Obstetric & Gynaecology Malaysia


Breech position after 30weeeks of pregnancy

If your baby’s head is located at the top of your uterus, your baby is in the breech position. 

Most babies (>95%) will get into a head down position before the birth, allowing them to be born head first, thus more easily. 

Babies continue to change position in the womb until they run out of room. Most babies who are in the breech position around week 33 will get themselves into the optimal head down position by week 37. 

This is not always the case, however, and some babies remain in the breech position until the end of the pregnancy.

If your baby is in a breech position, there are things you can do to encourage him to move into a head-down position. Exercises like pelvic rotations, knee to chest, breech tilt are thought to give baby more room to maneuver inside the womb:

Walking is a great exercise during pregnancy to encourage the baby to shift position. Try to walk  for 15 minutes each day throughout the pregnancy.   Swimming around the pool can encourage the baby to move and helps to ease ache during the final weeks of pregnancy. The front crawl and the breaststroke are thought to be effective for this.

To encourage your baby to change position, these exercises are thought to work best during periods of fetal activity in a well hydrated women with good amniotic volume to ensure enough space for the baby to turn. If you experience any pain or feel light headed while exercising, stop immediately. Sit down carefully and stay seated until you are feeling better. Inform your obstetrician before continuing with the exercises.

The breech tilt is the most commonly used exercise for turning breech babies. It helps the baby to tuck his or her chin (known as flexion), which is the first step in flipping over. To perform the breech tilt, you need to elevate your hips between 22cm-30cm above your head. There are several ways of doing this. The easiest way is simply to lie on the bed and prop your hips up with firm pillows.  Do this three times a day for 10-15 minutes each time, on an empty stomach, and during times when the baby is active. Try to relax and breathe deeply as you perform the exercise, and avoid tensing the abdominal muscles. For added benefit, you can combine the breech tilt with the application of heat and ice, or sound.

Pelvic rotations like belly dancing, is used in some traditional to assist childbirth for generations. Rotating the hips allows the pelvis to open up, creating more room for the baby to change position. You can perform these exercises standing or while sitting on a birthing ball. Rotate your hips in a circular movement 10 times in each direction. Repeat this exercise 3 times a day, preferably after 36 weeks of pregnancy.

Kneel lean or knee-chest position – for this exercise, you may place pillows under your knees and head for comfort. Kneel up with your knees shoulder width apart. Lean forwards on your arms, so that your forehead is touching the floor. Hold this position for up to 15 minutes at a time, and repeat three times a day. Best to do this when baby is active and on an empty stomach, otherwise you might feel slightly ill afterwards.

Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese technique which uses burning herbs to stimulate acupressure points. To turn a breech baby, an herb known as mugwort is burned beside the pressure point BL 67, located beside the outer corner of the fifth toenail (baby toe).
This technique is thought to increase the baby’s activity level, thereby encouraging him or her to flip into the vertex position by themselves.
Moxibustion is usually performed by an acupuncturist (sometimes in addition to traditional acupuncture) or a licensed practitioner of Chinese medicine. However, moxibustion sticks can also be purchased for those who wish to try this method at home.