By the end of a pregnancy, a fetus is typically positioned head-down
(vertex), ready to pass head first through the birth canal. Sometimes a
fetus is in a bottom-down, or
breech, position as the
due date approaches. Postural management is a way of
attempting to turn a fetus from a
breech to a vertex position by lying or sitting in a
certain position several times a day.
Postural management is controversial, because it has not been proved
effective for turning a breech fetus into a head-down position. This
practice has not been studied very much. More research is needed to find out if it works.
Postural management is generally considered a safe practice for
pregnant women. But be sure to consult a doctor before trying
any of these methods, especially when being treated for a medical condition,
such as high blood pressure.
Postural management methods that use gravity to try to turn the
baby's head down toward the
These positions are usually held for 15 minutes and repeated several
times a day for a week or more. It is helpful to do them with an empty stomach
and bladder and to relax as much as possible while in position. You may need
some help getting into the correct position safely. Because you may feel
lightheaded when you get up, have someone help you rise slowly to prevent a
July 25, 2011
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & William Gilbert, MD - Maternal and Fetal Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.