How to Flip a Baby in Late Pregnancy

While I'm sure his bum is cute, I'd prefer that it be his head that comes out first. Photography via iStock Photo.

My countdown clock is on like Donkey Kong. But my baby doesn’t seem to know this—at least, not as of my last check-up. He seems content to stay with his head up, with his feet down, and relatively high up in my tum. He still has time to flip, and most babies do (most babies flip around in the final weeks of pregnancy, and only three to four percent of babies actually don’t end up head down).

While I won’t know for sure where he is until my next appointment, that hasn’t prevented me from looking up every single possible way to encourage him to flip around so that he can arrive in this world head first.

Thus far, I have tried the following:

• Playing music to my lower abdomen to lure him into position. (The Band, Beatles and Bach have not wooed him into position yet. Must try something that doesn’t start with B next.)

• Hanging out on my hands and knees with my bum up and my chest down from time to time. Not an attractive posture, but some claim it’s effective, along with various other exercises.

• Sitting forward on my chair with my knees below my hips and my back straight whenever I remember to do so. This is meant to give him more room to move, but it runs counter to the need to have my feet at hip-level to help with the swelling. If ONLY I had hyper-extended knees! I could then keep my knees below my hips and my feet at hip level! Sigh.

Of course, should he refuse to budge in the next little while, there are other options.

An external version performed by a doctor—during which a baby is externally manipulated into the correct position—is the most common, and has a decent success rate (nearly 60 percent). The American Pregnancy Association also cites a chiropractic option called the Webster Technique, meant to open the pelvis and relax the uterus to encourage flipping—according to one study, it has an 82 percent success rate. But I have never been to a chiropractor, and I have my reservations about trying something so new to me at this stage in the game.

I also read somewhere online that one woman had success just meditating and asking her baby to flip. So there’s always that option.

I suspect that the best option might be to give him some more time and hope that he’ll flip when he’s darn well ready to do so. But if a bit of Bach and a few pelvic tilts might help, I figure why not give it a try?

When did your baby settle into a head-down position? And if he/she was a reluctant flipper, did you try anything that you think worked for you?

2 responses to “How to Flip a Baby in Late Pregnancy”

  1. I’ve heard that swimming — front crawl in particular — can help the baby to flip.

  2. Megan says:

    I’ve heard that too! Looks like it might be time to find a pool…
    Thanks Annie. – Megan, executive editor @