If you have been to our office, you might have noticed that we have a lot of pregnant patients. In fact you may have even noticed that I am pregnant. Yup, I am pregnant with my third little girl. And I could not be happier.
My other two pregnancies were relatively normal. My first gave me a lot of acid reflux and was born just 3 days early. She weighed in at a healthy 6lbs 12 oz. My second little girl gave me a lot of acid reflux and was born 3 weeks early due to being small in utero. So I was induced and had an itty bitty 4 lbs 12 oz girl.
Due to the small size of my second little girl the doctors wanted to err on the safe side and set me up for extra appointments at an outside clinic just to make sure this baby’s growth continued safely. So at 32 weeks hubby and I went to the clinic with the excited anticipation of knowing we would get to see the baby on ultrasound. My excitement quickly turned to uneasiness as I saw the ultrasound technician type “Breech Baby” on one of my ultrasound pictures. Then she said nothing about it. The doctor said nothing about it. And we were on our way. Ok, so maybe this is not a big deal right?
When I got home I did the worst thing an expectant mother can do. I Googled. OH MY GOSH! My baby should be head down already! Woosah, calm down, I have an appointment with my regular doctor in a few days. I will ask him, not WebMD.
Well, I met with my doctor. While he did not seem too concerned he did mention that the baby was now actually breech anymore. But she was transverse. Her head was in my right rib cage and her butt was in my left rib cage. He said she should be head down already but I still have plenty of time for her to turn head down. However, if she did not turn head down by our next appointment at 34 weeks he would want to schedule a version of the baby at 38 weeks. Oh, and when they do the version they just prep you for a C-section just in case the version stresses the baby out.
At this point a lot of things were running through my head. First of all what in the world is a version to turn the baby. Second, no way do I want a C-section. Third, all I want is to have this baby in December! A possible C-section at 38 weeks is not December (long story, ask me next time you’re in the office). Fourth, time to start getting those chiropractic adjustments at work.
As we drove home I again did as I should not. I Googled. According to WebMD it turns out that an External Cephalic Version is a closely monitored procedure to turn the baby to Vertex, or head down. The medical team will monitor the placenta, amniotic fluid and fetal heartbeat the whole time to assess for any stress to the fetus. Before the process, you are given an injection of tocolytic medicine to prevent uterine contractions. After the uterus has relaxed your doctor will place both hands on your abdomen (one on the head and one on the butt) and attempt to manually turn the baby head down. If the first attempt does not work, you can try again with an epidural anesthesia to relax the uterus more and reduce the discomfort.
I have included a YouTube video of an External Cephalic Version for you to watch if you wish. While it is in no way NC-17 or even Rated R, it is graphic. So watch with your own discretion.
Well, that sounds like a lot of fun. I do not like the idea of using drugs unnecessarily during a pregnancy or labor. I thought that I would be freaking out more but I was actually calmer than earlier. Now that I knew what the version was, and that I had 10 days to get the baby to turn before my doctor wanted to schedule a version, I knew what I was going to do.
Recently Dr. Adey, one of the fabulous Chiropractors at Oahu Spine and Rehab had success in turning a breech baby of one of our pregnant patients just by chiropractic adjustments. Now, I have never been one to really get chiropractic adjustments. The whole idea kind of scared me even though these are trained professionals who I see give people relief day in and day out. However, the idea of drugs and a C-section scare me much more. And the chiropractic adjustments to me seem less invasive. If anything, it gave me more time to naturally turn this baby around.
To ease my apprehension more I sat down with Dr. Adey and discussed my situation and what my wants and concerns were. Dr. Adey completely understood and explained how she would do the adjustments. Dr. Adey would be using the Webster Technique which according to the International Pediatric Chiropractic Association is a specific chiropractic analysis and diversified adjustment. The goal of the adjustment is to reduce the effects of sacral subluxation/ SI joint dysfunction. In so doing neuro-biomechanical function in the pelvis is improved. Dr. Adey broke it down in layman’s terms for me. She was going to check which side of my sacrum was tighter and adjust it, and then adjust the opposite side round ligament bands. By doing this she was creating more space in my hips and pelvic region so that the baby had more room to move around and turn head down. Well that sounds simple enough.
Dr. Adey put me in the prenatal pillow, figured out that my right hip was more elevated. She used the impulse machine to adjust it back in place. She flipped me back over and started to work on releasing the tension in my left round ligament bands. I am not going to lie. This part was not without discomfort. But I could feel the releases. Immediately when I got up I could feel the difference in the back pain I had been experiencing. Dr. Adey suggested that we do this three times a week until my next appointment with my doctor and then we will go from there. Fair enough. As I drove home that night I actually felt my baby spin. I felt her head move from my ribcage up. Of course this would mean she was turning more into the breeched position and you would think that would freak me out. All it did was confirm for me that Dr. Adey had created more space in there for the baby. It looks like I was going to continue with the adjustments.
In addition to my adjustments with Dr. Adey I also had a few from Dr. Machado, another great Chiropractor at Oahu Spine and Rehab. Dr. Machado has been practicing Chiropractic medicine for many years and does not actually subscribe to one particular method. What he does is try to create consistencies and alignments within the body specifically around the pelvis and in the sacroiliac joints to create more room for the baby. Whatever he did, it felt great.
Well, I listened to these wonderful chiropractors and got my adjustments for the next 10 days. Then I went to my 34 week appointment and anxiously awaited the verdict. The doctors I guess were not too concerned about it as I was because they did not even mention it until I asked. However, because I know you are all wondering, my baby did turn head down! Let’s all do a happy dance!
Now, this does not mean that between that this baby will stay head down until I deliver. Nor does this mean that the chiropractic adjustments are a sure fire guarantee to turn a breeched or transverse baby. But, it is another option available to pregnant women who might choose to do things more naturally and non-invasively. I for one know I will be continuing with the adjustments until my little one arrives.