Chapter 19: Advanced skills for pregnancy and birth
Turning a baby
The best time to turn a baby is 2 to 3 weeks before his due date. If you turn a baby
earlier, he may move back to a breech or sideways position. Also, if labor starts,
it will probably be safe for the baby to be born at that time.
If possible, you should have a helper when you turn a baby. This person can
listen to the baby’s heartbeat the whole time.
WARNING! If the heartbeat speeds up, or slows down and
does not go back to normal, stop turning the baby. If the
heartbeat stays fast or slow, turn the baby back to the position
he started in. If the heartbeat still does not go back to normal,
give the mother oxygen if you have it, and have her lie on her
left side. If the baby’s heartbeat still does not go back to
normal, take her to a medical center immediately.
1. Ask the mother to urinate and then lie down on her back with her knees
bent. It is important for her to relax her body as much as she can. It may help
for her to take slow, deep breaths.
2. Listen to the baby’s heartbeat (see page 139).
3. If the heartbeat is
normal, feel the baby’s
position again to be
sure he is breech.
4. Grasp the baby’s head with one hand. Put
your other hand under the baby’s bottom,
and push up, towards the top of the
womb, to move the baby out of the pelvis.
A Book for Midwives (2010)