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Benefits of labor before C section?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have been sorta looking this up but wanted the advice of some wise mamas! I'm 37 weeks and the babe is breech. I am trying inversion, homeopathy, moxibustion, the webster technique, and tomorrow I have an ecv scheduled. They've said that they want to schedule a c/s at 39 weeks. I switched care providers late in the game because we didn't like the first hospital when it came time for our tour, and we were planning for a natural hospital birth. But now I have a breech babe to try to get to turn! I am leaning towards waiting for labor to start before the section but would like to have some affirmations as to why this is a good idea. The other part of me is so tired of all this and wants to give in. I think it's bizarre to pick the baby's birthday, though! Thanks for your advice, hopefully the baby turns here soon, and I won't need to decide any of this!
post #2 of 17
I've had three c-sections and gone into labor with all of them (five hours of pushing with one of them). I felt more comfortable knowing that my child was ready to be delivered and that we weren't taking them too soon.

Two of my sections were scheduled. Both times I went into labor before the scheduled date I doesn't always work out that you get to "pick the baby's birthday".
post #3 of 17
First benefit that jumps to mind is that labor generally doesn't start until baby initiates the cascade. Baby doesn't initiate the cascase of labor hormones until he/she is done cooking. (yes, I know there are cases of premature delivery, but in general) If you wait for initiation of labor, you have a much better indication that baby is fully developed and ready for the external environment.... This decreases the risks of respiratory depression and iatrogenic prematurity.

Second benefit - some of the compression that occurs during labor forces the amniotic fluid in the lungs out - improving respiratory function for the neonate.

Third benefit - cascade of labor hormones also initiates the hormone flow for milk ejection reflex and production thus improving the odds for successful breastfeeding.

Question for you... Is the baby in a frank (butt first) or footling breech position? If frank breech, studies indicate that breech can be safely done. Have you considered trying to find a doc that will do a breech delivery?

Best wishes for you and your baby.
post #4 of 17
I was in labor for 30 hours with DD and 3 of them were pushing her to becoming extremely stuck. I am glad I had labor and that I got to have the experience, but it ended up being an emergency c/s due to a couple of factors in our situation. DD was crashing very badly with every push(because she was getting impacted into the left side of my pelvis) and I had severe uterine fatigue happen making contractions do pretty much nothing.

What happened with us ended up requiring my having to have T-incision on my uterus, making a vbac pretty much impossible due to my more fragile scar. So for me laboring that long and pushing DD down that far was a bit detrimental for any future pregnancies and hopes of a natural birth, but I *mostly* had that, I know what labor is like and feels like. Of course the biggest thing is I have a beautiful, healthy DD who is now 2.5.

I now am pregnant again and am 17 weeks, I will be scheduling a c/s at some point here due to my scar. That's life, I will have a detailed c/s birth plan. Although in my hospital I don't have to get too in depth with the baby's care because it is baby friendly. I do want some things for my care that couldn't happen in an emergency c/s, but I will have those choices this time.

I hope your baby flips, but if it doesn't a c/s is not the end of the world, it still is your baby's birthday and it still can be special.
post #5 of 17
Dmitrizmom covered the basics. But there are a few things not to forget... c/s is not without risks of it's own, both to mother and to baby. And baby can flip at any time - even during labor... so scheduling a c/s because of a breech is purely a matter of convenience for the doctor.

And I agree with trying to find a practitioner who is willing to do a vaginal breech.
post #6 of 17
Usually when a doctor schedules a breech mom for a c-section at 39 weeks, it's for the doctor's convenience with scheduling, not for any benefit for mom and/or baby. If the baby is a footling breech or is transverse, then yes, there might be some benefit to not going into labor and risking some horrible outcome. But if the baby is a frank breech or a complete (lotus) breech, there's a) no reason why a skilled practitioner can't deliver the baby vaginally, and b) no reason to not to wait for mom to go into labor on her own, except, again, for the OB's convenience.

Babies can turn extremely late in the game!!! I have a friend whose baby turned at 38.5, 39 weeks- somewhere in there.
post #7 of 17
IMO, a huge benefit is giving your lo every last second to turn. I have a friend whose ds turned in labor. And he was a BIG boy, 10+ if I remember correctly.
post #8 of 17
Specifically for your situation, 39 weeks is super early! Have tey given you any indication of WHY they'd do it so early? Usually they'll let to go until you spontaneously labor unless there are obvious other risks. IMO it's always best to let the LO pick his or her own birthday, and 1st time moms go an average of 8 days past their due date. Plus that's 2 more weeks for your baby to turn! Webster technique especially usually takes more than one or two sessions - it'll work best when given 3 or so weeks to "take". I know the fighting for what u want sucks but it's truly best for your babe. Good luck to you whatever you do!
post #9 of 17
I'd recommend getting in touch with ICAN for more information and facts regarding the benefits of labor in a breech delivery v. the risks of the early c/s your drs are recommending. A c/s for breech is not necessarily safer; there are risks to both vag and c/s breech deliveries. The pp here have all listed a bunch of benefits. You might even find a provider that delivers breech babies. If you do decide to have teh c/s, and it's YOUR decision not your dr's, you will find great support there as well. (Not that there's not good support here, too.)

www.ican-online.org
post #10 of 17
I can't remeber the exact stats but 4 months ago when my son was due (actually 2 weeks PAST due with vbac #2) my midwife was telling me of research stating that vbac is more sucessful in women who were allowed to labor before their primary cesearian. There was less uterine rupture in vbac where labor took place the frist time around.

Not very scientific...sorry!

Good luck.
post #11 of 17
39 weeks seems early to me! Babies generally come when ready, and that could mean two or three more weeks after 39. There are lots of mamas on here who go until 41 or 42 weeks. It's not fun, but it's lots of time for that baby to right herself from breech position!

Having one c/s under my belt, I can say it's not something I'd wish on my worst enemy. I know it's not difficult for everyone, but I hemorrhaged, needed a blood transfusion, had the worst gas pains afterward, catheter problems, I could go on and on. It adds to difficulty breastfeeding and the recovery on top of care for a newborn (if you don't have a good support, hubby with lots of time off work, or mom or MIL to stay with you) can be a nightmare. Approach a c/s as the LAST resort.
post #12 of 17
Moved to Birth and Beyond.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Well, I have been reading, and thinking, and thanks to you ladies, and my doula, I have decided to labor first. I agree, if it's scheduled like that, it's for the doc's convenience, not in the best interest of my babe and me. It is a frank breech, but there isn't, as far as I know from talking to my doula, who talks to midwives with their fingers on the pulse of the area, any care providers willing to do a breech birth. And honestly, I am already exhausted from switching the first time! The closest I MIGHT be able to find someone is about an hour away, in good traffic. I do have time yet, and I am willing to work at it as much as I can, so we'll just see what happens. I do believe that my baby will turn, and if it doesn't, then it has a reason. Thank you oh so much for all your input and advice! I appreciate it more than you can know!
post #14 of 17

I know this is a very old thread but for anyone reading this info, it's important to know.

Yes, BABIES CAN AND DO TURN at the last minute.

I had full-term twins 4 months ago. They were 7 lbs 11 oz and 7 lbs 4 oz. One was head down, the other breech.

At the very end, the breech baby turned head down, even with conditions being that cramped in the womb (I hadn't delivered either baby yet).

Babies turn! That is a major reason to wait until you go into labor before you consider a c-section.

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahappymel View Post

I know this is a very old thread but for anyone reading this info, it's important to know.

Yes, BABIES CAN AND DO TURN at the last minute.

I had full-term twins 4 months ago. They were 7 lbs 11 oz and 7 lbs 4 oz. One was head down, the other breech.

At the very end, the breech baby turned head down, even with conditions being that cramped in the womb (I hadn't delivered either baby yet).

Babies turn! That is a major reason to wait until you go into labor before you consider a c-section.

 

This. It went the other way for me, but I had my first section for breech, and ds1 was vertex until I went into labour.

post #16 of 17

Hopefully your baby will turn. 

I think many people end up scheduling a c for breech at 39 weeks b/c if you are going to end up with a c, a scheduled one is preferable.  You can at least make sure you'll have your baby with you in recovery. 

The actual benefits to the baby as far as going into labor on your own as i understand it, are primarily centered around babies who have spent time actually being squeezed in the birth canal.  Going into labor right before a c doesn't have any kind of benfit that i've read about.  If a woman does labor and then ends up with a c, and the baby has been involved in the labor process (again mostly about the squeezing) the lungs do have an opportunity to be cleared of fluid and there are advantages involving bacteria colonization.

in your case, if you are still breech, and you do go into labor, you're most likely not going to actually labor long enough to see any benefit other than getting to experience the labor. 

good luck, turn baby turn!

 

eta: it does seem weird to pick a baby's birthday.  that was one of the hardest things with my planned c.  i ended up having a very astrologically inclined friend help with charting to decide & picking a lucky number, etc.  it's kind of silly but if you end up having to pick it might as well be for some sort of reason, right?

post #17 of 17

There is actually some evidence showing that labor causes the baby to receive a sort of bolus dose of antibodies. Transplacental antibodies are transferred throughout pregnancy, but babies born by scheduled cesarean have fewer of them than babies born vaginally or by cesarean after labor. There's something that happens during labor that causes babies to wind up with more antibodies from mom, which is a good thing for quite obvious reasons.
 

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