Turning breech babies after 34 weeks: the if, how, & when of turning breech babies

Midwifery Today Int Midwife. 2007 Autumn:(83):18-9, 65.


Techniques for turning a term breech baby are 1). External cephalic version (ECV) using hands and ultrasound only; 2). Acupuncture point stimulation, by needle or moxibustion; 3). Chiropractic "Webster" technique; 4). Hypnotherapy; and 5). Special exercises. Fifty % of breech fetuses at 34 weeks will turn by themselves to head down by 38 weeks. Therefore, to be considered effective, a technique for turning breech must turn the baby and keep it turned more than 50% of the time. Only ECV with an experienced practitioner has been documented to have a greater than 50% success rate at 37 weeks; in 95% of cases the head stays down. Most women experience the fetus turning by hand as quick but very painful. "Unstable lie" is sometimes used as a baseless excuse for inducing labor after the baby turns from breech to head down. (judyslome@hotmail.com).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breech Presentation / nursing*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Midwifery / methods*
  • Nurse's Role*
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Version, Fetal / methods*
  • Version, Fetal / nursing*