Using Yoga for Optimal Baby Positioning

Some yoga postures can help to give your baby space to move and use gravity for rotation. Any position that situates the hips above the heart will help baby to move out of the pelvis where there is less space to turn and into the cradle of your belly. Even just a tiny bit of movement may be all your baby needs to turn. Practice any of these several times each day, not only to help your baby turn, but also for pregnancy comfort.

Try these poses:

  1. Modified cat-cow pose: Start on all fours, in a table top position, but on the elbows instead of the hands. Rock the pelvis up and down. The hips are higher in this modified version using gravity to move the baby out of the pelvis. The movement of the hips gives baby a little help. Bonus: this also helps to relieve a tight or achey back.
  2. Puppy pose: Begin on all fours with your knees at least hip distance apart. Walk the hands forward to stretch the arms out in front of you so your head is lowered to the floor. You may also lower your head and place your hands under your forehead for support or use a firmly folded blanket. Keep the hips directly above the knees (rather than over the heels) so the thighs are vertical. You may prop your body with pillows or blankets for support so that you can relax and stay in this position for up to 20 minutes at a time.
  3. Supported bridge pose: Use some firmly folded blankets to support you in this pose for up to 10 minutes at a time. Lie on your back with the heels coming towards the hips, feet flat on the floor, toes pointing forward. Lift the hips and place the folded blankets under your hips so you feel fully supported. Let the weight of the body come onto the blankets, allow your body to relax, especially around the abdomen.

While in any of these poses, close the eyes, and focus on breathing deeply into the body. As you exhale, focus on releasing areas of tension. The more you can release the physical tension from your body, the more space your baby will have to move, when ready.

If any pose makes you feel dizzy, nauseous or too uncomfortable, slowly release and lie on your left side for a few minutes to recover.

In cases where the baby is in breech presentation, you will want to consider avoiding postures where the hips open more than normal, such as deep squatting. This will help to prevent the baby from moving further into the pelvis in the breech position. Only encourage the downward movement of the baby once a head-down position has been established.

There are other things you can do to help encourage an optimal position for your baby's birth. Check out this post from last month:  "How Diet Can Affect Your Baby's Position". Say what?!