Turning a Breech Baby!

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Is it Possible to Turn a Breech Baby?

If your pregnancy is like most, at some point in your third trimester your unborn baby will flip over into a head-down position. They may stay that way for the remainder of the pregnancy, or swim around a bit for a few weeks until they finally get into position for delivery. But if you are part of the 4% of pregnancies where this doesn't happen, you likely get to experience a little jolt of shock when you hear the words “breech baby!” Is there anything you can do to get a breech baby to flip? Let's find out.


What's the Big Deal About a Breech Baby?

A breech baby doesn't necessarily have to be a big deal, but the reason that it throws off most women who are planning a vaginal delivery is that in the United States almost all breech babies are born via Cesarean section. This is due to the fact that medical providers are no longer being taught in most medical schools the special skills required to help with the labor and delivery of breech babies. Since breech deliveries come with their own set of different risks, it definitely makes sense to narrow your birthing options between a Cesarean or a vaginal delivery with a provider specially-trained and highly experienced in breech (tough to find!). Unless, that is, we can get that baby to turn head-down on their own...

Urban Legends for Turning Breech Babies


While there isn't much scientific data to back up these techniques, plenty of parents swear by them. Your baby can hear your voice and feel your touch while in the womb, so why not attempt to stimulate their movements as well? You can try talking and singing to your baby, low on your abdomen. You can try using heat or cold packs on your belly. Some parents have even tried shining a flashlight on their lower abdomen in hopes of attracting their baby to turn toward it. Whether or not these techniques will actually work, they are completely safe and there's no reason you can't be playful with your unborn baby!

Positioning Tricks to Help a Breech Baby

There are several different positions that you can try, which may encourage your baby to turn head-down. These should only be tried if you have a confirmed breech baby in late pregnancy. The Breech Tilt is easy, and the most common. It is done by propping an ironing board up on your couch, and lying on it with your head on a pillow and your legs up on the couch around the board. Midwives recommend trying this three times per day, for about twenty minutes each time. Some of the other positions to try would include forward-leaning inversions, side-lying release, and open-knee-chest. To read instructions and see helpful photos and videos of all of these positions, please click here to read Spinning Babies on Breech Positioning! https://spinningbabies.com/learn-more/techniques/other-techniques/breech-tilt/


Clinical Methods of Turning a Breech Baby

If positions don't seem to coax your baby to flip over, you might need to open your mind to some other modalities. Many pregnant women, breech or no, visit prenatal chiropractors for their overall health and comfort. However, receiving a Webster Technique adjustment from a certified prenatal chiropractor may give you an 80% or higher chance of helping your baby turn. The Webster Technique helps relieve any intrauterine restrictions which are keeping your baby from moving around comfortably, and is safe and effective.

Visiting a licensed acupuncturist is next on the to-do list. An acupuncturist can perform the moxibustion technique, which involves burning a special herbal blend near certain pressure points on the body. The warmth and stimulation from the herbs can produce increased activity in the baby, which combined with the positioning tricks and other techniques, just may establish the right atmosphere for your baby to turn around.

External Cephalic Version

If all of these safe and non-medical methods of turning breech babies should fail, there is still an option remaining before scheduling a Cesarean section. Your OB-GYN can perform an external cephalic version, which is an attempt to manually manipulate the baby's position from outside the womb. This procedure can be uncomfortable, and your doctor may wish to perform the process in hospital and monitor the baby the whole time just in case. However, an ECV does have good success rates and may help you stay on your plan of having a vaginal delivery, so if it comes down to it please have a conversation with your doctor about the benefits, risks, and potential success rate of an external cephalic version.

A breech baby is definitely a bit of a surprise, but it doesn't have to mean the end of your birth plan. You can try all of these methods and one of them just may work! If not, there could be a very good reason that your baby is in the breech position. Babies are wise, and sometimes we have to work with them – and not the other way around. Whether you end up giving birth vaginally or via Cesarean, your Happy Mommy, Happy baby doulas are here to help make it a positive, low-stress, and empowering experience for you and your family.


Provider Spotlight: Dr. Nathan Wall


Provider Spotlight

Dr. Nathan Wall


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The response to our previous post on Prenatal Chiropractic care has been wonderful. In this post we hope to introduce one of the wonderful providers we work with here at Happy Mommy Happy Baby. As a patient of Dr Nathan Wall, I am so excited to introduce him to our readers. Anyone walking in to Dr. Nathan’s (as his young patients affectionately call him) office can tell he has a passion for working with children and Pregnant women. From the huge play area for his younger patients, to the separate nursing area for his Postpartum mothers, it’s clear that Dr Nathan is dedicated to providing excellent care to those he serves. Always eager to share his knowledge, he was happy to sit down with me and answer a few questions.


Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Gladly! I’m Dr. Nathan Wall. I’m a Pediatric and Prenatal Chiropractor. I own and operate Thriving Families Chiropractic in Draper, Utah. I have been practicing full family Chiropractic for almost 7 years now. I ran my first practice in Washington state for 4 years and in 2017 opened our new practice here in Utah. I have the absolute most amazing wife who is my partner in all things life. We have 3 kiddos Seamus, Vivianna and Briggs. I’m a total family man both in and out of the practice. My passion in life without a doubt is helping families find health and maintain it….true health, from proper function.

How did you first get involved in chiropractic care?

To be honest how I got involved in Chiropractic is kind of a boring story. I would rather tell you how I found my calling of working with children and moms. I was about halfway through my graduate Chiropractic program and from the start I was going to be the best “Sports Chiropractor” there ever was! But I found myself feeling very unfulfilled in that specialty. I had this random chance to attend a presentation by who is now the top Pediatric Chiropractor in the nation Dr. Tony Ebel. I can remember sitting in his presentation and him drawing me in with the science and neurology and the amazing intricacies of working with such an intelligent system we call the nervous system. He shared stories of pediatric work and stories of helping mothers have VBAC’s and drastically shorter labor time (which in turn helps baby in so many ways). It was about ¾ of the way through the presentation that I had this…what I would call a very spiritual experience that overwhelmed me, and I knew beyond anything else that this is what I wanted to do and that this is what I was supposed to do. I grabbed my wife’s hand and said, “this is it, this is what I’m here to do”. And from that moment on I have never looked back. I have dedicated each day to providing top quality and cutting-edge care to the families of my community.

What are the three biggest benefits of chiropractic care for pregnant women?

Wow, where do I begin…? Absolutely #1 is proper function of the main master control system over the body and all its functions and that is the nervous system. See you must understand a high 90% of pregnant moms seek care for some sort of pain or discomfort they are feeling. And please don’t get me wrong I don’t want any of my mom’s in pain, but I want them to understand that often that pain is just a symptom of something not functioning well, an alarm if you will. One thing we know is if we lose proper motion or bio-mechanics of the spine it can dramatically influence the nervous system. And for a pregnant mom this can have crucial consequences. Take for instance the neurology down low in the lumbar spine (also a very common area to be affected by pregnancy). This area has such large ramifications over the endocrine or hormones being released both during pregnancy and during labor. I want mom to have an outstanding labor with great contractions..rhythmic if you will and I want oxytocin to be released appropriately and often times if the lumbar spine has inappropriate function it can affect the parasympathetic response and the sacral plexus of nerves and labor won’t go as planned and more interventions (pitocin, forceps, vacuum and c-section) will be used.

Second I would say in my practice I pay close attention to moms ability to appropriately handle her stress or not. Now many people when I say this wonder why this would matter in the first place and then think of “emotional stress” and that is part of it, but just one third. I want to know and even more importantly measure how well mom is adapting to her physical, chemical and emotional stress response. You see, all three of those add up to the high potential of causing more neurological stress response on mom and that will inhibit her ability to adapt, function and be healthy. Take this for instance, when I bring a pregnant mom in I put her through 3 different neurological tests to discover and gain more insight into how she is functioning. One of those tests is a HRV test or Heart Rate Variability exam that measures her adaptability to her stress through heart rate, skin temperature and skin conductance. If a mom comes in and she is already not adapting well to her neurological stress response and she is let’s say 25 weeks along what is the likelihood she will somehow dramatically turn this around by herself in the next 15 weeks and be ready for the ultimate stress response we call labor? I will put it to you this way, if moms “stress glass” is already half way full and she is going to keep adding more neurological stress and then go into labor and think that it won’t push her over the edge and cause heart rate issues in both her and baby and contraction issues and physiological stress responses literally shutting down the proper labor responses, well…that’s just not true. It will have a major effect on her and the labor process and in turn the child. So, I want mom to know my job is way more than to get rid of the low back pain, my job is to make sure we give your body all of the function it needs to have an outstanding pregnancy and labor.

And third is the most common thought of thing when we talk about Chiropractic and pregnancy and that is making sure mom’s pelvis is sitting relaxed and aligned well so baby can take an optimal fetal position and that we lower the chance of dystocia or baby “getting stuck”. Both issues can often end up in C-sections and if you know my pediatric side of the practice you will know why I don’t want to see that happen. Not to mention having the pelvis aligned well will bring about less pain, probable shorter labor times and overall a better pregnancy and birth for baby and mom.

4. What is the #1 questions asked by your patients?

This one always makes me chuckle a bit. The number one thing I get asked is…How long will this take and how much will it cost? And my answer is always the same thing…”I don’t know…until we perform an exam.” There is no way for me over the phone to know the level of function or dysfunction of your bio-mechanics and stress response on your nervous system just by hearing that you are 28 weeks with low back pain. If you are seeking care and the provider’s office is giving specific quotes as to length of care and cost of care I would say in my professional opinion that is impossible and especially during pregnancy. I must first find the issues and see how your body is adapting to it for me to know what it will take and in turn what it will cost not to mention at the least sit down with you and hear your health goals. Chiropractic is not like massage therapy. In fact, it only shares one common thing and that is that practitioner is putting their hands on you, but that is where it ends. We can’t give out a time frame and cost like a massage therapist would because our work is not near the same. And personally, I think it would be irresponsible and not the highest quality of care given to our patients.

If you had a list of ‘best-kept secrets’ [websites, books, coaches] you’d recommend, which would you include and why?

This is tough to say, moms are so well informed nowadays. I would say “Spinning babies” is great. Although not a website or book I would say find a practitioner that fits you when looking for a midwife or OB. Also I would say interview many doulas with your husband so you both are comfortable with the choice and cost and need.

What tips can you recommend that you’d only share with a close friend (and everyone reading this blog)?

I don’t think there is anything as for tips that I wouldn’t share with everyone. But I will say this. Find a doctor of Chiropractic that has dedicated themselves and practice to the care you are seeking. If you want a Chiropractor that not only has the training and education with working with pregnant moms, then make sure their practice shows that. If you walk in and you are the only pregnant mom in there repeatedly…take notice of that. Moms talk, and moms go where the best care is at. In my opinion a prenatal and pediatric practice should be obvious. Experience is massive when it comes to this work. As well as ask questions to the doctor...”how many pregnant moms or kids do you see each day?” “What is your experience with______?”

What are some common misconceptions about chiropractic care?

How much time do I have?? This list could go on forever. The biggest ones I want people to know are that one, Chiropractic in its core and what it is designed to do is actually not pain malmanagement it is actually about function malmanagement and those two are very different from each other. Chiropractic is also not based off faith. What I mean by that is when people say “I don’t believe in Chiropractic” it’s implying that it is faith based. There is no belief system in my practice…Chiropractic whether you “believe” in it or not works!

Oh, and one last one, the “Webster Technique” certification has nothing to do with pediatric work. It is a single technique used predominately with pregnant moms with great outcomes with helping the pelvis and sacrum stay in proper motion.

What are three things that keep you going in this business?  

1) Empowering families with their own health!

2) Living each day loving what I do!

3) Smiles and hugs from kids in the practice!

How a Chiropractor Can Benefit You During Pregnancy

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Pregnancy aches and pains – we've all been there. Pelvic pain, back pain, hip pain. Most of us know that if we have a sore back we can go to a chiropractor, but did you know that there are chiropractors specializing in the unique needs of pregnant women? Prenatal chiropractic care can make all the difference in your pain levels during pregnancy – and even confer a few surprising benefits as well. Here are a few reasons why you might want to visit a chiropractor during pregnancy.


Aches and Pains Are Just the Beginning


A prenatal chiropractic adjustment does wonders for the common aches and pains of pregnancy. During pregnancy, our bodies go through an incredible amount of change. We gain weight, our hips and pelvis relax and spread, our center of gravity is thrown off. It's no surprise that we feel out of whack! A pregnancy adjustment can help the body to be more aligned through each different stage. Your chiropractor will have special tools like positioning pillows and a drop-down table, so that you can comfortably rest your bump without any danger of discomfort or injury to you or your baby.


Chiropractic Care for Morning Sickness


It may seem crazy, but there is a possibility that regular prenatal chiropractic adjustments could actually help alleviate nausea, or morning sickness during pregnancy. Because bringing the spine into alignment helps your nervous system to fire correctly, your body may stop experiencing frequent nausea responses. It may not work for everyone – but at least your back and neck will feel great!


Pelvic Alignment for an Easier Pregnancy and Birth


Thanks to common parts of pregnancy like increased curving in the back, sticking our baby bumps out, and postural changes, it's very easy for the pelvis to become misaligned. When this happens, it can create a condition called intrauterine constraint – a fancy term for the baby not having enough room to move about comfortably in the womb. A baby who can't maneuver in the womb properly may have a hard time getting into the right position for labor, causing a longer or more painful delivery – and even a breech presentation. Speaking of breech...


A Prenatal Chiropractor May Help with Breech Babies


A breech, or head-up baby, can throw off the best-laid plans for a vaginal delivery. During the third trimester, a baby should make its way upside down so that its head is born first, but approximately 4% of babies remain in the breech position. Since most OB-GYNs are no longer trained to deliver breech babies vaginally, they are usually delivered by Cesarean section. A prenatal chiropractor certified in the Webster Technique, a gentle pelvic adjustment, can offer an 80% success rate in helping babies turn over into a head-down position in the third trimester.


The Webster Technique is done on a comfortable drop-down table and helps alleviate intrauterine constraint so that the baby can flip. The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, which certifies prenatal chiropractors, recommends that this technique be used throughout the pregnancy to ensure that the pelvis is balanced and roomy for the baby's entire development.


Your doulas at Happy Mommy Utah are pleased to be able to recommend our clients the best prenatal chiropractors in the Salt Lake County area. Have you ever visited a chiropractor during pregnancy? What benefits did you experience?


Hyperemesis Gravidarum

A 2002 study of pregnant woman showed a significant correlation between women who had symptomatic morning sickness, and/or a diagnosis of Hyperemesis Gravidarum, had an aggravated Helicobacter pylori infection. Also Known as H. pylori, this infection is a bacteria that lives in your lower gut and is aggravated by pregnancy hormones. Those hormones including HCG tend to level out after 12 weeks, which is why most morning sickness goes away around the end of the first trimester.

However, when the H. Pylori infection is severe enough it can persist causing telltale nausea and vomiting for your entire pregnancy.

Does that mean there is a cure for morning sickness!? It is possible to cure an the H. Pylori infection at least. It’s difficult to do during pregnancy since the antibiotics that are needed have not been sufficiently tested for safety in pregnancy. However, if the infection is severe enough the risks might outweigh the benefits.

There is some good news! You can get treated when you are no longer pregnant, and the study shows it’s likely that you won’t have morning sickness during your next pregnancy. If you have been diagnosed with HG, talk to your care provider about getting tested for H. Pylori. The accepted treatment is 2 weeks of antibiotics. I also recommend taking a high quality probiotic to help balance out your gut flora. Antibiotics can cause yeast infections and other digestive issues which can be unpleasant.

You can find the full study Here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12445985