Ep. 26: Spinning Breech Babies (33 and 37 Weeks Pregnant)

December 31, 2018

Listen Now:

Laura reports on having a breech baby and whether her doctor is concerned about it at this point, and Shanna discusses getting weekly nonstress tests to check her baby’s heart rate. Also, in the special segment “What I Googled This Week,” the moms-to-be divulge the pregnancy-related topics they asked the Internet about recently, including the topics of turning a breech baby, what to do with a newborn and more. Finally, they reveal their BFPs and BFNs for the week. Laura is 33 weeks pregnant, and Shanna is 37 weeks pregnant.

Topics discussed in this episode:

-Week 33 of pregnancy

-Week 37 of pregnancy

-Starting your maternity leave

-Nesting and getting the house and nursery ready before baby arrives

-Getting non-stress tests at the perinatologist

-When to be concerned about your baby being breech

-Methods for turning breech babies before their due date

-Feeling unprepared to care for a newborn

-Sleeping difficulty in the third trimester

-Taking early maternity leave before your due date

This episode’s full show notes can be found here.

Want to get in touch with Shanna and Laura? Send us an email and follow us on social! Instagram, Facebook or TikTok at @bfppodcast

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Big Fat Positive: A Pregnancy and Parenting Journey is produced by Laura Birek, Shanna Micko and Steve Yager.

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Episode Transcript

Laura: Hi. Welcome to Big Fat Positive. This week on the show, we have our weekly check-ins. We have our special segment, What I Googled This Week, and we have our BFPs and BFNs. Let’s get to it. Hey, everyone. Welcome to episode 26. So, Shanna, let’s get right to it. What is going on with your week? Let’s do our check ins.


Shanna: I am week 37, which means I have 2 weeks. Oh my god. It’s coming fast and furious. I can’t even believe it. That’s just like, oh my god. There’s so much going on in my mind trying to prep for this and trying to get ready. The good news is I have started my maternity leave. I took 2 weeks before my due date, my planned c-section.


Laura: So great.


Shanna: So great. So I could have some time. The first few days were, of course the holiday, Thanksgiving, everything, but the official maternity leave started Monday. I’m home. My kid goes to preschool. My husband goes to work, and I’m home. And I’ve just got my list of to dos, which is long. Yes.


Laura: Do you find you’re whittling it down, or do you add more things?


Shanna: That’s a good question. I actually wrote a list and then just set it on the desk, and now it’s just kind of living in my head. So I really don’t know where I stand. But I do feel like I’m getting stuff done. Like, the nursery is really coming along. For a very, very, very pregnant lady, I actually have quite a bit of energy.


Laura: That’s great.


Shanna: And, yeah, I’ve been bustling around the house and painting and putting together furniture and putting up wall decals and decorating and organizing and doing all kinds of wonderful overall feeling really good.


Laura: That’s great. This is not here. You know? Yeah. I feel like while we all need to work and make money, the mood difference that happens when you get to have some time to yourself, especially after being so overwhelmed. It’s just huge in how it affects your energy levels and your mood.


Shanna: Totally. And especially since I was sick for a month with that cold virus one after another, I think I just feel so renewed. I’m just like, wait. I’m not sniffling. I feel really, really good. And I’m just a person who loves to organize and decorate and make my house feel lovely. That’s one of my favorite things. So to have time to do that just really lifts me up and makes me happy. So that’s cool.


Laura: One of my favorite Gretchen Rubin sayings, which is outer order breeds inner calm. It’s kinda hard to say. Outer order breeds inner calm, but I totally agree with that. It’s just so nice to know that everything’s in its right place, and


Shanna: Yeah.


Laura: I’m jealous because that’s 100% all I wanna do right now. And I’ve been still been working, so I all I wanna do is do what you’ve been doing.


Shanna: I guess you’re gonna be there so soon.


Laura: Yes. More on that later. Yes.


Shanna: But I do have one other check-in I forgot to mention last week, and it’s still relevant. I’m now at the point where I’m doing my weekly appointments with my obstetrician.


Laura: Oh, yeah.


Shanna: And part of my protocol is doing this non-stress test to check the baby’s heartbeat and how she’s responding to movement and contractions and stuff. I go in. I get hooked up to this heart rate monitor. They strap a belt on me and find her heart rate and strap it on. And, I’m just listening to her heartbeat on this machine, and I can see when I have a Braxton Hicks or she moves or something. This little needle, it actually prints out as it’s tracking her heartbeat. It goes up, up, up, and then her heartbeat goes up, up, up, and then it goes down. And I have to sit there for 30 minutes, and this doctor comes in and checks to make sure that, I guess, she’s responding well to movement and stuff like that.


So I’m gonna be doing that every week now until she’s born. And he did an ultrasound to check the amniotic fluid, and he said that’s looking good and just checking her position. And, so far, all clear. Knock on wood. It’s been going well.


Laura: So those nonstress tests, does everyone get them, or is it only higher risk or geriatric pregnancies that get them?


Shanna: No. I don’t think everyone gets them, and I don’t even think it’s necessarily the geriatric people. It all depends on circumstances. I did do them with my last pregnancy, but that’s because one day I came in with really high blood pressure. And, honestly, I know it’s because my commute across the city to my doctor’s office drove me bananas, and so I was so amped up. But to be cautious, they did it for me. And for this one, the perinatologist, the specialist recommended I do this because of IVF and my marginal cord insertion on my placenta and certain things. So I don’t think you’ll be doing it unless there’s a reason.


Laura: Yeah. My doctor hasn’t mentioned anything, but you know what’s funny is that my last appointment, which was this week. I’ll tell you about it in a second, but I always have really low blood pressure. Not low dangerously low, but low normal blood pressure.


And this particular appointment, I had high normal blood pressure, and I was all disappointed. And I just realized I was running late and stuck in traffic. It’s so fascinating how stress like that can mess with it. I’ll have to make sure I have a lot of time for the next one and see how it goes, see if my blood pressure is low. Because I was like, I haven’t even had coffee today. What’s going on? But, yeah, it’s probably because I was running late, and Corey was waiting for me already at the doctor’s office, and I was all stressed out. I hate being late.


I don’t know about you. I hate hate, hate being late to things. Like, it gives me so much anxiety.


Shanna: Yeah. Me too. Especially when it’s like there’s traffic involved. I think I’ve spoken about a traffic breakdown earlier on this podcast. I don’t know. It drives me crazy.


So there’s a definite correlation. Give yourself a little buffer of time this time and see if you have a lower blood pressure.


Laura: I should. I’m going to. I’m going to.


Shanna: Alright. Well, that’s my check-in for the week. What about you?


Laura: Well, I’m at 33 weeks. And, yes, I know. it also seems so fast and furious on my end. Things are chugging along. I’m starting to get a little more uncomfortable. Now I’m at the point where we’re doing doctor’s appointments. Appointment this week and it was pretty standard.


My doctor just does a quick ultrasound every time just to check and no pictures or anything. But so at the last couple appointments, so at 31 weeks and 29 weeks, my baby’s head has been up and right up under my ribs, so in a breech position. But it’s not considered breech until, I don’t know, 36 weeks or something. But so my doctor said your baby’s breech, but don’t worry about it the last couple of times. He’s like, there’s plenty of time to flip, plenty of time to flip. This time, the baby’s head is in the exact same position. He’s like, well, there’s still time to flip. I’m only moderately concerned is what he said.


Shanna: Oh my gosh.


Laura: Yeah. So I’m like, great. And what he said was that babies who are consistently breech, sometimes it’s because there’s sort of a physical thing that’s in the way. Like, he said some women have heart shaped uteruses that prevent the babies from turning, or there could be a short cord, I guess, that makes it hard for him to turn. But yeah. So he’s like, I’m not concerned yet.


Or he he was like, it’s nothing to be concerned about. Maybe moderately concerned, but not totally concerned. We’ll just see what happens. I’m like, okay. So yeah. So I actually was already planning on making an appointment to go to a chiropractor for the SPD, the pubic symphysis pain that I’ve been having.


Shanna: Right.


Laura: We’ve talked about it a bunch. And so one of the things that chiropractors claim to be able to do is sort of open you up and loosen up your joints and bones and ligaments so that babies can turn more easily. So I actually had just made the appointment. It’s gonna be for next week.


Shanna: Was this a chiropractor who specializes in that kind of thing?


Laura: Yes. So the place I found was in is in Pasadena, and-


Shanna: Wait. They do the chiropracty on babies?


Laura: Yeah. On infants.


Shanna: Why?


Laura: Apparently, you’d like to help with things like torticollis, where their neck is tweaked to one side. I don’t know.



I literally had never considered that babies and kids would need chiropractic care.


Laura: Same. But I figured if they do babies and pregnant people only, that at least they know what they’re doing. I’m not gonna go to some random person who’s gonna put me in a position that’s uncomfortable and hurt the baby or something. So yeah. So I have an appointment next week, so we’ll see what they say.


Shanna: Cool. I’m excited to hear about the check-in..


Laura: Shall we move on?


Shann: Yeah.


Shanna: We’re back, and our next segment is What I Googled This Week, where Laura and I divulge what we’ve been asking the Internet about pregnancy and all that good stuff. What have you been asking the Internet, Laura?


Laura: Well, this is a continuation of my check-in, really. So I was just discussing how my baby is currently breech. And, for people who don’t know, breech means their head is up and not down, in your pelvis, which is the way it needs to be to easily get out of your uterus and through your birth canal and out into the world. Otherwise, you generally need a c section. I know there are people who will deliver breech babies, but it’s risky, and I don’t wanna do that. That sounds painful.


Shanna: Oh, boy. It sounds painful.


Laura: So, basically, my options are get this baby to turn around somehow or have a c-section, which isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it’s more recovery and more cost and all that stuff. So what I Googled was ice pack to turn breech babies.


Shanna: So are you looking for a technique to turn your own baby? An ice might do the trick?


Laura: Maybe. So okay. So there’s a whole world of people who claim to be able to spin your babies. There’s actually a website and a whole technique called spinning babies, like spinningbabies.com, which I spent some time on. And there’s a lot of yoga style poses. You’re supposed to do all these inversions, and you know, special stretches to try to get the baby to move. There’s also more sort of forceful techniques that you definitely don’t want to do yourself that an obstetrician would do, where they physically try to turn the baby inside your uterus. My doctor mentioned this, and he said we don’t generally do it because it’s super duper painful and carries a risk of preterm birth, like triggering labor.


Shanna: Oh, lordy.


Laura: So I’m not interested in that at all.


Shanna: Like, painful and preterm? No. No. Thank you. And, also if there’s maybe something that’s preventing the baby from being in that position, like if it has a short cord or a heart shaped uterus should you really be trying to force that baby into a position it doesn’t wanna be in?


Laura: I don’t think you should, but there’s a lot of people who think that it’s safe and that’s it. And I think it’s done, but I have no interest in that.


Shanna: Yeah.


Laura: I mean, there’s so many people who are like, no c-section at any cost. I’d rather have a c-section. That’s how someone would like to try to push the baby around in my uterus.


Shanna: But why ice? How did you come across that?


Laura: Okay. So after looking at all the yoga poses and stuff, which I do a lot of stuff like that anyway, because I’ve been going on and off to prenatal yoga. And, also, I have really bad heartburn, so all the inversions, I just can’t do. It would just result in terrible, terrible reflux.


So I’m limited at what I can do. And so I was just sort of tooling around on Google, seeing what else could happen. And people kept mentioning the hot and cold method. And I was like, what? And so it’s mostly the places I found resources for this quote, unquote are blogs and, babycenter.com posts of people trying it. But the idea is that you put an ice pack at the top where the baby’s head is, and then put something warm down low, I guess by your crotch or down down at the bottom of your belly. And the idea is that the baby sort of seeks out the warmth and will sort of naturally turn towards the warmth. Like, some people will do this sitting in a shallow bath too.


I have to say, I’m not against trying this. I haven’t done it yet because it’s been kinda chilly here. And I just don’t wanna put an ice pack on my stomach. But, also, the idea is if you can do something simple like that and it might encourage the baby to turn, why not? You know? No one’s getting hurt. You know what I mean? I’m not gonna keep the ice pack long enough to hurt. And then I’m like, oh, man, you know how I was icing my crotch for all that time because of the pubic symphysis pain? I’m like, oh, man. Did I encourage this baby to stay head up? Because he was like, that’s cold down there.


Shanna: Oh my god. He’s like, I’m not going down south.


Laura: I know. Brr. Oh, man. He’s in for a shock being born in January.


Shanna: Yeah. I mean, January and last night. These LA winters are so frigid.


Laura: It might be 65 degrees outside. But here’s the other thing about spinning babies. Apparently, only 5 to 8% of babies are breech when you hit full term, which is low. I thought it would be much higher than that. So it’s kind of like, what’s the word I’m looking for? It’s like if 92 percent of babies are all gonna be head down by the end anyway, one way or another, it seems like all these techniques to spin babies are just coincidence. Right?


Shanna: Oh, yeah. Especially depending on at what point the pregnant mom gets the service. Right. Like, is it nature that’s taking care of it or actually the service?


Laura: Yeah. There’s no good way to tell unless you did a study where you had a large group of women who were initially breech at say 35 weeks, and you sent half of them to spinningbabies.com and then didn’t inform the other half and then saw if there was any improvement. That would be the way to do it. But I don’t think anyone’s done that. I don’t think anyone’s done that with ice packs.


But, again, if it can’t hurt, I will try it.


Shanna: So Yeah. Go for it. You know?


Laura: Stay tuned. Find out what happens. Maybe I’ll try to record an audio diary of doing the ice pack.


Shanna: Please do.


Laura: Anyway, Shanna, what were you googling this week?


Shanna: So this week, I typed into my search bar what to do with a newborn, which is crazy since I’ve already had a newborn and taken care of her. But let me tell you, Laura, that stuff goes out of your mind. Like, just life moves on so fast. Your kid grows up, and you kinda forget what to do. And it just occurred to me, I have 2 weeks to go, and I’m just so focused on painting the nursery and all these really superficial things. And I’m almost like, what do I do with this baby once it’s out of my body and I bring it home? I kinda forgot how often I feed her.


Laura: Like, not like what concerts to go to, what not what activities, but literally, what do I do with this thing?


Shanna: Yes. That’s what I was trying to get the answer to. And let me tell you, most of Google just wants to tell me what activities to do with my newborn. Like, come play with your newborn. And it’s like, no. I don’t even know what exactly I was looking for or if I found it. But the first time around, I read a book called Heading Home With Your Newborn that I found helpful. But in the time since I gave birth, we gave that book away to someone else to help them.


Laura: I know how to do this. I don’t need it anymore.


Shanna: And I promptly forgot. I just remember vaguely I had a lot of routines. I would feed her every few hours, I think, and a nap and a sleeping schedule and the witching hour. Some of these things are so vague. And I guess I’m just gonna have to dive into it again because all Google is telling me is your baby’s skin might be dry. Wiggle your fingers in front of your baby’s eyes to stimulate her vision and just like little activities and things that seem so obvious. So I don’t know. I don’t know.


Laura: I bet it’ll come back to you.


Shanna: I hope so.


Laura: It’ll be like riding a bike.


Shanna: I have no choice. I’ve just gotta dive right in.


Laura: Yeah. I’m sure you have that hidden somewhere in the back of your brain. Also you’re a smart person. And you’ve done it once before. I think you’ll be able to figure it out a second time.


Shanna: It’s just funny how the practical stuff has not occurred to me this time around. I guess because I’ve just been so busy, and I have another kid, and my house is in disarray, and I’m trying to get all this stuff in order. I don’t think it’s hit me and Steve 100% yet that we’re actually bringing home a newborn in a couple weeks.


Laura: You’re throwing a newborn into that mix.


Shanna: Yeah. So reality is gonna hit us real soon. I am excited, like I mentioned earlier, but also a little bit like, ah!


Laura: Well, next week, I have my childcare and breastfeeding class that’s sponsored by the hospital, so I could take extra notes for you.


Shanna: Thank you very much. Please do.


Laura: My friend, who’s done this once before, doesn’t remember.


Shanna: That’s fantastic. Well, that’s all that’s all I got for my googling this week.


Laura: Alright.


Laura: So we close the show every week with our big fat positives or big fat negatives of the week. Shanna, what do you have? A BFP or a BFN?


Shanna: I have a BFN. Yeah. Which for as good as I feel, I am actually sleeping like shit at night. I mean, horrible. It it hasn’t been good for a while, but it’s just hit max shit this week to the point where I just I wake up after a couple hours after going to sleep because I have to pee, and then I’ll just lay there thinking, obsessing, feeling physically uncomfortable, or the baby’s moving a ton while I’m trying to sleep, and I can’t get comfortable. So I just finally wake up and look at my phone for a few hours, and I’m just not that kind of person. I will lay there for an hour to an hour and a half trying to put myself back to sleep before I’ll be like, alright, I guess I’ll look at my phone and be awake. And it’s gotten to that. I think it’s a combo of having to pee constantly and the baby moving a ton right now. She’s just big and strong and trying to get comfy in there, so she’s kicking me a lot. And my hips hurt. My shoulders hurt. Everything hurts.


So I’m very, very exhausted during the days. So it’s really good I’m on maternity leave, and I can squeeze in naps and stuff.


Laura: Yeah. You know, I’m starting to get to that point too where just sleeping is so hard, and it drives me crazy. The thing that people keep saying I do get this a lot where people are like, sleep now, and you’re like, oh, yeah. And you’re like, sure. I’d love to. That sounds fantastic. You know what’s getting in the way of that? Having a giant belly, having an alien in my stomach that’s kicking me constantly and rolling around and doing weird shit in there.


Shanna: It’s like, you know the baby is inside my body right now. Right? Yes. It’s inside it.


Laura: So no one else could take care of it. Like, at least after the baby’s born, you can be like, husband, take this child and let me sleep. And you can’t sleep in any position that’s comfortable. And then the minute you fall asleep and you’re so comfortable finally, you gotta pee. Or for me heartburn flares up. Or reflux. I have this thing where the baby will kick me right in the stomach or something. I don’t really understand the logistics of it, but I’ll just be lying there and it’s always right as I’m just finally falling asleep. And then I have to sit up straight in bed because I feel like I’m gonna throw up because it’s like, nope, no rest for you.


Shanna: No rest. Wake up, mommy.


Laura: So people who have kids, please stop telling pregnant women to get sleep now. We want to, and we know and no one has to like, when in the world do you have to be reminded to get sleep? That’s what I wanna know.


Shanna: People love to remind people to get sleep. Another thing too, this is a minor pet peeve of mine because I know people have good intentions, but I hate being reminded to take naps. I don’t like naps. I’ve never liked naps. Sleeping during the day messes me up. I wake up groggier. I might have talked about this before, but everyone seems to think that I need naps all the time. And I’m like, I don’t. I’d rather push through being tired and go to bed early at night. That’s just me. But, man, people love to give me that advice.


Laura: Who tells you that? Have I ever told you that?


Shanna: I don’t think you have. No. Steve likes to. I think he’s very concerned for me. But he knows how I feel about naps. You field advice from all different angles when you’re pregnant.


Laura: You really do. Definitely gonna give you all the advice.


Shanna: Yeah. And I’m sure it’s gonna come fast and furious when I’m recovering from that c-section too. Lots of advice and being told to take naps and stuff. So I’ll try to be cool about it, but I might not take naps, people. I’m not a napper. I’m not.


Laura: She’s not a napper.


Shanna: I just am not. Unless I’ve just crashed. Like, literally my body won’t go anymore, then I will crash.


Laura: See, I love an nap, but no one has to tell me to take a nap. You know what I mean?


Shanna: Maybe I get told because I’m not a napper and some other people think they need to tell me. Like, I don’t know it or something.


Laura: Of course, you’ve tried to take naps before. You’re a 40 year old woman. You’ve tried.





Laura: Never have I been like, oh, you know what? No one’s told me to take a nap this week, and I just completely forgot. Oh my god.


Shanna: People worry about me and my napping.


Laura: I’ve never once worried about your napping.


Shanna: Thank you.


Laura: It’s never crossed my mind.


Shanna: Good. Thank you. Oh my god. Anyway, that’s my BFN. What do you have?


Laura: Alright. So I have a BFP. And it’s a big one. I’m really excited about this. So I have complained copiously on this podcast about how stressed out I was about work, and how it’s been harder and harder to sit at my desk, and how I don’t know how I’m gonna make it to what my maternity leave was supposed to be. I think in California, it’s pretty standard to take about 4 weeks before your due date if you can afford it. The California disability kicks in for 4 weeks before your due date. Right?


Shanna: Yeah. If you choose to opt for it, it’s automatic. You don’t have to get extra documentation or anything for that.


Laura: Yes. So that was my plan. So my plan was my due date is January 12th, and I was planning on taking my leave December 12th, and part of that was because I’m a web developer, and I was building this gigantic site that was supposed to launch December 5th. Well, I hit all my deadlines and I mean, it was very hard for me to hit all my deadlines, especially because the client was a little late. And this is a thing that happens all the time. You know? The client doesn’t realize how long it’s gonna take to gather up their content and give feedback and all this stuff. So the client had been late getting us what we needed, but we were rolled with the punches. And especially knowing that I was leaving on maternity leave, I was like, I gotta get this done.


There’s no wiggle room. I can’t ask for an extension. I don’t want to ask for an extension. I will just get this done. So I hit my deadlines. I got it completely ready for internal review. We reviewed it.


I fixed up all this stuff, and then we sent it off to the client on time. Super excited about that. And then we were supposed to launch December 5th, and then I figured I’d have a week of support for the site. So you launch, and then you make sure you fix up any problems, in the week. And then I was supposed to take leave.


Shanna: Right. And that would get you up to December 11.


Laura: Yeah. That would get me right up to a month before my due date. And it was starting to seem so long, and I didn’t know how I was gonna do it. And I was crying about it to my husband and just sort of mentally preparing just to suck it up and do what I need to do. Well, right before Thanksgiving, we sent it to the client, and they were supposed to have a week to review. And this week, I found out that the client wrote back and said that they felt rushed, even though everything was up to the timeline they approved, and everything was on the up and up. But they said they realized they felt rushed, and they wanted more time for review and that they wanted to push the site launch to January.


Shanna: Oh. Well, that gets you off the hook.


Laura: Exactly. So I looked at this, and I’m like, well, the way it works is they give us feedback, and then I go in and fix all the problems they find or the requests. But they’re not even gonna have their review done until probably till the new year. Oh. So yes. I don’t have to do that shit.


Shanna: That’s so great.


Laura: So I was talking with the guy who’s who contracted me out for this big job, and I was like, hey. So I’m just gonna bow out at the end of this week then, if that’s cool with you. You know, I could be around vaguely for questions or if you can’t find a password to log in to things or whatever, but I’m not gonna be working. And he was like, yeah. You should do that. He has a 4 month old or something, so he knows how it is. He’s like, yeah. Go for it.


So I got a 2 week freedom early maternity leave for free.


Shanna: That’s so awesome.


Laura: I’m on maternity leave starting at the end of this week. I’m so excited.


Shanna: That’s so great.


Laura: And my doctor said because of my SPD, he’s cool with signing off on trying to get disability early because I can’t really sit at my desk for very long, and doing my work has just been torturous.


Shanna: That’s great. So have you filed for the disability yet?


Laura: No. I have to apparently, you can only do it starting the 1st day of your leave, which would be next week.


Shanna: Oh, okay.


Laura: But I am doing it. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Excited.


Shanna: That’s so great. I’m so happy.


Laura: It’s such a relief. Such a relief.


Shanna: So now you can focus all that energy on your nesting and organizing.


Laura: Oh, I’m gonna clean that closet, Shanna. I’m gonna clean it so good.


Shanna: It’s gonna feel so good.


Laura: Anyway, so that’s my happy BFP, and I think that’s our show.


Shanna: I think it is. Cool. Cool. Thanks for chatting.


Laura: Yes. It’s always nice to talk to you, Shanna.


Shanna: Thank you guys all so much as always for listening. If you would like to get in touch with us and let us know your BFPs, BFNs, ask us any questions, you can do so. We love to hear from you. Laura, where can they find us?


Laura: We are on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at BFP Podcast. We also have a Facebook community you can join. And we have a website, bigfatpositivepodcast.com, where we’ll post our show notes.


Shanna: Big Fat Positive is produced by Laura Barrick, Shanna Micko, and Steve Yeager.


Laura: Thanks for listening, everyone. Bye. Bye.