You might have guessed from this post’s title that the baby is still breech. At 4 AM on Thursday morning, the day of my last sonogram, I awoke to the baby moving so dramatically that I was sure she had shifted, not into the correct position (a full 180-degree rotation), but maybe back into a transverse position. So, you can imagine my disappointment when my doctor informed me that the baby was in the exact same position as the previous week.
How could that be? All the time, effort, and expense I had gone to opening my hips, doing breech tilts and forward inversions, and seeing a chiropractor, with no response at all? Really?? I’ve been joking with friends that this is my daughter’s first act of defiance.
So where does that leave me?
I had such high hopes for the Webster Technique, a chiropractic maneuver that’s supposed to have over an 80% success rate at flipping breech babies. Even though I’ve never received any chiropractic care to see its benefits, last week I made myself a series of daily appointments (which, I might add, I paid for out of pocket and dragged my daughter to). At each visit, the doctor applied pressure to the back of my hip bones and then my round ligaments. Even though she seemed pleased with my progress, I can’t say I ever left the office feeling any different than when I walked in.
If it just gets harder and harder for the baby to turn as the days go by (because she’s growing bigger and bigger in there with less room to shift), and daily chiropractic care at 36 weeks didn’t do the trick, does that mean I should just give up on this method for flipping the baby? It also makes me wonder about all those women who had success with the Webster Technique: How far along were they? How many times were they adjusted? What was the frequency of their adjustments? (Answers are nowhere to be found.)
Do I really have to be one of the 3-4% of women whose babies are breech, AND one of the 20% of women whose baby doesn’t turn with the Webster Technique? This is getting ridiculous!
The other recommendation that comes up frequently for turning breech babies is acupuncture. Now, if I was unsure of the benefits of chiropractic care, I’m downright skeptical of the benefits of acupuncture (especially since I spoke with one acupuncturist who specializes in pregnant women that wouldn’t even treat me this late in my pregnancy since she’s found it’s no longer effective). But as I rationalized with my husband, there’s probably a reason things like yoga, organized religion, and acupuncture have been around for thousands of years; there’s got to be something to them. And is there any harm in just giving acupuncture a try?
So, desperate as I am, I made myself an appointment to see a Doctor of Oriental Medicine. Yesterday morning, she began by showing me a chart of all the paths of energy in the body, one of which somehow connects the baby toes to (among other things) the uterus. I tried to remain calm and open-minded as she stuck needles in both of my ears, my little toes, and my “third eye.” Painless? No, but not a huge deal. Then, she lit a cigar-sized moxa stick that she circled around the needles protruding from my toes for about 30 minutes, while I meditated and visualized the baby flipping.
Acupuncture point body chart (source)
Strangely enough, I did feel the baby moving—a lot more than usual—especially when the acupuncturist worked on my right side, the traditionally feminine side. But has the baby flipped? No way. Am I just being impatient about waiting for the effects of acupuncture? Should I try it again?
I’m devoted to the exercises I’ve been doing at home to help move the baby, and I’ll keep at them until the bitter end, but what about the rest of this stuff? I’ve already spent hundreds of dollars and too many hours visiting a chiropractor and now an acupuncturist. If it were you, would you continue with an open mind (and wallet)? Would you cut back but not stop all treatments? Or would you give up on them all together? Am I destined for a c-section, and I’m just wasting time, effort, and money trying to make myself feel better about an inevitable outcome? Be honest with me: What would you do?