Best Sleeping Position To Turn A Breech Baby (with Pictures)
Most babies turn at night. But unfortunately, not every sleeping position provides the baby with enough space to turn. As a result, many babies get into a breech position. Luckily, sleeping in the right position can help you turn your breech baby.
So, what is the best sleeping position to turn a breech baby? The best sleeping position to turn a breech baby requires you to sleep on your left side with a pillow between your legs. Both, your top leg and abdomen should be in a forward position so that more of your belly touches the bed.
In this blogpost, I explain exactly how to get into the best sleeping position to turn a breech baby. Moreover, I explain how this sleeping position can help your baby out of your pelvis and provide your baby with more space, so that your baby has more mobility to turn. And finally, I tell you how you can turn your breech baby with a more ACTIVE approach if your baby does NOT turn while you sleep.
Before we start: if you prefer to watch a video instead of reading our blogpost, check out the following video. In that video, we teach you everything you need to know about the best sleeping position to turn a breech baby.
Why Do Some Babies Get Into a Breech Position?
The list of possible reasons why babies can get into a breech position, is long. And unfortunately, many of those reasons are related to factors which are difficult or even impossible to avoid.
For example: if the cord is somehow tangled around your baby, then it will be almost impossible for your baby to get into the right position. And there is nothing that you can do about it.
However, there are things that you do have control over. In fact, from what I can observe at the clinic, most breech positions in babies are caused by a simple factor which most mothers do have full control over:
Their baby simply does not have enough space to turn!
The two most important problems in this regard are the following ones:
Wrong Sitting Position
You don’t feel like getting up and moving your ever-growing body. I get that and I don’t blame you. I remember very well how I felt during pregnancy. However, the sitting position that I often observe at the clinic is just not “ideal” when your baby is supposed to turn.
For example, many women still tend to cross their legs despite their already big belly. However, a much better position would be to sit with your legs in a sligthly open position.
A sitting position with slightly open legs can provide your baby with more space. And this is what you want if you want to help your baby to turn.
Wrong Sleeping Position
The other problem which can prevent your baby from turning, is a wrong sleeping position.
Let’s be honest: there aren’t that many sleeping positions available when you are pregnant. In fact, your healthcare provider will most probably have told you to lay on your left side. That’s because it is considered “safe” for the baby.
Indeed, sleeping on your back can be dangerous for your baby because your baby’s weight could put pressure on your veins. This can become a problem if some of those veins supply blood to your baby. In other words, sleeping on your back could decrease the blood supply to your baby.
So far, scientists have believed that sleeping on your left side is the only thing that you should really do when you are pregnant. However, the most recent scientific research on this matter has found that sleeping on either the left or the right side appears to be equally safe for the baby (1).
Unfortunately, what they don’t tell you is that not every sleeping position is ideal for your baby to turn. However, most babies do turn while their mother is asleep. Therefore, it is important to provide the baby with the space that the baby needs in order to be able to turn.
The problem is though that lying on either side usually means that one leg is lying on your other leg. What this means is that both, your hips and pelvis are in “closed” position.
Even worse: some women unconsciously move their top leg forward at night. This can cause the top leg to pull at her hips which can cause her hip joint to twist.
As a result, the baby has almost no space. Therefore, the baby will have a hard time to actually turn.
What is The Best Sleeping Position to Turn a Breech Baby?
Despite the findings of the most recent research, at the clinic, we still promote lying on your left side when you go to bed. However, you don’t need to panic if you unconsciously turn around at night and lay on your right side. Again, it seems to be equally safe.
So, your go-to-bed position should be your left side. And then, once you are in that position, put a pillow between your legs! (We’ll discuss what kind of pillow it needs to be later in this blogpost).
Make sure that most of your top leg lies on the pillow! Ideally, the whole leg from AT LEAST your knee downwards lies on the pillow!
This position alone will provide the baby with so much more space. So, if you would only just use a pillow between your legs, it would considerably increase your baby’s chances to turn.
However, we can do even better:
With the pillow between your legs, roll over a bit further so that more of your belly is touching the bed!
What this position will do is make sure that your abdomen is in a forward position. Therefore, it can help your baby out of your pelvis. So, instead of engaging the baby deeper into your pelvis, we want to help the baby move into the opposite direction (for now). In other words, we want to make sure that we provide all the physical requirements for the baby to turn.
To provide the baby with as much space as possible, make sure that – when you roll over – you nearly lay on your tummy! But don’t worry, this position is safe for your baby. The pillow between your legs will take your own weight off your baby.
With that said, please do make sure that it really feels comfortable! You are not supposed to literally lay on your belly! If it feels like you are INDEED lying on your belly, then you have obviously rolled over too far.
Finally, once you have rolled over, make sure that your top leg rests forward so that the knee either touches the mattress or at least almost points towards the mattress, depending on the thickness of the pillow that you are using.
This will provide your baby with even more space to turn. That’s because it will prevent that your leg pulls at your hips which could cause your hip joint to twist.
This is the ideal sleeping position to turn a breech baby because it will considerably increase the chances of your breech baby to turn.
First, the “forward position” of your belly can help your baby out of your pelvis! Second, the pillow between your legs will provide your baby with more space to turn. Third, the “forward position” of your top leg will prevent your hip joint from twisting.
What Kind of Pillow do I Need for the Best Sleeping Position to Turn a Breech Baby?
In order to make sure that both, your pelvis and hips really do stay in an open position, it is important to know that you cannot use ANY pillow.
First of all, don’t just use a feather pillow! Feather pillows won’t work here because they do not keep their shape when you put your leg on them. As a result, a feather pillow won’t keep your hips and pelvis in an open position.
Therefore, ideally, you use a thick foam pillow. Alternatively, you can use any other kind of thick pillow which keeps its shape when you put your leg on it!
A great example is the pillow that we use in the images above! It is a foam pillow. And as you can see, it does not change its shape when I put my leg on it.
Alternatively, you can also use a nursing pillow / breastfeeding pillow if you have got one already. They usually come with the right thickness and length which allows you to keep most of your leg on the pillow and keep both, your hips and pelvis in a good open position.
Can I use a U-shaped or C-shaped Pregnancy Pillow for The Best Sleeping Position to Turn a Breech Baby?
Unfortunately, U-shaped pregnancy pillows are not ideal for what we are trying to do here. That’s because they don’t really allow you to keep your abdomen in a forward position so that you nearly lay on your tummy. At least, that’s the feedback that we have received from so many woman at the clinic.
Moreover, some of these U-shaped pillows are really “superthick”. And many women that I know claim that such superthick pillows are not really comfortable. Plus, they don’t let you keep your leg in a “forward position”.
However, C-shaped pregnancy pillows will definitely work. Their C-shape naturally provides you with space for your belly, right where you need it. In other words, such pillows do allow you to keep your belly in a forward position.
What Can I Do if My Baby Does Not Turn?
While the right sleeping position can certainly help you turn your breech baby by providing the baby with more space to turn, there is one thing that the right sleeping position alone does not do: it does not actually ENCOURAGE your baby to turn. In other words, it is still up to your baby to make a decision if baby should turn or not.
In fact, that’s true for almost all natural tools to turn a breech baby that I know.
For example: I love breech baby turning exercises. They can help your baby out of your pelvis. And – if done correctly – they can provide your baby a lot more space to turn.
However, it is still up to the baby to decide if baby wants to turn or not.
Therefore, if you really want to turn your breech baby, it is not enough to only just provide your baby with more space. You also need to “encourage” your baby to actually turn. In other words, you need to set a trigger which makes your baby turn.
That is why we recorded the following video for you. It teaches you the most effective and efficient way to turn a breech baby based on my own experience. In fact, this exact approach has helped many women at my clinic turn their breech baby instantly or at least within 24 hours!
How Can I “Actively” Turn a Breech Baby?
The first part of the approach that we teach in this video consists of three breech baby turning exercises. They basically have the same purpose as the sleeping position that we explain above. They help your baby out of your pelvis and provide your baby with more space to turn.
And then once you have established the physical requirements for your breach baby to turn, you actually “encourage” your baby to turn. This is part two of our approach.
In part two, we teach you how to apply a tool from Traditional Chinese Medicine which is called moxibustion. Moxibustion is a super effective tool to turn a breech baby because it sets that trigger that I mentioned earlier. In other words, it “encourages” your baby to turn!
By the way: there are lots of scientific studies, which have found that moxibustion is a very effective way to turn a breech baby. However, in order to increase its effect, it needs to be combined with either acupuncture or postural techniques. And combining moxibustion with postural techniques is what we do in this video.
So if you like, go ahead and check out our video!
Moreover, you can also download our pdf guide in which I explain exactly what you need to do (just click the button below).
I hope that our approach will help you the same way it has helped so many other women!
(1) Cronin R.S. et al (2019): An Individual Participant Data Meta-analysis of Maternal Going-to-Sleep Position, Interactions with Fetal Vulnerability, and the Risk of Late Stillbirth. In: EClinicalMedicine. Apr 2 (10): 49-57. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31193832/
(2) Lindberg, Sara (2020): What Sleeping Position Will Help Turn My Breech Baby? In: https://www.healthline.com/health/sleeping-positions-to-turn-breech-baby. Accessed on May 2020.
Medical Disclaimer: The information on this page is not intended to diagnose, prevent, mitigate, treat or cure any disease! It is not personal medical advice. We recommend that you ask a doctor whenver you are looking for medical advice!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nathalie is a Pregnancy and Birth Consultant and a TCM Therapist with almost 20 years of experience in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupuncture, reflexology, Shonishin baby massage techniques, Western and Eastern massage techniques (including TUINA), as well as herbal medicine and nutrition.
She has worked in hospitals across London and was Head of the Maternity Acupuncture Clinic at the Whittington hospital in London. Today, Nathalie runs her own company with clients across London. Her passion is to help pregnant women with pregnancy- and birth-related issues. On top of that, she also specializes in alternative treatments for babies and children.
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