The Head First Position

The Right Position


Knowledge   Support   Faith

  “He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.”  Colossians 1:18


            When a baby in utero moves into the head-down position (vertex), the baby is in optimal position for delivery, with the rest of the body following smoothly and automatically. The opposite position would be feet-first (breech).  It is possible to safely deliver a breech baby naturally, but it is dependent on the knowledge and skills of a midwife. Diaries found written by midwives in the United States before the industrial revolution indicate that they had the skills and were successful. Also, Midwives* today, who are skillful, indicate they are able to deliver breech babies, when necessary.  I have personally seen videos demonstrating this to be true.

If during the later months of the gestational period (32-37 weeks) the baby is in a breech position, it is possible for the mother to start helping her baby turn vertex using natural techniques.[i] It is still possible for the baby to turn in the vertex position even during labor.  Babies have been known to turn during labor.   While “some” Midwives are skilled in delivering a breech baby, the “majority” of Obstetricians are not. If the baby is still breech when a mother goes into labor, most Obstetricians** will perform a C-section.   You have to keep in mind that if your health provider is an obstetrician, your birth will be medically managed.  Obstetricians have been trained to rely on surgery, medicine and technology in problematic births.  Don’t confuse Midwives (LNM) delivering at hospitals in conjunction with an obstetrical team with Midwives who work at birth centers.   Midwives associated with hospitals follow both Obstetrical methods and hospital policy.  So if your baby is breech, you will need to inquire immediately as to your options if you plan to have a natural birth.

External cephalic version (ECV) is a technique during pregnancy whereby an obstetrician attempts to turn a breech baby to the head-down position (vertex). ECV has an average success rate of 60%.[ii] The method is to see the position of the baby through an ultrasound, relax the uterine muscle using drugs, while the OB places his hands on the surface of the mother’s abdomen to move the baby around[iii].  This procedure must take place in the hospital in case of complications brought on by this method.

An option that an OB normally does not recommend would be to visit a Chiropractor.  Certified Chiropractors*** who specialize in prenatal care are trained to adjust the pelvis to allow more flexibility for the baby to turn. Chiropractors familiar with the Webster’s Breech Turning Technique are the most qualified to, and understand how to adjust the pelvis to obtain the desired results. Sometimes, only one adjustment is necessary, while in other cases more than one adjustment is needed to allow the baby to turn.[iv]

Also, adjustments throughout the duration of pregnancy have been shown to shorten labor by nearly 10%. “The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported in the July/August 2002 issue that 82% of doctors using the Webster Technique reported success.[v] Further, the results from the study suggest that it may be beneficial to perform the Webster Technique in the 8th month of pregnancy.[vi]  During a recent interview with a local Chiropractor, she shared that her first baby was breech.  She told me that by demonstrating the technique to her husband, he was able to make the adjustment so that the baby could turn. He made the adjustment and the baby soon turned into the vertex position.[vii]

In my area there is a popular midwife who refers mothers to a Chiropractor*** whenever a baby is breech, and/or the pregnancy is post-term (failure of spontaneous labor occurring after 40-42 weeks gestation).  This Chiropractor has been successful using the WBTT method for breech babies and also with post-term pregnancies. When a woman fails to go into labor way past her EDD , spontaneous labor may begin if the cervix is ripened with the Chiropractor making an adjustment whereby the spine is aligned correctly with the pelvis. [viii]

In May of 2009 I had a client whose baby was breech.  When I accompanied her during her last prenatal visit, I asked, with her permission, as to whether or not her OB would be willing to perform the EVC. The OB let me know that “they didn’t do this procedure, anymore”.  So I encouraged my client with the approval of her OB to try some of the “Spin” methods.  I do not know how often she**** attempted to spin the baby using those exercises, but the baby remained breech.  When I discovered that a local Chiropractor was successful utilizing the Webster Technique, I looked into scheduling her for an appointment.  However, the very next day, her water broke and consequently, she went into labor.  When I arrived at the hospital, the OB did a final ultrasound to determine whether or not the baby was still breech.  The baby was still in the same position, so he immediately performed a C-section.

I was so sad and disappointed that my client had no other option and I can’t help think that if she had gone earlier to a Chiropractor, the alternative (WBTT) might have proven successful.”

There is evidenced-based data of how skilled Midwives can deliver breech babies without complications. The same is true with OBs performing the EVC and the Chiropractor adjusting the pelvis.   Even babies weighing more than 10 pounds have been delivered safely using those skills. But neither they nor their methods are infallible. No one can promise positively that these methods will succeed. But neither can an OB who performs a C-section guarantee the safety of both mother and child.

Caesarean section is associated with a higher maternal morbidity and mortality as well as financial costs and long term complications than vaginal delivery.[ix]



 Supporters:  A- Midwife*- (Birth Center)   B – Obstetrician** (Hospital) C – Chiropractor*** (Prenatal Visit) 

D – Yourself**** (Home)

Skills and Methods:   A – Vaginal Breech Delivery   B C-Section or ECV    C – Certified in WBTT     D – Spin Methods



                                              But let me encourage you to choose a more excellent way………………………………


Pray (Philippians 4: 4-7)        Trust (Proverbs 3: 5-6)     Wait (Isaiah 40:31, 64:4)

You are already in the right position to make the right decision when you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He encourages us to bring our burdens to him.  Therefore, why not put Jesus first (Head First) in your decision making. When we put Jesus first in all our plans and decisions, he promises to give us his wisdom (James 1: 5-8). His way and timing is perfect. And He is fully capable of turning things around in his time and way so that everything works for good (Romans 8:28).

NOTE:  I once knew of a Christian couple who were confronted with the sad news that their unborn child was dead.  Early on in the pregnancy the OB was attempting to hear a fetal heartbeat.  I don’t know how many attempts were made to hear the heart-beat before scheduling an  abortion.  When this young woman told the father the news, he became very upset. The abortion was scheduled.  And so, the father prayed earnestly for the lord to intervene. When the couple arrived for the scheduled abortion, the father insisted that the OB try to detect a heartbeat one more time.  The OB thought this was not necessary and that it would cause them unnecessary grief, but the father insisted.  So the OB obliged and tried once more to hear a heartbeat.  A heartbeat was detected and the abortion was cancelled, and at the end of this healthy, normal, pregnancy, a beautiful baby boy was born.

  Faith References

     “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  Matthew 6:36

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make your paths straight.”  Proverbs 3: 4-5

“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”  Proverbs 16: 3


“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7

[ii]Outcome of External Cephalic Version in Terms of Success Rate and Fetomaternal Complications

Arif W.,1 Iqbal M.,2 Lodhi S.K.3 July 19, 2007 to January 14, 2009

Address for Correspondence: Dr. Wasima Arif, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Unit III, Services Hospital, Lahore

[iv] (personal interview )January 2012)

[vii] (Chiropractor interview) January 2012

[viii] (Chiropractor interview) January 2012

[ix] Outcome of External Cephalic Version in Terms of Success Rate and Fetomaternal Complications

Arif W.,1 Iqbal M.,2 Lodhi S.K.3 July 19, 2007 to January 14, 2009

Address for Correspondence: Dr. Wasima Arif,, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Unit III, Services Hospital, Lahore

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About Doula Faith

I am first and foremost a child of God, "born again" into the Kingdom of God through faith in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He has called me to be an "Encourager" of faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. I have learned through some painful trials of His unconditional love. The apple of my eye, is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Living Word.
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