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31 Weeks Pregnant: Tops or Bottoms?

"I take charge of balancing my body, so I can relax and let go."

Between now and 32 weeks, most babies turn so they are head down and bottom up. By 34 weeks, your care provider expects baby to be head down. That’s because once baby’s head is heavy enough, gravity brings it down into a symmetrical womb.

Some babies stay bottom down (breech) or sideways (transverse)—why is that? Sometimes a placenta is below the baby, blocking baby from getting head down. Often, there is a simple need for balance, the first principle of Spinning Babies®. Uterine ligaments and muscles may be either too tight, asymmetrical (twisted or torqued), or too loose. The SI joints or the symphysis pubis may be out of alignment, as well.

This is not your fault. We simply live in an era where a slight twist in the pelvis is common. Think of those repetitive actions like pressing the gas pedal, crossing your legs, or how you carry a toddler on your hip. Or, pelvic asymmetry could be from a sports injury or sudden stop from a fender bender.

Don’t fear! You can work to align the pelvis and relax tight uterine ligaments. Start by finding a chiropractor who knows the Webster Technique and who specializes in working with pregnant people. Even better if the chiropractor or bodyworker you find is a Spinning Babies® Aware Practitioner (your can find one near you in our searchable directory here).

Regarding breech, some doctors don’t make suggestions for turning a breech until 36 weeks since many babies turn on their own. Frankly, many providers don’t realize that body balancing gives baby an increased chance of turning on their own. For this reason, we’ve put together a handy 6-day program for parents who are 30 weeks pregnant or more with a breech baby. We find that it is easier for babies to turn now because there is a higher water-to-baby ratio than in future weeks. 

Spinning Babies Activity of the Week

Bum-jiggling activates the fascia (connective tissue) to relax the muscles structures when done gently and pervasively. Hold the upper thigh in two hands, and then the buttock and hip, between the hands and create a vibration between the hands by jiggling. (As in jello jiggling!) Don’t shake—that’s too jerky or strong. Jiggle for at least three minutes on each side, each of you changing positions to rest or reach comfortably.

Your Baby This Week

Baby now weighs about 3 pounds and measures between 16 and 17 inches long. Baby uses all five senses now, too, even being able to detect some light through your belly!

You This Week

As magical as this time can be, let’s be real about what you could do without: swollen feet, fatigue, and headaches. These aren’t uncommon, thanks to increased blood flow and hormones. Ease swelling with additional protein (80-100 grams a day or 120 grams with twins) and boost circulation by walking about 30 minutes a day. Though it’s tempting to go-go-go before baby’s arrival, rest daily—even just for 10 minutes. Combat both fatigue and headaches by staying hydrated with water, while ditching caffeine and soda.

Weekly Affirmation

Affirmations are short, powerful statements that can affect your conscious thoughts. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and slowly, and repeat the following to yourself each day throughout the next week. Fill yourself with breath and feel the joy:

 

“I take charge of balancing my body, so I can relax and let go.”
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