Chapter 8: Prenatal checkups
What to do if you find warning signs
Baby is breech
Breech babies are often born without any trouble, especially if
the mother has had other children and her births were easy. But
breech babies are more likely to get stuck or have other serious
problems (see page 215).
It may be possible to get the baby to turn. Try these methods:
• Lift the mother’s hips. This lifts the baby out of the pelvis so he can turn
around and put his head down. The mother lies
on her back and puts something soft (like a
pillow) under her hips for 15 minutes, 3 times
every day. It is best to do this when the baby
is moving a lot.
After lying this way for 15 minutes, the mother should walk around for about
5 minutes. If she thinks she felt the baby turn, she should not lift her hips like
this again until you have checked to see if the baby is still breech.
• Ask the mother to get on her knees with her head
resting on the floor. This is another way to move
the baby out of the pelvis so that he can turn.
• Try talking to the baby, shining a flashlight, or
playing music low on the mother’s belly, near
her pubic bone. The baby may turn to be closer to the light or sounds.
• You may have plant medicines in your area that can help.
WARNING! Only try massage to turn the baby if you have been
taught how to do it safely and can get medical help. Trying to
turn the baby by pushing on the womb is very dangerous.
See page 369.
Never turn a baby if the mother’s waters have broken or if she has
ever had vaginal bleeding, high blood pressure, surgery on her
womb, or cesarean surgery.
A doctor can pull the
baby out with forceps.
If the baby is not head down when labor
starts, it is safer for the mother to give birth in
a medical center or hospital. Doctors can use
forceps (pulling tools) if the baby gets stuck.
Or they can do a cesarean surgery.
A Book for Midwives (2010)