he was asking for attention. So right away, I told my husband and my kids to begin talking to him day and night of how much we love him and requested him to align himself to mommy’s birth canal.
And I think all these things paid off because after 3 weeks, I went back to my OB, and she felt the baby’s head down already. I was ecstatic to hear that, and I thanked my baby for listening to us and for turning. So for those who have the same situation, it’s never to late to put your baby to its optimal position for birthing.