Article by Tony Sokol
“Keeping Up With The Kardashians” fans recently celebrated the birth of Kim Kardashian baby number 2, Saint West, with rapper Kanye West. From the time Kim announced she was expecting up until the birth, Kardashian was sharing updates on her pregnancy. During one of her updates, Kardashian revealed that her baby was discovered to be breech.
“My latest concern is that my baby is breech, meaning he’s in the wrong position for childbirth,” Kardashian wrote on her website. “His head is still up and it’s supposed to be down.”
Breech births occur in about four of every 100 births. Instead of being positioned properly head first, a breach baby is positioned feet or bottom first. A complete breech is when the baby’s legs are crossed and folded. A frank or incomplete breach happens when the body is folded at the hips but the legs are straight with feet touching the head. The rare footling breech occurs when the feet come first.
Most hospitals prefer to perform a caesarean section when a baby is breech because of the higher risk associated with it. There is usually time to turn the baby if the breech position is discovered by the 32nd week of pregnancy.
"He was supposed to turn by 32 weeks," Kardashian wrote. "So now, I will have to get a C-section, or so I thought! As I lay awake late at night, researching, I’ve learned that you actually can deliver a breech baby and I feel fortunate that my doctor Paul Crane is one of the few doctors that still does this. They just don't even teach it anymore."
Healthy babies are typically born between 39 and 40 weeks. Kardashian’s updates were reported when she was entering her 36th week of pregnancy. At that point, she was considering some daunting possibilities, like the external cephalic version (ECV) procedure, which is usually performed after about 37 weeks.
“It looks so painful and scary and has to be done in the hospital,” Kim chronicled online. “Obviously, if it’s an emergency and for the safety of my son, I will get a C-section — but if I don’t need one, I’d rather not. This whole delivery gives me anxiety, not gonna lie. I hope the baby turns and all goes well but I’m prepared for anything!”
Kim chronicled how she tried a variety of ways to get the baby to turn. While checking out alternatives, she came across hypnotherapy as a possible aide in repositioning a baby naturally.
"I have been doing everything I can. I lay practically upside down three times a day for 15 minutes," she wrote. "I play music in the right position and ice my belly in certain spots to get him to squirm out of the breech position. I even started acupuncture where I burn moxa (mugwort) on my pinky toe every day! I am even attempting hypnosis!"
A study that was published in the Archives of Family Medicine found that Hypnotherapy may help pregnant women turn their breech baby around to the normal head-first, or vertex, position. Hypnosis allows the mother to relax the muscles and any constriction around the baby. After being guided into deep relaxation mothers are asked to visualize the uterus becoming soft and pliable in order for there to be sufficient room to re-position the baby. They are then told to visualize their babies turning and to imagine their babies in the correct vertex position.
A controlled study published at The National Center for Biotechnology Information found that 81% of mothers of breech babies who underwent hypnotherapy had babies turn compared to 48% of those who didn’t.
Kardashian gave birth on December 5. The reality star is also mother to 2-year-old daughter North West.